US retailers to discuss impact of EU privacy regulations

22 Oct '18
3 min read
Courtesy: Pexels
Courtesy: Pexels

Retailers in the United States will address the challenges faced in complying with European privacy rules while still serving the needs of their customers at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Brussels, said the National Retail Federation (NRF). The five-day annual conference will conclude on Friday.

"In an increasingly global economy, retailers are required to comply with regulations from around the world," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Privacy is a top priority for retailers and they want to honor the privacy expectations of their customers and the laws of the countries where they live. But retailers shouldn’t have their hands tied when it comes to using technology and data to deliver the high quality of customer service that consumers demand. It’s important to find the right balance between regulations and practicality."

Shay, other NRF executives and a dozen representatives of major US retailers will hold a series of meetings with US and European Union officials during the conference, NRF said in a press release.

Today, the delegation will meet with Vera Jourova, head of consumer issues for the European Commission. Retailers plan to discuss the General Data Protection Regulation, an EU measure that took effect in May that affects not only European companies but businesses from around the world that do business with European citizens. NRF and its Brussels-based counterpart EuroCommerce issued a joint paper this past spring spelling out 'many questions' about how GDPR affects critical areas of retail operations.

"We want officials to realise that retailers’ use of consumer data is very different than what other industries might do. Retailers use data to better serve their customers and improve the shopping experience, not to monetize the data itself," explained Shay.

Retailers will meet later in the day at the US Embassy with Mark Libby, deputy chief of the US Mission to the European Union, to seek support in making EU officials aware of how GDPR affects retailers and how US businesses use technology to benefit their customers.

On Tuesday, NRF and EuroCommerce will host a fireside chat between US Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services James Sullivan and Bruno Gencarelli, head of international data flows and protection for the European Commission, on the importance of the EU-US Privacy Shield. The framework governs the transfer of consumer data between the European Union and the US but is currently under review, and the session will address the importance of the keeping the agreement in place.

On Wednesday, NRF and EuroCommerce will hold their third annual retailer exchange, in which retail executives from both the US and Europe will discuss GDPR, the proposed European e-privacy Regulation, and other privacy issues. The two groups have had a multi-year collaboration and will examine what issues can be addressed going forward. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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