efamro responds to Commission's Communication on Data Protection
On 14 January efamro, together with ESOMAR, submitted a detailed response to the European Commission’s Communication “A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union”. The response is the latest addition to more than 18 months of work by efamro representing the views of the research sector in the ongoing debate in the future of data protection in the EU.
In the response, efamro and ESOMAR support the revision of the data protection framework. The two organisations believe that the principles set out in Directive 95/46/EC are still relevant but that greater cross-border consistency is required. Any changes should however be proportionate to the matters of concern, should take the public interest into account and should not hinder business growth.
In summary, the response makes the following points about the Communication :
- Particular measures for children should also protect their right to participate in society;
- The concept of “the right to be forgotten” should emphasise responsible data collection, data minimisation, and purpose limitation;
- efamro and ESOMAR believe the current consent requirements are sufficient but should be clarified for consistency of application. Clarity should also be provided for all conditions for fair and lawful processing currently in Article 7;
- Conditions for processing sensitive personal data should be clarified and harmonised;
- Researchers’ traditional concern with the anonymity of respondents provides a unique insight into the boundaries of “personal data” which we would be pleased to share;
- The definition of “data controller” should be clarified and harmonised, with an emphasis on the decision to process data for specified purposes;
- Administrative burdens on data controllers should be reduced;
- The revised framework should not contain specific technological provisions, as this would impair its technology-neutral status. We remain concerned about references to “profiling”;
- The framework should encourage and support self-regulation through availability of advice and guidance;
- efamro and ESOMAR support retention of current provisions on fair and lawful processing of personal data for historical and scientific research and statistics.
- Market, social and opinion research should not suffer from unintended consequences resulting from measures taken designed for other sectors, as illustrated in the section on profiling on page 9 of the submission.
Download the full submission from the data protection
page in our Public Affairs Section