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Half of all senior executives 'unaware' of EU data protection reforms business threats

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By Gillian West, Social media manager

January 28, 2013 | 2 min read

Half of senior executives in brands, agencies and suppliers are unaware of the possible impacts the draft EU Data Protection Regulation may have on their businesses, according to research published by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

DMA’s poll of 250 direct marketing practitioners found that 50 per cent confessed to being “unaware of the possible impacts on what they do” in regards to the legislations causes regarding the definition of personal data, limitations on customer profiling, consent to direct marketing and the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’.

Of the findings, DMA executive director, Chris Combemale, said: “It's concerning that half of senior managers in the industry are unaware of the potentially harmful impact of the legislation on their businesses.”

Three-quarters (76 per cent) of the survey’s respondents from agencies and suppliers, along with 60 per cent of respondents from brands, said they believed data protection should be on the agenda for senior management, labelling it a ‘senior/board level executive issue’.

Almost all (99 per cent) of respondents said they believed the upcoming EU Data Protection Regulation will be ‘unfairly weighted against business’.

Published to coincide with World Data Privacy Day, The Data Protection 2013 survey was carried out by the DMA following the latest changes made to the EU Data Protection Regulation which toughened the proposed legislation.

Combemale added: “It's essential that lawmakers understand the need to produce legislation that balances the privacy of people with the legitimate interests of companies that innovate to create growth for the economy.

“According to DMA research, the draft Regulation in its current form could cost UK businesses up to £47 billion in lost sales and additional regulatory costs.”

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Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

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