It’s easy for philosophical differences between the United States and Europe to seem like intellectual abstractions -- right up until the moment they entail immense financial loss. The European embrace of a right to privacy, a capital “R” Right akin to any that we have enshrined in the Bill of Rights, might not appear to be of consequence to most Americans. However, given pending EU legislation, you could violate this right and incur huge fines without ever setting foot on the continent. Depending on the final shape of a new regulation currently working its way through the European Union, simply advertising online to Europeans in a manner that utilizes their purchasing history could incur a fine equivalent to two percent of your annual global revenues. While this concept may seem far-fetched, if you’re about to conduct any commerce in Europe, you should make it your business to monitor and understand the new regulation.

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