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A European Union flag seen flying in Trafalgar Square. Photo: Brais G Rouco/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Europeans view privacy as a human rights issue, leading regulators there to be much more skeptical of data-driven businesses like social media. Americans are also beginning to worry about how data is used on some platforms like Facebook, particularly after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke this weekend.

The big picture: Europe's history and culture plays a large role in shaping its views toward privacy. Granted, this history has to do with government access to personal information, but it's since extended to businesses.

Last week at South by Southwest, Damien Levie, head of the E.U.'s trade and agriculture at its U.S. embassy, provided context on the upcoming data privacy law:

"I think where we’re coming from in Europe is that privacy is a constitutional issue, it's human rights issue. You have not only these European Communist regimes but also the Nazi dictatorships regimes…. People know very well what it means for the government to have access to your data.”

U.S. context: Julie Brill, currently deputy general counsel at Microsoft and a former FTC Commissioner, added:

The U.S. does have very robust privacy laws but they’re disaggregated and hard to understand. Privacy is a fundamental right but it is vis-a-vis government intrusion, under the 4th Amendment. But it is deeper and broader in Europe."

Cultural attitudes impact social media use: A Pew survey last year found that internet access doesn't necessarily lead to social media use, including in European countries like Germany, where only 37% of people use social media.

Go deeper: How U.S. and E.U. leaders differ on tech competition policy; The biggest anti-trust story you haven't heard about.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.