Draft opinion report on Data Protection released

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In October, a new report on Data Protection was issued in the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee (IMCO) drafted by Lara Comi (EPP, Italy). In the opinion report, Ms. Comi requests the Commission to be more specific with regard to proposed rules and measures for the protection of European citizens’ data. Comi supports the need of the e-commerce industry for ‘profiling and targeting’ and shares concerns on the use of ‘data portability’.

Ecommerce Europe already stressed its worries on the ‘right to be forgotten’ and the proposal on ‘data portability’ in an earlier stage, since these provisions would create huge technical and financial burdens to the industry. The European umbrella association reiterated the importance of ‘profiling and targeting’ for the e-commerce industry.

In her report, Ms. Comi focuses on definitions of personal data, the rights of data subject, references to consumer rights and consistency of the regulation. The General Data Protection regulation will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive. It is designed to be more technology-proof and to assure that personal information is better protected. It provides consumers with more control over personal data. The proposed regulation will strengthen the internal market and ensures protection in all areas in order to enhance consumer confidence in Europe.

Ecommerce Europe welcomes the priority given to profiling operations as well as the fact that portability of data can be harmful for competitiveness. Article 6 is vital to Ecommerce Europe, as the Comi Report rightly underlines. The ‘right to be forgotten’ remains an important issue of debate, however.

Comi is asking for clarity on the ‘right to be forgotten’ and to what extent (once consumers are informed by a data controller that the right of erasure is exercised) data held by the third party data controller must be deleted. Ecommerce Europe favours the deletion of this provision and will pursue this view in its many contacts with the European Parliament (deadline for Members of the European Parliament to amend to Ms. Comi’s report in IMCO is November 6).

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