Proposed EU Data Protection Legislation 2013

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The EU Data Protection Directive is a directive adopted by the European Union designed to protect the privacy and protection of all personal data collected for or about citizens of the EU.

In 2012, the Commission proposed a major reform on the way consumer data protection will be managed moving forward. The drastic changes laid out in the new legislation could completely change the way the direct marketing industry works.

Why now?

It’s been argued that these proposed changes have mainly come about due to the new ‘digital age’ and the need to protect consumers now that marketers have access to data via increased digital platforms, for instance social networking sites.

What are the proposed changes?

One-to-one marketing to become opt-in: you would only be allowed to contact prospects if you’ve had their explicit consent. Which would mean no more targeted online ads, direct mail or telemarketing calls.

Restricted analytics: Users’ IP addresses would be classified as private information and therefore inaccessible to marketers.

Prohibition of profiling: you would no-longer be allowed to target specific consumer profiles – making your marketing efforts less targeted and therefore less likely to succeed. You would also be unable to obtain individuals’ data without their explicit consent.

The ‘right to be forgotten’: Individuals would have the right to request the complete deletion of their data from your company’s records.

When is this likely to happen?

Having been initially proposed in 2012, the new legislation is currently in the hands of European MEPs. During Apr–July voting will take place by MEPs on the various aspects on the proposal, with a decision to pass the new legislation due to take place before Europe goes to the polls in 2014.

View the timeline on the DMA website

Stop this from happening

To stop this happening to the direct marketing industry, you can write to our MEPs. All that is needed is a brief letter or email to each of the MEPs that represents your region describing what your company does, how many people it employs and the impact this legislation would have upon you.

Find out whom to write to on European Parliament Information office website.

What we think

The changes which the EU Directive are proposing are extreme and would make a huge impact on numerous companies as well as individuals in an industry which is thriving in the UK.

A report carried out by the DMA in 2012 showed just how successful the direct marketing industry is:

  • Companies in the report stated that they spent 23% of their turnover on direct marketing.
  • £15.2 billion was invested in direct marketing in 2012.
  • The industry supports 530,000 jobs.

We hope that these important statistics are taken into account when decisions are made. As quoted by the DMA “The Government must make every effort to ensure the industry can continue to play its part in dragging the UK out of the recession.”

Data HQ will continue to keep you updated and informed on the new legislation and the risks our industry could face if any of the proposed changes are made.