U.S. Retailers to Address Impact of European Privacy Regulations During Brussels Conference

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–U.S. retailers will highlight challenges faced in complying with
European privacy rules while still serving the needs of their customers
as regulators meet for an international conference in Brussels next
week, the National Retail Federation said today.

“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 U.S.
retailers will hold a series of meetings with U.S. and European Union
officials during the annual International
Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners
.

On Monday, 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 realize that retailers’ use of consumer data is
very different than what other industries might do,” Shay said.
“Retailers use data to better serve their customers and improve the
shopping experience, not to monetize the data itself.”

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

On Tuesday, NRF and EuroCommerce will host a “fireside chat” between
U.S. 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-U.S. Privacy Shield. The framework governs the transfer of consumer
data between the European Union and the United States 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 United States and
Europe will discuss GDPR, the proposed European ePrivacy Regulation, and
other privacy issues. The two groups have had a multi-year
collaboration
and will examine what issues can be addressed going
forward.

About NRF

The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade
association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and
department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street
merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet
retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is
the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com

PERMALINK

Contacts

National Retail Federation
J. Craig Shearman (855) NRF-PRESS
PRESS@NRF.com

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