EC gets it wrong on data

If the Government could be more proactive in its response to the Microsoft licensing issue, the European Commission, by contrast,...

If the Government could be more proactive in its response to the Microsoft licensing issue, the European Commission, by contrast, would do well to be a little less prescriptive over the terms of the draft proposals it publishes.

UK user groups have reacted with hostility to the commission's proposed "model contract" for data transmission, claiming that it will hamper UK businesses' attempts to shift data processing overseas. The terms of the contract would, they say, deprive UK businesses of much of the savings they could otherwise have realised by outsourcing data processing to low cost centres such as India or Vietnam.

If EU bodies are ever to produce legislation that is framed maturely enough to draw buy-in from the businesses that will need to abide by it, they need to ensure that consultation is built into the process at a far earlier stage than at present. Failure to do so can only lead to further flare-ups with end-user organisations.

Of course, the lack of an overarching body to articulate the combined views of IT end-users in the UK does not help. Without the user-side equivalent of the CSSA, the end-user response to proposed legislation in the UK and Europe can only be at best fractured, and at worst inaudible.

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