EU Council e-Privacy Agreement Paves Way for Final Negotiations, CCIA Urges Further Improvements

BY Heather Greenfield
February 10, 2021

Brussels, BELGIUM — The EU Member States (“EU Council”) today approved a joint position on the e-Privacy Regulation, originally proposed in 2017. This decision paves the way for final negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission.

The proposed e-Privacy Regulation entails new privacy rules that will affect how Europeans consume online services from connected devices, online communications and voice assistants, to apps and websites. Many of these rules could replace parts of the existing General Data Protection Regulation.

In today’s agreement, Member States have sought to improve the European Commission proposal to preserve Internet users’ privacy without inhibiting innovation or unduly burden users with more consent boxes than they are already experiencing. However, important questions remain unanswered, including when the e-Privacy rules supplant the GDPR, and how to fix inconsistent enforcement across the 27 EU Member States. Inconsistencies across the text would also create significant challenges for online service providers to comply with the rules.

The following can be attributed to Alexandre Roure, CCIA Public Policy Senior Manager:

“The Council agreement includes improvements to the e-Privacy proposal but leaves a number of questions unanswered. This includes the scope of the rules for connected devices and online communications, and how to fix inconsistent enforcement across the EU.”

“The final negotiations are an opportunity to provide clear rules and meaningful privacy, without inhibiting online innovation.”

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