Ecommerce presents its Priority Paper on Data Protection and Privacy entitled “Increase data security and trust for consumers and merchants in European cross-border e-commerce” (November 2015)
“Digital” changes the way people shop and the way people wish to receive their purchases. The modern consumer wants to shop anywhere, and at any time. This is notable by the fact that nearly all growth in retail comes from e-commerce. With double-digit growth rates, the e-commerce sector is booming. Much more growth is still to be obtained, however. Europe is lagging behind compared to competing markets (mainly the US and China) in shaping a business-friendly climate allowing innovative online companies to flourish. This means that policy makers should see innovation in the online world as an opportunity, and not as a threat, and should refrain from drawing up differing rules for online and offline activities. The digital world knows no borders, and this should also count for legislation: European e-commerce businesses should be able to profit from the full European single market and its broad consumer base. Only then is the European economy able to keep up globally. Ecommerce Europe’s main objective is to work with the Commission, the Parliament and the Council of the EU towards flexible policy frameworks that facilitate growth and competitiveness within the European ecommerce market. The word “flexible” is essential because the sector grows and evolves quickly, and reviews and updates of legislative frameworks are needed on a frequent basis. The protection of personal data and privacy are key drivers for trust in the e-commerce sector. Consumers’ trust is at the core of the ecommerce industry, and therefore the fair, safe and transparent use and collection of data is the key to the growth of the sector, especially when it comes to cross-border purchases. Furthermore, responsible data processing increases consumer convenience in online shopping and is an essential element for innovation in the online industry. One of the biggest hurdles which prevents traders to go cross-border is the difference in legal frameworks all over Europe.