eco Calls for Harmonised Approach Between German TTDSG, ePrivacy Regulation and GDPR

  • National and international data protection rules must not counteract each other
  • TTDSG: eco calls for further concretisation with regard to the GDPR
  • ePrivacy Regulation: eco criticises planned blanket data retention

The new German Telecommunications & Telemedia Data Protection Act (TTDSG) was adopted by the Federal Cabinet this week on Wednesday, with no preceding debate having taken place. In the international field, a proposal for the ePrivacy Regulation made under the Portuguese EU Council Presidency was presented to the EU’s deputy ambassadors committee (Coreper I) on the same day – which is now set to replace the now obsolete ePrivacy Directive.

In this context, eco – Association of the Internet Industry calls for an approach which guarantees coherence and harmonisation between the German TTDSG and the planned ePrivacy Regulation: “With Berlin and Brussels working on draft laws on data protection and privacy on the Internet more or less simultaneously, it must be ensured that national and European regulations do not run into conflict with each other,” says eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme. “Those who don’t think beyond national borders will become innovation blockers – but for the digitalisation of tomorrow, what we need are enablers.” Furthermore, both laws must be in line with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Süme: Cookie regulation in the TTDSG is outmoded

In its draft of the TTDSG, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs has also taken up a subsection of the ePrivacy Directive, which is still in force, in order to regulate the use of cookies, among other things. “This regulation dates back to a time when the GDPR didn’t yet exist and software was mostly still installed on computers via CDs and DVDs,” says Süme. “What’s more, it will become obsolete as soon as the ePrivacy Regulation replaces the existing directive.” In a (German-language) statement on the TTDSG, eco has called for a more concrete definition on the storage and retrieval of user data – also with regard to the prevailing GDPR.

ePrivacy Regulation: eco criticises planned blanket data retention  

Süme welcomes the fact that the new proposal for the ePrivacy Regulation is now more in line with the GDPR than the proposals in previous years, although here, too, further concretisation of the precise scope of the ePrivacy Regulation is still necessary. However, eco’s Chair sharply criticises the opening clause on blanket data retention set out in the current proposal. Süme: “In order to enable the functioning of digital business models and forward-looking IT technologies, such as in the area of AI, we need clear and at the same time proportionate rules for data processing – here, blanket digital surveillance would achieve the exact opposite.”

Under the German EU Council Presidency, a proposal for the ePrivacy Regulation had previously been the subject of deliberations in November 2020. The Association of the Internet Industry criticised this as a severe setback for digitalisation and published a German-language key points paper on this topic.


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