An advisory panel to the European Commission has urged governments throughout the European Union to move to change the law following recent revelations about used cell phones tracking and storing the movements of their owners. The issue has already seen representatives from both Apple and Google forced to defend themselves in front of the US Senate, and now Europe is getting in on the debate, with the advisory panel saying that the location of cell phone users should be subject to the highest privacy protection possible. Five countries in the European Union – France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom – are already investigating whether the cell phone companies may have broken local laws with their geographic tracking and information storing methods.
The current data protection laws in Europe were introduced 16 years ago back in 1995, when cell phone technology was a long way away from its current pervasiveness and advancement. European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is currently moving to create a more up to date set of laws due to the ubiquity of the internet and other such technological innovations. “I am now planning to expand data protection legislation to other areas,” Reding said in a speech made in Brussels on the third of this month. “Trust has to be reinstated now. It is essential that clients know what happens to their data. Those in charge have to take the relevant technical and organizational measures to guarantee protection against data loss or an unjustified access.”