That is in contrast to the feelings of the telecom industry, which has called for the ePrivacy directive to be withdrawn. The industry claims it is an excessive burden and applying the EU’s standard data-protection and privacy rules is enough.
The consultation attracted 186 responses from industry, as well as 162 citizens, 40 public bodies and 33 civil society organisations. A majority (76%) of the citizens and civil society also supported extending the rules to cover over-the-top providers of communications services such as VoIP or instant messaging. Less than half (43%) of industry respondents felt the same, and almost an equal number were against extending the rules to the OTT sector. Almost all (93%) the public authorities believe that some or all of the provisions should be broadened to cover over-the-top players, an opinion earlier expressed by the EU’s own data protection supervisor.
The Commission said it will publish a full report on the responses in the autumn and the feedback will be used in its review of the directive.