E-Privacy under review by the European Commission - DAC Beachcroft

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E-Privacy under review by the European Commission

Published 1 February 2016

What does this cover?

The European Commission Work Programme of 2015 reported that an evaluation of the E-Privacy Directive concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive) which has been transposed into UK law through the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, was underway with an expected end-date of 2016. EurActiv, an EU media source, have now reported that this could now be as late as 2017.

A study by the EC in 2013, entitled 'ePrivacy Directive: assessment of transposition, effectiveness and compatibility with proposed Data Protection Regulation' – which assessed the effectiveness of putting the Directive into practice within Member States and the success of intended Directive outcomes, made a number of recommendations. These recommendations have the potential of forming part of any proposal recommendations made by the EC. There is suggestion that there may be proposals for widening the scope of the Directive's application with the EC writing in a press release on the study that, "the limitation of the scope of the Directive only to providers of electronic communications services is ambiguous and may give rise to unequal treatment if information society service providers using the Internet to provide communication services are generally excluded from its scope". Information society service providers might include online services including search engines and social media services.

To view the EurActiv news article on E-Privacy reform, please click here.

What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?

None at present.


Rhiannon Webster

Rhiannon Webster

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6577

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