European Parliament Committee Votes for E-commerce Opt-Out

13 July 2001

The European Parliament’s Committee for Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs voted on Wednesday to adopt its report on the proposed EU Directive on Electronic Communication and Data Privacy.

The report supports an opt-out system for electronic messaging (e-mail, SMS, etc), a decision that will create a favourable environment for all players in the electronic internal market, as well as offering European citizens a high level of data protection.

The vote flies in the face of the verdict reached by two of three other EC committees – Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy; Legal Affairs and the Internal Market; Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy). Although two of these voted against opt-out, Wednesday’s vote was that of the lead committee and carries the greatest weight.

Comments FEDMA director of government affairs Axel Tandberg: “This is a tremendously important vote for the European direct marketing industry. An opt-out system for electronic communication will ensure consistency with the E-Commerce and the Distance Selling Directives and avoid confusion for direct marketing businesses.”

The final major debate will be at Parliament’s plenary session in September. If the session accepts the opt-out proposal, direct marketers will be free to continue informing consumers about their products and services via electronic and other media.

News source: FEDMA