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ETNO welcomes Commissioner Reding’s push for more transparency for consumers and for same rules to apply to all actors processing personal data

Date

21 Mar 2011

Sections

Trade & Society
InfoSociety
EU Priorities 2020

Brussels – Data Protection is a Fundamental Right of citizens that should be fully respected by all
providers of services targeted at EU citizens, regardless of where the data is processed, recalled
ETNO on the occasion of a meeting today of its Executive Board with Viviane Reding, Vice-
President of the European Commission for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

“ETNO welcomes the Commission’s commitment to maintaining Europe’s high standards in the
protection of personal data while at the same time ensuring a better harmonization throughout
the EU and the achievement of a fully internal market. Data Protection rules should be
technologically neutral and flexible enough to allow the development of new services”, said Luigi
Gambardella, Chair of the ETNO Executive Board.

In order to build trust and confidence, it is essential that citizens benefit from the same level of
protection, regardless of geographical location or economic sector of the service provider (same
services, same rules). ETNO members underlined the importance of a true level playing field for
all EU based and non-EU based online service providers that operate websites and services which
target EU citizens.

Enhanced transparency, control and choice for consumers are also critical so that they can make
informed decisions about the use of their data.

The ETNO Executive Board also shared its concerns on the Data Retention Directive which is
due for review later this year and has been defined by Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection
Supervisor, as “the most privacy invasive legal instrument ever adopted by the EU in terms of
scale and the number of people if affects”.

“There has been so far a lack of evidence from Member States on the need for data retention.
Reliable quantitative and qualitative data are crucial in demonstrating the necessity of data
retention”, said Cristina Vela, Chair of the ETNO Data Protection Working Group.

ETNO recalled that Internet data is complex and costly to collect and retain. Furthermore,
experience of the implementation of the Directive shows so far that the majority of data is
requested within the first six months. ETNO therefore called on the Commissioner to question the
necessity and proportionality of requiring data to be retained for more than six months and to
reduce the scope of data to be retained.

For more information, please contact Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager Tel: (32-
2) 219 32 42 Fax: (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

ETNO’s 40 member companies from 35 European countries represent a significant part of total
ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than €250 billion
and employ over one million people across Europe. ETNO companies are the main drivers of
broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.

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