On the 12th of March, the European Parliament plenary has adopted the report on the Data Protection Regulation in Strasbourg. The report, as drafted by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) was adopted without amendments by an overwhelming 621 votes in favor, 10 against and 22 abstentions.
Ecommerce Europe’s position
In general, Ecommerce Europe supports a proposal for a solid, well balanced update of privacy rules as the current set stems from 1995. The current proposal does however not meet the needs of online merchants.
Ecommerce Europe has been lobbying against adoption of this report on the basis that the proposal obstructs the completion of the Digital Single Market. A recap on the provisions:
- The definition of “personal data” is too wide – thereby making the legislation applicable to a too large amount of cases and raising the compliance costs for merchants significantly.
- For small web shops the costs of designating a data protection officer are incalculable and disproportional to the actual (impact of) processing of data.
- The notion of “explicit consent” should be changed to a notion of “unambiguous consent” by the data subject in order to keep a user-friendly experience of online shopping.
- The scope of the rules on the right to data portability should be limited to user generated content – and thus tosocial networks only – as it was originally intended.
Although the outcome of the vote is unsatisfactory, it is by no means the end of the legislative process. The European Parliament, European Council, and European Commission still need to enter negotiations on the reform.
The Member States’ role in the process is now crucial. Currently, the proposal is stalled in Council negotiations. The United Kingdom and Germany lead opposing blocks over the proposal. Both sides are against for opposite reasons: the UK largely share’s Ecommerce Europe’s view that the proposal is too strict. Germany, on the other hand, argues that it does not go far enough.
Ecommerce Europe and her members will continue the dialogue with the European Council, Members of European Parliament, and the European Commission to ensure our position remains clear for all parties involved in the legislative negotiations.
Ecommerce Europe is the association representing about 5000 companies selling products and/or services to consumers in Europe. Founded by leading national e-commerce associations, its mission is to advance the interests and influence of e-commerce in Europe through advocacy, communication and networking.
Ecommerce Europe is the fastest growing e-commerce industry association in Europe. We represent 12 national associations from all over Europe. Due to its double digit growth rate, e-commerce in Europe in 2013 reached a 358.6 billion turnover.