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Perspective: Privacy lessons from Europe
Ever since the EU's data protection directive took effect in 1998, pro-regulation privacy advocates have been trying to convince the United States and the rest of the world to adopt the European model. Under the directive, e-mail addresses and other personal data can be disclosed or transferred to third parties only with the individual's explicit consent. Now that the model has been operational for a few years, the excessive costs of strong privacy regulations are apparent, but privacy worries remain high. This has led to criticism from some unexpected places.