Europe Pushes Ahead with Tougher Data Privacy Rules

For businesses, not the governments, of course


The European Parliament voted to strengthen Europe's data protection laws on Monday, including plans to impose fines of up to 100 million euros on companies such as Yahoo!, Facebook or Google if they break the rules.

The vote in parliament's civil liberties committee opens the way for further negotiations with EU countries and the European Commission on the plans, the first revision to Europe's data laws since 1995.

In the nearly two decades since then, vast changes have taken place in how data is generated, stored, shared and viewed, leaving lawmakers determined to get ahead of the game and draft rules that they say will better protect individuals.