Privacy implications of the European 'digital single market'

The European commission have recently set out a number of initiatives around a ‘digital single market’, but what exactly is this? The following definition can be associated to the initiatives:

• a harmonised and integrated European market without barriers between EU member states hindering the use of digital and online technologies and services;

• a single market which encourages cross-border online trade;

• a single market which encourages investments in new online services and applications;

• a single market with a high level of e-skills and e-readiness; and

• a single market which encourages investment in digital infrastructure.

In the past, Europeans have faced various barriers when attempting to trade on line. The ‘digital single market’ effectively removes the majority of these and provides an environment where it is much easier for companies to trade on-line and cross border. Currently only 7% of EU SME’s sell cross border.

The objective of the ‘digital single market’ is to create a market where the free movement of goods, people, services and capital is ensured, and where citizens and businesses can seamlessly and fairly access online goods and services, whatever their nationality, and wherever they live.

The EU commission feel that this could contribute €415 billion to the European economy which brings with it growth in jobs, competition, investment and innovation.

Despite all of this, what does this mean for your company? Well, the biggest benefit of this will be that your company will find it easier to trade cross border and provides an opportunity to increase revenues, however with it comes the increased risk of cyber security to the company of using technology and online tools.

In addition to cyber security risk, privacy issues need to also be considered. A larger population of customers and suppliers will be available as a result of the ‘digital single market’ and the company will need to consider that all data on such contacts are stored and used as it should be, particularly so if contacts are to be cross border also.

Are you interested in finding out more around this subject or would like a meeting to discuss what your business could do to improve security around cyber-crime or a free basic health-check of your current business and processes currently in place?

Please contact John Stanford for more information.