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Direct Marketing Association

DMA warns proposed EU data reforms are "worse for businesses" than feared

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By Gillian West, Social media manager

January 9, 2013 | 2 min read

Changes to EU proposals on consumer data protection reforms are “far worse for UK businesses” than originally thought according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

The DMA’s comments follow the publication of the latest version of the European Parliament Committee’s proposed amendments to the draft EU data Protection Regulation. Amendments to the Regulation were made by German Green Party MEP Jan Albrecht of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

Albrecht’s amendments to clauses including the definition of personal data, limitations on customer profiling, consent to direct marketing and the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ will, according to the DMA, affect businesses ability to use data to market their goods and services. This would then have an immediate knock-on effect for businesses which, according to recent research published by the DMA, invested £14.2 billion in data driven marketing in 2012, generating 23 per cent of sales.

The trade association has also voiced concerns that EU lawmakers have failed to address industry concerns on original proposals, as they have yet to find an appropriate balance between protecting consumer data privacy rights and the legitimate interests of businesses.

“The original draft of the Regulation posed a severe threat to the viability of UK businesses that depend on direct marketing to drive sales. These amendments are even worse for UK businesses. The proposed legislation is overly strict and unworkable. It will stifle innovation, add considerable cost to business and place unnecessary obstacles to e-commerce jobs and growth,” commented Caroline Roberts, director of public affairs at the DMA.

Research released by the DMA in August 2012, estimated that UK businesses would lose £47 billion in sales and additional regulatory costs if the Regulation in its then current form was to come into practice.

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