Cybercriminals and the EU gun for lax social networks

Cybercriminals are scaling up the volume and diversity of attacks on social networks sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Linked In, just as the European Union (EU) begins rewriting its laws on data privacy to curb the way those sites store and protect user details.

Research to be published by security firm Sophos found 57 per cent of social networking users had been spammed during the course of 2009 - up 71 per cent from 2008. Some 72 per cent of the 500 organisations Sophos surveyed expressed concern that employee behaviour on social networking sites ‘exposes their businesses to danger and puts corporate infrastructure, including sensitive data, at risk’.

The EU has long been concerned about how its citizen’s data is handled and shared online, particularly across international borders where different legal frameworks exist.
Though the EU seems less worried about cybercriminals than it is about unscrupulous advertisers, any changes to European data privacy laws will significantly affect the way both do business.

EC commissioner for information society and media Viviane Reding (pictured) has been specifically tasked with rewriting outdated regulations first drafted in 1995, with work starting this month.

Reding has prior experience of taking on the biggest names in the technology industry. She was instrumental in forcing the world’s biggest mobile operators to reduce European mobile roaming charges in 2009 after threatening regulation.

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