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EuroCommerce welcomes the opportunity to provide comments on the European Data Protection Board’s (“EDPB“) Guidelines 02/2021 on Virtual Voice Assistants (the “Guidelines”). EuroCommerce appreciates the EDPB’s efforts to provide guidelines for Virtual Voice Assistants (“VVA“) with the aim to guarantee adequate privacy protection for users as the service is available for a vast majority of people when using for example their smartphones. In light of the foregoing, EuroCommerce believes that it is important that such guidelines remain sufficiently open and flexible so that they can take into account the specific characteristics of the different voice service architectures and the rapid technological developments in the VVA sector. In this regard, the legal framework should allow for use of VVA solutions in a way that is not to the detriment of digital innovation as well as European businesses’ competitiveness on the global market.
Below we summarise our key points and proposals and detailed comments which we hope will be helpful when finalising the Guidelines. We would be more than pleased to discuss these issues further with the EDPB should you have any questions regarding our comments.Read more
Welcoming the publication of the Commission’s 2030 Digital Targets today, Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce said:
“We very much support the Commission in their planning for the successful digital transformation of Europe by 2030. Retail and wholesale companies are already embracing digital, and have invested in accelerating their plans in response to the significant switch to online sales during the COVID pandemic. But the sector needs help in this: for example, 2 out of 3 retail companies, especially SMEs, do not sell online and have, as a result, been hard hit by the crisis. These urgently need support to make this transition, vital to their survival. All businesses need Europe to invest in a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure everywhere and to upskill its people to remain competitive.”
The retail and wholesale sector is undergoing a profound transformation, responding to consumer demand for increased choice of products, and choice of how, when and where they buy them. The COVID crisis has demonstrated how important digitalisation for retailers and wholesalers. While many in our sector have been affected by the crisis, those who had online operations were able at least to partly mitigate the impact. But building up e-commerce and an omnichannel offering to consumers takes a lot of initial investment and a lot of time to break even.Read more