Romanian MEP: Regulation can be efficient without affecting the online industry

Comm & Politics, Digital & Media

Adina Valean, Romanian member in European Parliament (EP), stated that data protection regulations can be efficient without affecting online industry’s interest and can also protect consumers without introducing unfriendly measures. Her statements were made at the end of a meeting between Valean, ALDE member of the European Parliament, and the Romanian online industry representatives.

The meeting was the result of  debates in EP over the issue of the new Draft Data Protection Regulation, that will replace the present E-Privacy Directive (95/46/CE). The Draft Data Protection Regulation is in the amendment phase within the Parliamentary Commissions.

The event took place at the initiative of IAB Romania, considering the industry’s concerns about the challenges and effects the new provisions might have on the local digital business environment. The online advertising is not just a revenue model for websites, but also an information tool. At the core of this process stands a very important measurement system, crucial both for the consumer and the industry as it generates business decisions meant to provide the most suitable solutions for the user.

Among the consequences of Draft Data Protection Regulation there are some provisions that can enforce the users’ obligation to go through a series of informational memos and logging processes every time they access certain websites, which would burden the users’ access and navigation experience and would also be in detriment of the site owner. IAB Romania has developed a position paper on those amendments, containing recommendations and arguments for a more flexible approach of the legislative proposals, so as to reach a consensus between the user’s interests and (those of) the digital industry.

Adina Valean, contributor to the Regulation legislative process as shadow rapporteur, accepted the draft amendments forwarded by the Romanian digital industry.

Along with all the European liberals, I support a kind of regulation that protects the privacy of the users and facilitates their access to the desired websites. I encourage the online industry to self-regulate and to educate the public with respect to website interaction. As a liberal, my main focus was to support the private initiatives of the online industry.

Adina Valean.

IAB Romania stands for protecting privacy and personal data just as it  is enforced by present law. We think that the Draft Regulation doesn’t offer the needed balance between the users’ interests and the needs of the online industry. According to the present text, it is very much possible to strengthen the legislation in detriment of the industry, not just in Romania but in Europe as well. I’m talking here about the extension of the personal data definition – to include some data that are not currently considered to be personal data – and also about the “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to user’s profiles and the need of getting an explicit consent for processing various categories of data; this creates a burdening bureaucracy for the companies, which will turn into restrictions for the users to access various services and online content

Cristian Petriceanu

President IAB Romania.

Present at the meeting with Adina Valean were representatives of some of the top publishing companies in Romania such as Cristi Petriceanu – president IAB Romania, Ioana Anescu – Managing Director IAB Romania, Alin Popescu – Managing Director & BRAT’s representative, Cosmin Preda – Key Account Manager Internet ProTV, Alexandru Livadariu – Content Manager Internet ProTV, Augustin Roman – Head of Digital Antena TV Group, Sorin Kosz – Coordinator, Claudiu Pandaru – Editorial Manager Mediafax, Costin Ionescu – Coordinator Editor and Ionel Naftanaila – OBA Project Manager IAB Europe.

IAB Romania’s position paper is also backed up by other associations, like BRAT (Romanian Bureau for Audiences) and UAPR (Romanian Association of Advertising Agencies).

Our main purpose is to support the media and advertising industry through methods and common standards regarding the media products’ performance measurement . As such, BRAT is encouraging and supportive regarding the constant evolution of the data protection legislation . At the same time though, we consider that the general framework proposed by the Regulation will create major deficiencies in the future development of media companies, with a direct impact on the quality of the content and media products proposed to the user.  We believe that the future of the user’s interests stands more within the self-regulation actions of the industry, to which the legislation can provide a framework and general guidelines

Arina Ureche,

General Manager BRAT.

The online environment was always about free access to information. The new regulation proposals will generate an unbalance that will mainly affect the user’s free access to the desired content and services. We are talking not just about the impact on digital advertising, but also about the user – who will be restraint in accessing relevant information, according to its interests. UAPR encourages the protection of personal data and considers that a correct approach of the subject is needed in such a way as to protect both the needs and interests of the users and the suppliers of relevant content. Unfortunately, the present proposal generates a limitation to the free access of content, that has a major impact on the consumers and platforms delivering content and online advertising.

Radu Florescu

President UAPR