On 10 January, the EU Commission proposed a new Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications (“proposed Regulation”) to replace Directive 2002/58 (known as the “ePrivacy Directive”).
The proposed Regulation
The proposed Regulation aims to align the rules that apply to electronic communications services with the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
As anticipated from the draft leaked before Christmas, the proposed e-Privacy Regulation addresses rules on the confidentiality of electronic communications. Additionally, and for the first time, over-the-top (OTT) communication service providers, such as VoIP, are brought within its scope.
The key changes set out are as follows:
1 Third-party tracking (cookies and other similar technologies)
Under the proposed Regulation, web browsers need to ask end users to opt-in to tracking via their privacy settings (in recognition that under the GDPR, consent must be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”). This marks a departure from the current practice of “notification