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Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel at Google

Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel at Google

Google’s global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer has said Europe’s efforts to overhaul its pan-European data protection framework have “collapsed,” and urged lawmakers to rethink wide-reaching reforms.

In a recent post on privacy trends in 2013 posted on his blog, Fleischer attacked Europe’s “much-ballyhooed, and much-flawed, proposal to re-write its privacy laws,” adding that the old draft was “dead.”

“Something else will eventually be resurrected in its place.  We’ll have to wait until 2014, or perhaps even later, to learn what will replace it,” he said. “Whatever comes next will be the most important privacy legislation in the world, setting the global standards.  I’m hopeful that this pause will give lawmakers time to write a better, more modern and more balanced law.”

Europe is currently engaged in one of the most significant and controversial overhauls of the continent’s data protection legal framework in twenty years, a reform that lawmaker’s are eager to conclude before the EU elections this spring.

The European Commission’s efforts to reach a consensus among member states on a final draft of the laws have not abated. Fleischer’s comments arrive the day after European Commission vice president Viviane Reding told attendees at a private reception for Dutch telecoms operator KPN “we have lost too much time already,” and that the European member states need to move “full speed ahead” on data protection reform.

Google is no stranger to skirmishes with the State or the Courts on privacy matters. The company has had its Google Maps service banned in several countries due to privacy concerns, and has been chastised by European authorities for mishandling user data.