ePrivacy Directive consultation: initial results | DMA

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ePrivacy Directive consultation: initial results


In June 2016 the EU Commission closed its first public consultation into its proposed review of the ePrivacy Directive, the piece of legislation that informs the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). The questions were directed at industry groups, consumer groups, citizens, internet content providers, businesses and public authorities.

The initial results show that 83% of citizens and consumer groups thought there was a need for special rules for the electronic communications sector. However, when addressed to industry, this dropped to 31% agreeing that there was a need for special rules.

Industry groups were believed the ePrivacy Directive had achieved its objectives, but public institutions were even more positive. This contrasted with consumer groups and citizens, who believed the ePrivacy Directive was too limited in its scope, the rules too vague and enforcement had been too low.

Around half of industry and most of the other respondents agreed that the rules should be extended to cover new communication services.

On the question of cookies, consumer groups and public authorities agreed that information service providers should not be allowed to block access to websites and services if users refused to allow cookies to be placed on their device. However, three quarters of industry disagreed with this.

Consumer groups and public authorities again took quite a different view to industry on whether EU member states should decide for themselves whether one-to-one marketing calls should be opt-in or opt-out. Close to 90% of consumer groups and public authorities favoured opt-in consent, whereas 73% of industry favoured opt-out.

The EU Commission will respond to the consultation in full and the full report will be published in the autumn of 2016. Results will feed into the design and the implementation of EU policy and prepare for the REFIT evaluation and review of the ePrivacy Directive.

The DMA will keep members updated on the latest developments. We continue to be FEDMA members and actively lobby in the EU, making the UK’s voice heard.

The preliminary results are available here.

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