Developers Alliance Letter to Members of the European Parliament on the ePrivacy Regulation

Contact: Michela Palladino - Michela@AppAlliance.org

Developers Alliance Letter to Members of the European Parliament on the ePrivacy Regulation

BRUSSELS - This morning, the Developers Alliance issued the following letter to relevant Members of the European Parliament:

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Dear Members of the European Parliament,

We write to you to share our concerns on the ongoing negotiations on the ePrivacy Regulation.

We are concerned about the draft report, published and presented to the LIBE Committee last month, as we fear that it fails to recognize the importance of the data-driven ecosystem for the European digital economy and risks disrupting small businesses and software developers’ business models and market choices.

In particular, we wish to stress that:

●      The limitations to the processing of communication data and metadata foreseen in the report will hamper the app ecosystem, preventing the execution of basic communication services, functions and features, limiting innovation and jeopardising users’ safety and satisfaction online.

●      The processing and aggregation of communication data enables the development of basic products, such as spam-filtering and fraud detection software, and emerging tech like Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things as well as applied Artificial Intelligence, and also allows software developers to provide their customers with the best tailored products. This is all highly appreciated by consumers, it is critical for a meaningful online experience and absolutely essential to modern life.

●      The restrictions to the processing of data stored in the terminal equipment and the obligation of privacy by default settings will seriously undermine the ad-based business model that is key for software developers and their businesses to scale-up.[1]

Additionally, they will not be effective in giving more control to users. On the contrary, they will multiply the requests to users for consent in a way that will be seriously detrimental to users’ experience and will reduce trust in digital businesses and their services.

●      The ePrivacy Regulation re-opens the discussion around consent, tracking, profiling, transparency, and security standards that are already addressed by other legislation. The GDPR and the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS), combined with a revised Electronic Communications Code, already guarantee a more than sufficient level of privacy and data protection. Imposing an additional level of regulation is unnecessary and goes against the Commission’s Better Regulation agenda. 

For these reasons, we call on MEPs and other EU policy-makers to re-evaluate the content of the proposal in order to:

1.     Avoid further unnecessary constraints to the collection and processing of communication data and metadata;

2.     Re-think the proposed rules about the use of processing and storage capabilities of terminal equipment;

3.     Aim at creating full harmonisation of legal instruments regulating data management and data protection.

The European app sector is vibrant, successful and innovative. It empowers consumers, digitises businesses and impacts positively the European GDP and employment rate We urge MEPs to support digital innovation in Europe and create a workable environment, based on consumers’ trust in the communications services they use.

Yours sincerely,

Michela Palladino

Director, European Policy and Government Relations
Developers Alliance

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[1] 38% of worldwide developers base their business model on advertising, while only 21% are still profiting from downloads and 19% are looking for subscription revenue. On top of this, the trend of adopting a mixed business model is growing: in many cases, paid app business models are integrated with alternative ad-based models.

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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.