But after spending two days in the Belgian capital, it’s clear that digitally minded officials, activists, lobbyists and members of the European Parliament are focused squarely on what could become a massively important change to the European Union's rules concerning data protection. What's more, they have the attention of American tech firms as well.
As we reported over a year ago, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding of the European Commission proposed a “comprehensive reform” to existing data protection law, which would regulate how online service companies are allowed to keep information on their customers. Right now, anyone who cares about European tech issues has their eye on this ongoing legislation as it makes its way through various Brussels bodies. The legislation is not expected to take effect until 2016.