Support Marketplace

EU data protection law could trigger trade war

The EU's Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding (pictured above), says American companies like Google and Facebook must abide by a proposed new European law on data protection or face stiff penalties.

One of  Europe’s top officials has issued a stern rebuke to U.S. companies like Google and Facebook that operate in Europe. The European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, says these companies must accept a planned new European law on data protection and stop trying to water it down. 

If the tough new law on data security and privacy comes in to force it will have global repercussions for  any company that operates in Europe. They will have to apply these new European rules everywhere else in the world that they do business.  Chris Green of the Davis Murphy consulting firm says big U.S. corporations like Google and Facebook have been lobbying hard against the measure:

“It’s going to be more expensive for them, more red tape for them, it's more oversight for them," Green points out. “There’s going to be far too many people -- in their opinion -- taking a very, very close look at how they do business.”

Any company that breaks the new law would risk a fine of up to 2 percent of their total annual revenues. U.S. government sources have warned that if American corporations are forced to implement the new law globally,  it could trigger an US/EU trade war. 

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...