Summary report on the public consultation on the review of the ePrivacy Directive released

The public and the industry are divided on reform of privacy rules in the electronic communications sector according to the summary report on the public consultation on the evaluation and review of the ePrivacy Directive published today by the European Commission. Industry doesn’t see the need for increased scope of application and tighter rules on tracking while the public and civil society want to see broader scope and more control for users over how they are tracked and profiled by suppliers of electronic communications services.

There are big differences in opinion between the public and industry over the need to have special rules for the electronic communications sector to ensure the confidentiality of electronic communications. A majority of responding citizens and civil society organisations indicated such a belief as well as a need to regulate the use of traffic data which is commonly used to monitor and profile internet and mobile device users. Industry respondents were less enthused by such rules with less than a third seeing a need for them.

Similarly citizens and civil society organisations are worried about the limited scope of the ePrivacy Directive since it does not include IM, VoIP and email applications and want to have the right to access services on their devices without necessarily storing identifiers such as cookies.

The Commission in now carrying out a detailed analysis of the replies to the consultation and will publish a full synopsis in autumn 2016. The results will feed into the design and implementation of EU policy and prepare the way for the evaluation and review of the ePrivacy Directive.

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