Reports this week revealed that the US successfully pressed the European Commission to drop sections of the Data Protection Regulation that would, as the Financial Times explains, “have nullified any US request for technology and telecoms companies to hand over data on EU citizens. The article […] would have prohibited transfers of personal information to a third country under a legal request, for example the one used by the NSA for their PRISM programme, unless “expressly authorized by an international agreement or provided for by mutual legal assistance treaties or approved by a supervisory authority.” The Article was deleted from the draft Regulation proper, which was published shortly afterwards in January 2012. The reports suggest this was due to intense pressure from the US. Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding favoured keeping the the clause, but other Commissioners seemingly did not grasp the significance of the article.
As Chris Shiflett noted: not only are they bad for security, they’re bad for business too.
12 percent of users consider abandoning [an online shopping transaction] when they see either the Verified by Visa or the American Express SafeKey logos, while 10 percent will consider abandoning when the see the MasterCard Secure card logo.
an amazing account of near-death from hypothermia (via Dor)