Continued from page 1

Street View set off a firestorm when Google admitted that its researchers collected wireless information including entire e-mails, URLs and passwords. In a statement Friday, Google Vice President Alan Eustace said, “We are mortified by what happened,” listing steps to protect privacy.

Another reflection of how cultural differences can play out: last March a Milan judge convicted him and two other Google employees of violating the privacy of an autistic teen because the Internet giant sought profit when it hosted an online video of him being bullied. The three were given suspended six-month sentences in a criminal verdict that was condemned by defenders of Internet freedom.

Fleischer did not comment on that affair, but did say he expected more efforts to agree on common privacy policies around the world.

“The Internet itself is driving (a) growing awareness,” he said. “A lot of countries are coming together and talking about it more because everyone recognizes that it requires more of a global approach, more of a global framework.”

He said that already “people are detecting more of a convergence between European and U.S. policy debates” on privacy _ suggesting that Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about the issue. “There’s certainly much more privacy debate in the U.S. now than ever in my two decades of being involved in privacy law.”