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Europe proposes to update privacy

The European Commission has proposed legislation to update current privacy rules, extending their scope to all electronic communication providers. The current ePrivacy Directive only applies to traditional telecoms operators – privacy rules will now also cover new providers of electronic communications services, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The rules also aim to “create new possibilities to process communication data and reinforce trust and security in the digital single market”, the commission says, at the same time aligning with the “world-class standards” of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. The commission is also proposing rules to ensure that when personal data are handled by EU institutions and bodies privacy is protected in the same way as it is in member states under the General Data Protection Regulation, as well as setting out a strategic approach to the issues concerning international transfers of personal data. Other details include: privacy will be guaranteed for both content and metadata derived from electronic communications (e.g. time of a call and location); the so called ‘cookie provision’, which has resulted in an overload of consent requests for internet users, will be streamlined; and the proposal bans unsolicited electronic communication by any means, e.g. by emails, SMS and in principle also by phone calls if users have not given their consent. The target date for adoption is 25 May 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation will enter into application. “The intention is to provide citizens and businesses with a fully-fledged and complete legal framework for privacy and data protection in Europe by this date.” Read more

  • Monday, 23 January 2017

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