The European Commission has proposed an ePrivacy Regulation to ensure the right to privacy and confidentiality in electronic communication.
The rules are meant to complement the General Data Protection Regulation in this highly sensitive area to acknowledge the increased economic, social and political importance of these new means of communication.
According to the European Commission’s proposal, the right to privacy is to be extended to Voice over IP calls and internet messaging – in the same way as it is covering traditional calls and letters: consumers must consent to their data being processed. The proposal also contains important rules against tracking, privacy-by-default browser settings, encryption obligations and rights to complain in case of infringements. This legislative proposal directly affects the fundamental rights of European citizens and consumers. Therefore, a swift conclusion of the legislative process is urgently needed to align the ePrivacy rules with the new General Data Protection Regulation, to close loopholes and avoid legal uncertainty for consumers and companies alike.