New EU Privacy Laws Might End Free Facebook, Google and... Everything

By Gary Cutlack on at

Future changes to EU privacy rules could have a devastating effect on the ad-funded model favoured by the internet giants, with planned restrictions on data harvesting signalling the end of the online advertising bubble.

The draft European Data Protection Regulation rules will shortly be put before the European Parliament. The rule changes will make it much harder for companies to claim users' consent to everything via one cover all agreement, with protection also put in place to guard against future changes in terms and conditions.

Eduardo Ustaran, privacy specialist at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, claims Google, Facebook and the rest wouldn't be able to use user data to help target their advertising if these laws are implemented in their current form, which could cause the current ad-funded internet model to explode.

Ustaran said of the changes: "If they weren't able to use your data in the way that is profitable or useful for them for advertising purposes, then either the user has to pay for it or stop using the service." [ZDnet]