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European Union Says It’s Up To Users If They Want A Lot Of Cookies

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WASHINGTON, November 10, 2009 – The European Union’s independent supervisory authority devoted to protecting personal data and privacy said Monday that member states will soon be required to implement new privacy rules including requirements that users be offered easier ways to control whether they want cookies stored on their computer equipment.

European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx, said in a statement, “I note in particular the emphasis on more effective enforcement of the rules on spyware and cookies. This has special relevance where privacy rights must be protected in relation to so called targeted advertising.”

After the revised electronic privacy directive is formerly adopted, member states will have 18 months to follow its provisions. The new provisions are meant to strengthen enforcement powers for national data protection authorities and require that any communications provider or Internet service provider “involved in individuals’ personal data being compromised must inform them if the breach is likely to adversely affect them.”

The provisions also give any person negatively affected by spam, such as an Internet service provider, the right to take legal action.

Winter covered technology policy issues for five-and-a-half years as a reporter for the National Journal Group. She has worked for USA Today, the Washington Times, the Magazine Group, the State Department’s International Visitor’s Program, and the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. She also taught English at a university in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

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