Confidentiality of electronic communications: EU Council proposes ePrivacy regulation
On 10 February 2021, the Council of the European Union (Council) agreed on a negotiating mandate for the revised rules on the protection of privacy and confidentiality in the use of electronic communication services. In doing so, the Council published a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications).
The Council acknowledges that respect for the confidentiality of one’s communications is an essential dimension of the right to privacy. The confidentiality of electronic communications ensures that information exchanged between parties and the external elements of such communication, including when the information has been sent, from where, to whom, is not to be revealed to anyone other than to the parties involved in a communication. The principle of confidentiality should apply to current and future means of communication.
The draft “ePrivacy regulation”, as the Council refers to it, will repeal the existing ePrivacy directive of 2002 to cater for new technological and market developments, such as the current widespread use of voice over IP, web-based email and messaging services, and the emergence of new techniques for tracking users’ online behaviour. The updated ePrivacy regulation will define cases in which service providers are allowed to process electronic communications data or have access to data stored on end-users’ devices.
The Council of the European Union press statement can be accessed here.
The Proposal can be accessed here.
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