E-Privacy: EU states fail regulation, Commission wants to restart

The long-disputed e-privacy directive on privacy in electronic communications is dead, but the EU Commission is trying to bring it back to life under new auspices. On 22 November, the Coreper Committee of the Member States had rejected the compromise proposal of the Finnish Presidency. A debate by the relevant Ministers of Justice at their meeting on Tuesday in Brussels now showed that the differences between the EU states are hardly surmountable.

Several government officials questioned whether an own e-privacy regulation is necessary at all, reported, Originally, the law was supposed to come into force in May 2018 in parallel with the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO), according to the will of the EU Commission. But the dossier with sticking points such as rules for user tracking, such as targeted advertising, the setting of cookies, and the handling of metadata such as connection or location information was already highly contested among the member states at that time.

Finland's recent attempt to address as many concerns as possible and find the lowest common denominator. A data retention or tracking by news sites without consent were among the options that the council wanted to keep open. Nevertheless, several states, such as Germany or Poland, warned in the debate that the Finnish approach could hinder innovation in the data-driven economy. Austria also considered the initiative's "suitability for the future" to be questionable.

Speakers from Denmark, Spain and Slovenia backed the "balanced" text from Finland and regretted that no agreement was possible in the Council. Luxembourg complained that politicians had wasted three years on this and that nothing came of it but pure lip service on privacy on the internet.

The new EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Industry, Thierry Breton, announced that he wanted to come forward with a completely new draft bill. Under the former managing director of the French technology group Atos, the dossier should be more business-friendly. The commission had made the first serve at the beginning of 2017 and thus quickly triggered a fierce lobby battle, in addition to large US platforms about local publishers earned. The EU Parliament wanted to tighten the initiative two years ago and was in favor of tracking only with explicit opt-in of users.

A new Commission document is expected by 2020 at the earliest, and the legislative procedure will then take years to complete. Until then, the requirements of the GDPR are decisive, but they are incomplete in the field of electronic communication.


. (TagsToTranslate) Privacy (t) e-Privacy (t) e-Privacy Directive (t) EU