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EU Privacy Directive 'Difficult To Make Work' Minister Says

UK Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has criticised the EU's plans on privacy and electronic communications regulation, calling for more 'practical' measures.

Speaking during the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference, Vaizey said that the EU's new Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive could have a negative impact on businesses and creative innovation if wrongly implemented.

“This is a good example of well-meaning regulation that will be difficult to make work in practice. If we get the implementation wrong, it will seriously hamper the smooth running of the internet,” Vaizey said.

He said that businesses, consumers and regulators needed to work together in order to come with solutions to problems as they arise, rather than taking a 'prescriptive' approach. He called for more sensible solutions that would balance innovation and privacy.

The new EU directive, which will be implemented on May 25th, will change the manner in which cookies, which are small files installed by websites on users' browsers, are used. Cookies allow websites to give a more personalised experience to users and are also used for behaviour tracking and targeted advertising.

The minister called for the EU and the United States government to work together to come up with ways to enhance data protection online and protect consumer policies.