The Information Commissioner and the DMA have joined forces to call on all companies involved in data-driven marketing to support the fight against proposed changes to EU data laws, by lobbying their MEPs hard.
The draft Data Protection Regulation is currently going through the European Parliament, but recent DMA research has exposed a huge lack of awareness among UK bosses about how the changes would affect their businesses.
Under the planned laws, it could be virtually impossible for many DM companies to operate. The latest set of changes – released last month – include a redefinition of personal data, limitations on customer profiling, consent to direct marketing and the so-called “right to be forgotten”.
Despite positive signs emerging from Brussels – one influential committee has already voted against many of the most draconian new measures – the DMA is warning businesses that the war is far from won.
Speaking after the trade body’s Data Protection Conference last week, executive director Chris Combemale said: “Recent DMA research showed that the majority of the industry’s senior executives are either unaware or lack understanding of one of the biggest long-term threats to their businesses.
“In response to this we’ve launched a toolkit to get to grips with potential changes to data legislation, how this could impact how we do business and how to respond to the threat.
“I ask all senior executives to take the time to log on, read up and write to their MEPs; it will be the best 20 minutes they’ll invest this year in protecting the future of their livelihoods.”
Speaking at the event, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: “The direct marketing industry has an important role to play in the legislative process. It must focus on good practice and respect consumers. It must also remember that this is the crucial turning point in a long game; while there is a lot more work to do on the Regulation, the industry must engage further with legislators now.”
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