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The Business Case for Balanced Data Privacy Regulation

Activities are taking place around the world today to commemorate Data Privacy Day as industry, policymakers, and other stakeholders promote their collective responsibilities with regard to data privacy and information security.

The Boston Consulting Group projects the Internet economy will reach $4.2 trillion in G-20 markets by 2016, with the Internet contributing up to 8 percent of GDP in some countries. According to IDC, spending on public cloud computing services will grow by over 27% by 2015. With the transition to a data-driven, Internet economy underway at full pace, debates around data protection and user privacy are also heating up around the world.

In the EU’s ongoing efforts to modernize its data protection framework, BSA has consistently called for a privacy framework grounded by the trust relationship that underpins business in a data-driven economy. BSA member companies understand clearly the duties and responsibilities they have as stewards of precious data for their customers; however, the European Commission’s current proposal remains problematic in many respects.

This morning, to mark the occasion of European Data Protection Day, the Industry Coalition for Data Protection (ICDP), of which BSA is a participant, issued a paper advocating for a balanced, fair, and business-friendly framework for data protection in the 21st century. Following is an excerpt:

“The European Commission’s proposal for a new Data Protection Regulation threatens to unravel the digital ecosystem, putting jobs and growth at risk, and potentially stifling Europe’s capacity to innovate.

European policymakers, in their haste to push forward new data protection rules…have not adequately considered the rich variety of activities that depend on data collection and processing. Nor do they take into account the speed of changes in technology and the business environment, and the impact on Europe’s competitiveness and capacity to innovate. The current proposal provides few meaningful new rights or protections to consumers, but it does significantly increase red tape and jeopardize the European digital economy.

What Europe needs is a balanced, fair, and business-friendly framework for data protection in the 21st century. That means regulation that supports innovation and technological development while serving the needs of consumers who want high-quality, competitively-priced products and services, provided by companies that have earned their trust. The data protection framework should focus on accountability—not overly prescriptive legislation.”

Read the full version here.

Thomas Boué

Author:

Thomas Boué oversees the BSA | The Software Alliance’s public policy activities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. He advises BSA members on public policy and legal developments and advocates the views of the ICT sector with both European and national policy makers. He leads on security and privacy issues as well as broader efforts to improve levels of intellectual property protection and to promote open markets, fair competition, and technology innovation in new areas such as cloud computing.

Prior to joining BSA, Boué served as a consultant in Weber Shandwick where he advised clients on a wide range of technology and ICT-related policy issues and represented them before the EU institutions and industry coalitions. In this role, he also served as policy and regulatory adviser for both EU and US telecom operators. Prior to that Boué worked for the EU office of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry where he was responsible for the lobbying activities towards the EU Institutions in the areas of trade, education, and labor, as well as for the organization and running of seminars on EU affairs for SMEs and business professionals.

Boué holds a Master of Business Administration from the Europa-Insitut (Saarbrücken, Germany), a Certificate of Integrated Legal Studies (trilateral and trilingual Master’s degree in French, English, German and European Law, from the Universities of Warwick (UK), Saarland (Germany) and Lille II (France) as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Law from the University of Lille II, France. He is based in BSA’s Brussels office.

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