The last 10 of January the European Commission proposed a Regulation to substitute the “old” Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications). This new regulation is strictly connected to the GDPR. The Article 29 “Entry into force and application” said that the Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and it shall apply from 25 May 2018. The same date of the GDPR!

The Commission organised a public consultation between April and July of last year. The key findings are the following:

  • Need for special rules for the electronic communications sector on confidentiality of electronic communications: 83.4% of the responding citizens, consumer and civil society organisations and 88.9% of public authorities agree, while 63.4% of industry respondents do not agree.
  • Extension of scope to new communications services (OTTs): 76% of citizens and civil society and 93.1% of public authorities agree, while only 36.2% of respondents from industry favour such an extension.
  • Amending the exemptions to consent for processing traffic and location data: 49.1% of citizens, consumer and civil society organisations and 36% of public authorities prefer not to broaden the exemptions, while 36% of the industry favour extended exemptions and 2/3 of industry advocate the mere repeal of the provisions.
  • Support for solutions proposed to the cookie consent issue: 81.2% of citizens and 63% of public authorities support imposing obligations on manufacturers of terminal equipment to market products with privacy-by-default settings activated, while 58.3% of industry favour the option to support self/co-regulation.

This new regulation modernised the data protection in the telecommunication and over the top (OTT) services. The integration between GDPR and the new ePrivacy Regulation could be increase the level of the European citizens’ privacy in the real and virtual life.

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