New regulation should balance privacy rights with need for commercial flexibility
Washington — January 25 —
The Business Software Alliance today applauded the European Commission for striving to implement a harmonized legal framework that will protect citizens’ personal information throughout the EU, but expressed concern that proposed data-protection rules are too rigid and could risk stifling technology innovation unless they are refined to allow greater commercial flexibility.
“Policymakers need to make the new data-protection framework ‘future proof’ by designing it to be technology neutral and ensuring it is flexible enough for a fast-changing digital environment,” said BSA’s Director of European Affairs, Thomas Boué.
“The Commission’s proposal today errs too far in the direction of imposing prescriptive mandates for how enterprises must collect, store, and manage information. The rules should focus more on the substantive outcomes that matter most to citizens,” said Boué. “The risk in the proposal’s current design is that it will bog down companies with onerous compliance obligations, which could inhibit digital innovation at the expense of job creation and growth.”
“Privacy rights are a critical consideration for the digital future,” Boué said. “But potential threats to privacy should neither be taken for granted nor accepted as inevitable.”
“BSA strongly supports creating a single set of technology-neutral privacy rules for enterprises operating in EU member states,” Boué said. “Done well, a harmonized data-protection framework will create a more cohesive Single Market by eliminating unnecessary confusion among service providers and users. But there is a critical balance to be struck. The rules should protect people’s privacy rights while also ensuring they have access to the full complement of services the Internet has to offer.”
“BSA commends the Commission for its determination to create a more cohesive set of data-protection rules for Europe’s Digital Single Market,” said Boué. “We look forward to continuing an open and constructive dialogue with the European Parliament and the Council as it reviews today’s proposal.”
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.