21 December, 2016
e-Privacy Review: telcos warn that EU industry might be excluded from data economy
Brussels, 21 December 2016 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading providers of digital communications and services, has today expressed its concern regarding the on-going review of the e-Privacy Directive in a letter jointly signed with the GSMA.
As the debate on the future of privacy policies evolve, ETNO is concerned that the e-Privacy review might result in an exclusion of the European telecom and digital sector from the data economy. ETNO and the GSMA underlined in the letter that “a restrictive and conservative policy approach would effectively exclude the European telecoms industry from the data economy(…). This would also create a competitive disadvantage for the European industry compared to other areas of the world”.
This is of great concern at a time in which EU telcos step up their efforts to ensure Europe makes the most out of future connectivity opportunities, with 5G and Internet of Things. In the letter, ETNO and GSMA stressed that “the use of data held by telecom companies as well as data collected from mobile apps, IoT devices, smart homes, connected cars and many other emerging systems will be crucial in realising the societal and economic benefits of the digital economy”.
Missing out on such opportunities would slow down growth, innovation and it would frustrate the societal potential of the data economy. ETNO and GSMA fear that such a situation is grounded in a policy debate that “does not take into account the evolution of networks and services in a 5G world, but appears to be rooted in outdated assumptions on the functioning of the networks”.
The full letter is available here (see attachment).