Monday , 20 May 2019
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Public back EU ePrivacy directive, extension to OTT sector

Public back EU ePrivacy directive, extension to OTT sector

A majority of citizens and civil society groups responding to the European Commission’s public consultation on the review of the ePrivacy directive believe the law should be maintained and indeed expanded to OTT service providers. In a summary of the responses, the EC said 83 percent of the responding citizens and civil society believe that there is a “clear added value” in having special rules for the electronic communications sector, in order to ensure the confidentiality of communications and underpin trust in technology.

That is in contrast to the feelings of the telecom industry, which has called for the ePrivacy directive to be withdrawn.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. 

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