The news picked its pace back up last week from the holiday lull with a series of big stories. The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on how the EU is slowing down its efforts to require opt-in for third-party data collection, Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., said he plans on picking up where Rep.Rick Boucher, D-Va., left off with his online privacy bill, and a German regulator stopped talks with Google over their analytics. Also, Spokeo made some more news and Jim Brock of PrivacyChoice introduced us to some research on consumers and behavioral tracking. EU's Push on Internet Cookies Fizzles Out – WSJ – Last week, a secret European Commission document written to offer formal guidance to EU member states implementing the directive surfaced. It sheds a bit of light on how EU regulators see the directive, and that's firmly on the side of business. There's no language at all endorsing any kind of "opt-in" clause, which would force users to give their consent explicitly before cookies are placed on their computer. "Settings of a browser or another application" are sufficient, the document says. Stearns Plans to Introduce Privacy Bill – National Journal – Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., plans to pick up where he and former Rep.Rick Boucher, D-Va., left off in the last Congress in trying to craft an online privacy bill. German Regulator Breaks Off Google Talks – WSJ – German data-protection authorities have broken off talks with Google Inc. over its Google Analytics tool, warning that German companies that use it could face legal action and fines. Spokeo Argues It's A Search Engine, Says Class-Action Suit Against It Should Be Dismissed – MediaPost – Arguing that it is not covered by federal fair credit reporting laws, online data broker and aggregator Spokeo says that two potential class-action lawsuits against the company should be dismissed. Do people care about tracking oversight? – PrivacyChoice – It’s tempting to think that there are just two kinds of consumer views on behavioral tracking: some people simply don’t care about whether they are tracked online, and others care so much they would always choose to avoid it completely.