MEPs vote for less business-friendly data protection rules | DMA

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MEPs vote for less business-friendly data protection rules

Today (Wednesday 12 March) the European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority (621 in favour, 10 against, 22 abstentions) to adopt the less business-friendly version of the Data Protection Regulation, proposed by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) in the November 2013 report.

There are a number of areas of concern for the direct marketing industry including consent, profiling, the right to erasure and data security breach notifications. However, the Regulation is not a done deal as the Council of Ministers does not agree with the European Parliament's position and is pushing for a more business-friendly Regulation. At a meeting earlier this month the ministers discussed the key points of concern: the territorial scope of the Regulation, profiling, pseudonymisation and data portability.

Chris Combemale, executive director of the DMA commented: “We’ve been leading the industry’s campaign for a fair and balanced data legislation, so it’s extremely disappointing that the European Parliament has voted for a less business-friendly version of the proposed Regulation. While this is by no means a done-deal, this vote should be ringing alarm bells in the board room of every business that’s involved with one-to-one communications.

“For its part, the DMA will continue to lead the industry’s push for a more business-friendly version of the Regulation. However, whatever the outcome one thing is certain: brands will soon have to work harder than ever before to communicate one-to-one with consumers and must offer compelling reasons to become engaged and to share their personal information. Only the companies who get to grips with how the data protection landscape is changing will be successful in the future.”

The current Greek presidency is keen for ministers to reach an agreement at their next meeting in June in order for three-way negotiations between the Council of Ministers, European Parliament and the European Commission to start in the autumn. However, many countries including the UK, are insistent that the focus should be on getting the text of the Regulation right, rather than hitting artificial deadlines.

Therefore, the new Regulation is unlikely to come into effect by the end of 2016, the current deadline the European lawmakers are working towards.

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