Statement from the Developers Alliance on the European Commission’s Midterm Review of the Digital Single Market Strategy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michela Palladino - Michela@AppAlliance.org

BRUSSELS – Developers Alliance Director of European Policy and Government Relations, Michela Palladino, released the following statement regarding  the European Commission’s Midterm Review of the Digital Single Market Strategy. 

“The Developers Alliance (“Alliance”) believes in the creation of a European Digital Single Market that enables innovative business to grow. We would like to reaffirm our support for the original ambition of the European Commission’s Strategy. However, the proposals put on the table so far do not live up to expectations. 

“Developers support the Commission’s Better Regulation agenda - which aims to reduce regulation, to the benefit especially of small industry players, and are particularly concerned about potential conflicts between the new proposals and existing legislation. 

“Online platforms flourished under the framework created by the Electronic Commerce Directive (ECD). The limited liability regime, introduced by the Directive, is the cornerstone of a successful European Digital Single Market, as it shapes platforms as enablers and facilitators. The changes introduced by potential horizontal regulation or by sectoral legislation, such as the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMS), the Proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market, and the Directive on Contract rules for the supply of Digital Content (DCD), would be extremely disruptive of the existing balance. Certain measures proposed or envisaged at EU level would not only limit the development of online intermediaries, but would also conscript platform owners to police the internet and entitle them to enforce government rules against private citizens. 

“The Alliance and its members also fear that the proposed ePrivacy Regulation could put established principles, such as consent, tracking, profiling, transparency and security standards, that are already effectively covered by the General Data Protection Regulation, in jeopardy. This situation will definitely not result into better consumer satisfaction or protection. 

“Finally, we would like to flag the importance of a cross-border free flow of data for software developers: it decreases costs of data storage and increases competition. At the same time, data localisation is fundamentally incompatible with the overall DSM strategy. We call on the European Commission to concretely follow up on its commitments and put forward ambitious and clear measures aimed at freeing up the movement of data across the continent. 

“Overall, we encourage policy makers to set innovation as their ultimate priority. The digital industry keeps developing and innovating. Technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence will benefit everyone, from businesses to consumers and software developers. Those technologies are at the core of the digital revolution. But in order to continue growing, digital businesses need to be given space to explore. Overbearing and risk-averse legislation will hamper innovation, create barriers to entry and eventually reduce consumer benefit. 

“The Alliance welcomes the mid-term DSM review as an opportunity to revamp the Commission’s commitments to building a strong digital single market and is keen to collaborate with the European Institutions by bringing the voice of software developers into the debate. Policy makers and industry need to work together to achieve a consistent and stable environment for the digital industry to thrive in.” 

# # # 

The Developers Alliance is the world’s leading advocate for software developers and the companies invested in their success. Alliance members include industry leaders in consumer, enterprise, industrial, and emerging software development, and a global network of more than 70,000 developers.