European Data Protection Supervisor’s Opinion on the review of the ePrivacy Directive

On July 22, 2016, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) released Opinion 5/2016 on the review of the ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC).

This Opinion focuses on the issues specifically requested by the EU Commission.

Particularly, the EDPS suggested that “a new proposal on ePrivacy should guarantee confidentiality of communications, offer clarity and complement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”. Basically, the new rules should complement, and where necessary, specify the protections available under the GDPR.

The new ePrivacy should “cover all forms of electronic communications irrespective of network or service used”, i.e., not only those offered by traditional telephone companies and internet service providers, but also IP services, mobile phone messaging apps, and Internet of Things.

The Opinion further stresses how “no communications should be subject to unlawful tracking and monitoring without freely given consent, whether by cookies, device-fingerprinting, or other technological means”. Users must also have user-friendly and effective mechanisms to give their consent. “The current consent requirement for traffic and location data must be strengthened”.

The EDPS hopes for more protection against unsolicited communications: the related ePrivacy rules would be updated and strengthened. Prior consent should be given for all forms of unsolicited electronic communications.

EDPS press release is available at…   OPEN PDF

Opinion 5/2016 on the review of the ePrivacy Directive is available at…             Open PDF


For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal

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