Bosses ‘clueless on new EU laws’

The proposed EU data laws might be furrowing the brows of trade bodies and Government departments alike, but half of all senior executives who work in direct marketing are completely unaware of the threat they pose to their business.
That is the damning verdict of a new study by the DMA, conducted to coincide with World Data Privacy Day, (Monday January 28) which is designed to raise social awareness of data privacy issues.
The DMA’s poll quizzed 250 senior-level DM practitioners across client companies, agencies and suppliers. A rather worrying 50% confess to being “unaware of the possible impacts on what they do” of the EU Data Protection Regulation’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 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, DMA executive director Chris Combemale 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 the DMA , the draft Regulation in its current form could cost UK businesses up to £47bn in lost sales and additional regulatory costs. The industry body has pledged to continue to work with lawmakers as well as to educate and inform brands, agencies and suppliers on the threat posed by the legislation.

Related stories
MoJ: ‘Scrap data protection officers’
EU data laws ‘just got a lot worse’
Germans seek tougher EU data laws
DMA rallies team for £47bn fight

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.