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Review of the General Data Protection Directive - The Commission’s proposal makes significant steps towards leveling the playing field among all ICT players in terms of privacy protection obligations


25 Jan 2012



Brussels – The proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation addresses the sector’s need for more harmonized data protection rules and for a comprehensive set of rules for all players in the ICT value chain. It should guarantee the necessary balance between data protection and innovation.

The ongoing review is a unique opportunity to develop sound data protection rules which are  technologically neutral, future proof, applicable to all players offering services to citizens in the European Union and flexible enough to allow for the development of new services in Europe. The Commission’s proposal is an important step towards achieving a world-class privacy protection framework”, says Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chairman.  

New business models responding to European users’ demands often rely on innovative ways of seeking consent. Rules on consent need to be consumer-friendly, practically applicable and adapted to the online world. Repeatedly requiring explicit consent during an online experience undermines the goal of enabling consumers to make informed decisions in an environment that is not overly intrusive.

ETNO welcomes the choice of a Regulation as a legal instrument to tackle the lack of harmonization in the implementation of current data protection rules throughout the EU. Both consumers and pan-European businesses will benefit from a unified framework across Europe.

New data protection rules should not hinder the development of cloud computing services which have been recognised by the Commission as a key driver of economic growth.  ETNO welcomes the positive move towards the differentiation of the roles of controller and processor and of their respective obligations. As cloud providers are mainly processors, an increase of administrative obligations upon them would have a negative effect on the success of cloud computing in Europe.

ETNO members look forward to continue working with the European Commission and also the European Parliament and the Council in order to achieve the right balance of granting privacy protection for users while enabling businesses to develop innovative services.

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Acting Director/ Communications Manager Tel: (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail:

ETNO’s 40 member companies and 10 observers from Europe and beyond represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than €600 billion and employ over 1.6 million people. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.


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