The civil liberties committee of the European Parliament has voted to approve the EU Data Protection Regulation. Before voting, members of the committee inserted stronger safeguards for data transfers to non-EU countries, an explicit consent requirement, a right to erasure, and larger fines for noncomplying businesses. The regulation is a comprehensive update of the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive that sets out new enforcement powers for privacy agencies. In 2012 and 2013, over twenty US consumer, privacy, and civil liberties groups sent letters to the European Parliament in support of the new data protection law. Until the U.S. passes comprehensive privacy legislation, the groups wrote, "the European Union offers the best prospect for the protection of Internet users around the globe." EPIC spoke recently before the European Parliament in support of the initiative. For more information, see EPIC: EU Data Protection Directive.
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