Action 35: Guidance on implementation of Telecoms rules on privacy

What is the problem ? Implementation of new ePrivacy rules

The EU telecoms reform package adopted on 25 November 2009 brings several changes to the Directive on privacy and electronic communications and strengthens rules on access to users' terminal equipment applicable to malware, spyware and cookies. By 25 May 2011, EU Member States had to implement the new EU telecoms rules.

Why is EU action needed ? EU can provide guidance

In as much as there is a risk of incorrect and/or inconsistent implementation across the EU the Commission should give guidance in order to achieve effective protection of ePrivacy rights and legal certainty for industry.

This action is closely linked with the Digital Agenda action 34, action 12 and action 10.

What has the Commission done? What will the Commission do?

In October 2010, guidance was provided to the Member States on the implementation of Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive via the Communications Committee (Working document COCOM10-34).This document was made available to the wider public on 21 December 2010. It leaves room for industry self-regulatory solutions.

The Commission has also hosted roundtables to discuss an EU level self-regulatory initiative proposed by the advertising and media industry. In addition, Member States were asked in October 2011 to inform the Commission how they have implemented the rules, how they enforce them, including via self-regulatory schemes. The Commission will continue to monitor the process.

Infringements have meanwhile been launched against those Member States which had not fully transposed the revised telecom rules, including amendments to Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive.