Earlier this week the European Commission published a speech by European Commissioner for consumer affairs Meglena Kuneva which touched on data protection. She warned a meeting of industry representatives about popular practices such as online data collection and consumer targeting and profiling.
“Today I want to send one very clear message to those involved in all aspects of the digital world – Consumer rights must adapt to technology, not be crushed by it. The current situation with regard to privacy, profiling and targeting is not satisfactory.
The central issue is to transpose the principles of consumer policy to this new technological reality so that we maintain our traditional boundaries of what is right and what is not, what damages people and markets and what favours and nurtures them.
This will involve consumers, business and regulators. But it is regulators that bear the ultimate responsibility of ensuring markets work well and develop their greatest potential with the interest of citizens at heart. I want to send a warning signal today that we cannot afford foot dragging in this area. If we fail to see an adequate response to consumers concerns on the issue of data collection and profiling, as a regulator, we will not shy away from our duties nor wait for a cataclysm to wake us up”.