The Global Impact of the E.U.’s New Rules on Data Privacy

When Facebook began readying its IPO at the beginning of this month, the social network’s S-1 regulatory filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission ticked off a list of potential risk factors — among them, global data privacy regulations that could impact the business.Only a week earlier, the European Commission came out with a new proposal on data protection regulations that won’t apply just to companies like Facebook. “Every company that looks to sell to an E.U. consumer will be caught by this,” says Cynthia O’Donoghue, co-head of the data privacy, security, and management group at Reed Smith in London.

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