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Senior execs 'unaware' of business threats of EU data protection reforms

28 Jan 2013 10:05 GMT Back
Senior execs 'unaware' of business threats of EU data protection reforms
DMA News

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New research published today [28.01.2013] by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reveals that half of senior executives in brands, agencies and suppliers are 'not aware' of the possible impacts of the draft EU Data Protection Regulation on their businesses.

According to the findings of the DMA's poll of 250 direct marketing practitioners, 50% confess to being 'unaware of the possible impacts on what they do' of the legislation's clauses regarding the definition of personal data, limitations on customer profiling, consent to direct marketing and the so-called 'right to be forgotten'.

While awareness of the details of the Regulation is low, there is widespread agreement that data protection should be on the agenda for senior management. Three-quarters (76%) of the survey's respondents from agencies and suppliers along with 60% of respondents from brands, believe that data protection should be a 'senior/board level executive issue'.

Nearly all (99%) of the practitioners polled for the DMA survey said they believe the upcoming EU Data Protection Regulation will be 'unfairly weighted against business'.

The DMA conducted the Data Protection 2013 survey following the publication of the latest changes to the draft EU Data Protection Regulation on 8 January, which toughened the proposed legislation. The results of the survey have been published to contribute to the debate on world Data Privacy Day, which raises social awareness of data privacy issues.

The DMA has been leading the industry's lobbying campaign for fair and balanced legislation that protects people's rights to data privacy but does not unfairly disadvantage UK businesses that use one-to-one communications to add value to their customers.

Commenting on the findings of the research, Chris Combemale, Executive Director of the DMA, said:

"It's highly revealing to see that so many consider data protection an urgent priority for 2013, however, it's concerning that half of senior managers in the industry are unaware of the potentially harmful impact of the legislation on their businesses.

"The responsible use of data enables brands to provide consumers with enhanced services and better choices. On world Data Privacy Day, 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. We'll continue to work with lawmakers as well as to educate and inform brands, agencies and suppliers on the threat posed by the legislation."

Dealing with the business impacts of the draft EU Data Protection is the focus of the DMA's Data Protection 2013 conference on Friday 8 February, which will feature a keynote speech from Information Commissioner Christopher Graham.

Download the research.

Contact: Lakruwani Herath-Culley, +44 (0)2072913324

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