Client marketing body ISBA has accused EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding of scare-mongering after her call to arms over the proposed data reform, amid claims she is exploiting consumer fears over Prism-gate to rush through new legislation.
ISBA has broken ranks with other members of the UK marketing industry’s joint offensive – included the DMA and the Advertising Association – to hit out following Reding’s speech at the 4th Annual European Data Protection Conference in Brussels.
Director of public affairs Ian Twinn said: “Reding is conflating fear of surveillance with the need to bring data protection legislation up to date. The proposals Reding is trying to push through on this wave of fear go too far and, aside from being largely unworkable, will only serve to disrupt the consumer experience and punish business.
“Let’s not forget one of the key things here: businesses don’t want to identify individuals, they are looking to better use anonymous data.”
Evidence submitted by ISBA members to the UK’s response to the proposals takes issue with many of the measures. These include fears that by removing the ability for businesses to track user behaviour, online sales will be lost, and large parts of the display media “ecosystem” will be hit. It also claims users would be served a less personalised experience, with online shopping being badly affected.
Twinn added: “A strong data protection framework is indeed a necessity. But it is not ok to play on what Reding describes as the EU citizens’ palpable sense of shock over recent high-profile surveillance stories to pass through what is simply put very bad legislation. If Reding gets her way she will damage the digital-economy, which is a strong driving force for growth, at a time when Europe really needs it.”
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