Following on from years of wrangling, EU countries may be on the brink of reaching agreement on the ePrivacy reform. There is now considerable suspense as to whether the Member States will actually reach this agreement under the German Council Presidency. Last week, the German EU Presidency presented a proposal, and the decision might just be made tomorrow at the meeting of the Telecommunications Working Group. However, for the Association of the Internet Industry, the German proposal represents a significant step backwards for digitalisation.
eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme has the following to say: “The present draft is also not capable of meeting the requirements of a coherent and proportionate data protection regime: Ever since the consultations began, we’ve repeatedly pointed out that the ePrivacy Regulation falls completely wide of the mark of enhanced privacy and at the same time places an enormous burden on digital business models.”
The Association of the Internet Industry also levels criticism against the renewed planned restrictions on the processing of electronic communications data: “The General Data Protection Regulation provides a uniform legal framework within Europe for the lawful processing of personal data. The now proposed separation of the ePrivacy Regulation from the General Data Protection Regulation is neither practicable nor comprehensible and will serve as a major brake on innovation for many future-oriented applications and services, for example in the field of AI. The Internet industry calls for clear and proportionate regulations for the processing of data on the Internet.”
The association’s criticism is sparked above all by the fact that software updates are now only regarded as legitimate within the framework of the ePrivacy Regulation. Concerns also exist that service functions such as spell-checking or location services will be affected by the new regulation – and that this could prove detrimental to businesses in the EU.
In an inter-association letter published yesterday evening, eco also communicated its concerns about the German draft regulation to the responsible EU ministers and permanent representatives in Brussels.