Published | 02 October 2017

ePrivacy: press publishers urge European Parliament to avoid citizens’ data control by dominant technological players

29 September 2017 – The European Parliament had a first vote on the draft E-privacy Regulation in the Internal Market Committee yesterday. After the fast adoption of the other opinions next week, the report of MEP Lauristin will already be submitted to the vote in the leading Committee for Civil Liberties on 12 October.

In this context, ENPA President, Carlo PERRONE, stated: “the draft Regulation as it is now discussed in the European Parliament would give to the main US technological players full control of consumers’ data while preventing press websites to give access to professional journalistic content on a free and open basis. This is in total contradiction with the interest of European citizens and against a free, independent and pluralistic press in Europe.”

ENPA representatives have raised concerns on the strong impact of the draft Regulation on the future of digital press, in particular on advertising, by simply banning the use of cookies on press websites. Press publishers have for a long time built trusted relationship with their readers, especially in the digital environment, and will continue to ensure transparency and informative choice for data processing on their websites.

However, by empowering the browser to reject all cookies, the E-privacy regulation gives the illusion of a high level of data protection for citizens. In reality, it will give to only few dominant technological players’ full control of European consumers’ data. Publishers will have no more possibility for reaching out directly to their readers and provide them with personalised offers and services but most importantly with professional editorial content.

ENPA therefore calls on the European Parliament to find a balanced approach by avoiding that citizens’ data are hijacked by only few big players and by ensuring that the European digital economy, including the press, can continue to function under realistic and non-dogmatic conditions, which are respectful of consumers.

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