Viviane Reding, European Commission, Commissioner for Justice, outlined the new stipulations for personal data storage. The new rules target the lifespan of personal data held by companies like Facebook and Google. As a "right to be forgotten" users would have to have he ability to delete their accounts (and data footprints) through such popular sites.
Reading says sites like Google and Facebook must abide by data privacy rules or else they will face court action. It mayn't be specific to the European based sites though. Reding believes this should apply to sites irregardless of where the servers physical location is, if the site has European users, then it would have to abide by EU privacy rules, in her opinion. She was even quick to criticize US-based sites, saying that "we have noted an apparent lack of interest on the US side to talk seriously about data protection."
This would mean users who post videos (to YouTube), photos (to Picasa), articles, status updates on Facebook, and any content would have to be given the option to remove all properties or digital assets.
This's a hot-button issue on the web now and it's not always as simple as placing a removal request or clicking on a delete button. Peter Fleischer, Google Privacy Counsel, addresses this very complex issue in detail.