The European Commission seeks stakeholders' views on the current text of the ePrivacy Directive as well as the possible changes to the existing legal framework to make sure it is up to date with the new challenges of the digital area. The consultation is open until 5 July 2016.

The summary report of the public consultation is now available

Purpose

On 6 May 2015, the Commission adopted the Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy, which announced that, following the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation, the ePrivacy rules would also be reviewed.

The review of the ePrivacy Directive is one of the key initiatives aimed at reinforcing trust and security in digital services in the EU with a focus on ensuring a high level of protection for citizens and a level playing field for all market players.

The review will be preceded by a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT), which aims at evaluating the performances of the current legislation against criteria such as efficiency, effectiveness and EU added value.

The Commission is now consulting stakeholders on both the retrospective evaluation and the possible changes to the current ePrivacy Directive.

The Commission will use the feedback from the consultation to prepare a new legislative proposal on ePrivacy, which is expected by the end of 2016.

Background

At the end of 2015, the co-legislators agreed on the new General Data Protection Regulation that, once adopted, will replace the current Data Protection Directive to ensure modernised rules fit for the digital age.

This renovation process will affect also the ePrivacy Directive, which particularises and complements the Data Protection Regulation by, among others, setting-up specific rules concerning the processing of personal data in the electronic communication sector.

The ePrivacy Directive was last updated in 2009 to provide clearer rules on customers' rights to privacy. In particular, new requirements were introduced such as on "cookies" and on personal data breaches.

In the past few years, important changes have interested the electronic communication arena, both on the technology side, for example the spread of Internet-based communications services, and the regulatory side, like the above-mentioned agreement on the GDPR. This triggered the Commission decision to review the existing set of rules in order to build an ePrivacy legal framework which is up to the date with the challenges of the digital era.

Without prejudice to the outcome of the REFIT evaluation, several policy issues have already emerged as potentially needing to be addressed in the review of the ePrivacy Directive and are brought at the attention of stakeholders with the public consultation. These include: ensuring consistency of ePrivacy rules with the General Data protection regulation; updating the scope of the ePD in light of the new market and technological reality; enhancing security and confidentiality of communications; addressing inconsistent enforcement and fragmentation at national level.

Duration

Opens on 12 April 2016 – closes on 5 July 2016 (12 weeks)

Comments received after the closing date will not be considered.

Who should respond

  • Citizens
  • Consumer associations or user associations
  • Civil society organisations
  • Businesses (e.g. electronic communications network provider; provider of electronic communication services; internet content providers; companies from security or other interested sectors)
  • Industrial associations
  • Public authorities
  • Research and academia

Transparency  

Please state whether you are responding as an individual or representing the views of an organisation. We ask responding organisations to register in the Transparency Register. We publish the submissions of non-registered organisations separately from those of registered ones as the input of individuals.

How to respond        

Respond online

You may pause any time and continue later. You can download a copy of your contribution once you've sent it.

Only responses received through the online questionnaire will be taken into account and included in the report summarising the responses, exception being made for the visually impaired.

Accessibility for the visually impaired

We shall accept questionnaires by email or post in paper format from the visually impaired and their representative organisations: download the questionnaire in English(EN), French(FR) and German(DE).

Email us and attach your reply as Word, PDF or ODF document

Or write to

European Commission
DG Communication networks, content & technology
25 Avenue Beaulieu
Unit H4 – Trust & Security
Brussels 1049 - Belgium

Replies & feedback

We shall publish an analysis of the results of the consultation on this page 1 month after the consultation closes.

Protection of personal data

For transparency purposes, all the responses to the present consultation will be made public.

Please read the Specific privacy statement below on how we deal with your personal data and contribution.

References

Contact

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