European Competitive Telecommunications Association



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Review of EU legal framework for data protection
Europe’s electronic communications operators call for a user-centric privacy framework that supports innovation

Brussels, 8 March 2011: Europe’s leading fixed and mobile e-communications operators advocate for data protection rules to be flexible, technologically neutral and horizontally apply to all economic sectors and actors offering online services to EU citizens.

"Although basic principles of the existing legislation remain valid, their interpretation, application and enforcement have not resulted in the harmonised framework and level playing field necessary to establishing certainty for data controllers and individuals”, underline Cable Europe, ECTA, ETNO, EuroISPA and GSMA Europe in a joint statement to policy makers involved in the review of the Data Protection Directive.

Trust and confidence is necessary for users to embrace new broadband services and is a critical factor for the success of the Digital Agenda. EU citizens’ personal data should be granted the same level of protection, regardless of the geographical location or the economic sector of the service provider.

The protection of EU citizens’ privacy will only be ensured if the internal market in the area of privacy and data protection is fully achieved through greater levels of harmonisation throughout the EU 27 member states.

These rules need to be adapted and modernised to take on board the emergence of new services such as cloud computing which involve multiple data controllers/processors.

Education and awareness are also key as individuals are increasingly becoming the data controllers of their own data when they seek to publish and share their information online.

Europe’s e-communications operators call for an EU privacy framework that guarantees users’ high standards of data and privacy protection while at the same time encouraging innovation in today’s digital environment.

The joint statement is available here (PDF 50KB).

The contributors to this joint statement are:

cableeurope Cable Europe (, the European Cable Communications Association, is based in Brussels and groups all the leading European cable TV
operators and their national trade associations throughout Europe. The aim of Cable Europe is to promote and defend the industry’s policies and business interests at European and international level. The European cable TV industry provides digital TV, broadband Internet and telephony services to more than 73 million customers.
Contact: Caroline Van Weede, Managing Director (+3225211763/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). For press enquiries, contact: Gregg Svingen, Director
ecta logo ECTA (the European Competitive Telecommunications Association - is the pan-European pro-competitive trade association that represents more than 100 of the leading challenger telecoms operators across Europe. For over a decade, ECTA has been supporting the regulatory and commercial interests of telecoms operators, ISPs & equipment manufacturers in pursuit of a fair regulatory environment that allows all electronic communications providers to compete on level terms. Our members have been the leading innovators in Internet services, broadband, business communications, entertainment and mobile. 
Contact: Vicky Hanley-Emilsson (+32 2 227 11 79/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).
etno ETNO (the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association - is the voice of the European telecommunications network operators with over a decade of experience in shaping EU telecoms policy. The association represents 40 companies located in 35 European countries. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than 250 billion Euros and employ over one million people across Europe. 
Contact: Caroline Greer, Regulatory Affairs Manager (+3222271083/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). For press enquiries, please contact Thierry Dieu, Communications Manager (+ 3222271082/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

 EuroISPA logo

EuroISPA is the world’s largest association of Internet Services Providers (ISPs) representing the interests of more than 1800 ISPs across the EU and the EFTA countries. EuroISPA is a major voice of the Internet industry on information society subjects such as cybercrime, data protection, e-commerce regulation, EU telecommunications law and safe use of the Internet ( 
Contact: Andrea D’Incecco, Head of Policy (+32 2 503.22.65/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
gsma GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile
operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry. In the European Union the GSMA represents over 100 operators providing more than 600 million subscriber connections across the region. For more information on GSMA, please visit: Mobile World Live, the new online portal for the mobile communications industry, at, GSMA corporate website at, GSMA Europe
Contact: Martin Whitehead, Director, GSMA Europe (+32 2 792 05 50/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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