Austrian Presidency chairs discussion on ePrivacy legislation | DMA

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Austrian Presidency chairs discussion on ePrivacy legislation


As the European Parliaments returns from recess, parliamentarians and member states’ permanent representatives are collating new comments and submissions on ongoing legislation for consideration in the new term.

The Austrian presidency last week issued the agenda for the ePrivacy legislation to be discussed in a TELEWG meeting on the27th September.

As has been the case for months, member states and stakeholders are split on a number of issues within the ePrivacy legislation. One of these areas is the scope and delineation with the GDPR, the remit of data protection and fundamental rights to privacy, and how the ePrivacy legislation fits together with the European goal for pushing developments in fields like AI, IoT and automated driving.

The text being discussed therefore makes limited changes and asks for further feedback from member states on article 6 and 8, which concern permitted forms of electronic processing and the questions regarding conditional access to websites, respectively.

A similarly contentious point is article 10, which concerns the definition of direct marketing. The agenda indicates that, due to the difference of opinion, the discussion on it will take place at a later date. The DMA has been working with its European lobbying arm, FEDMA, and other stakeholders to widen the definition of direct marketing, or delete this clause altogether.

Furthermore, FEDMA and 72 other stakeholders have issued calls for the ePrivacy legislation to have a greater focus on direct marketing industry. FEDMA is currently lobbying the commission to take greater note of a large industry that relies on direct marketing and one that can offer valuable insight into how the legislation can be effective.

Speaking on this topic, the DMA’s head of policy and compliance, John Mitchison, said:

“The ePrivacy legislation is hugely pertinent for the marketing industry. In the UK, the direct marketing influences £120bn in the UK economy and EU-wide spending is estimated to be rising by 10-15% year-on-year.

It would be an oversight of the council not to make due consideration of the concerns of marketers, particularly in regards to how the term ‘direct marketing’ is defined. As we can see, the stakeholders involved in this process are divided over this issues”.

We believe our input can offer new clarity and perspective to the ePrivacy issue, and that’s what we will be bringing to our meetings with the EU Council in the coming weeks.”

To hear more about the DMA or FEDMA’s work on the ePrivacy legislation, get in touch with external affairs manager, Zach Thornton.

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