20 February 2017
The European Commission has proposed a draft e-privacy regulation that will repeal and replace the current e-privacy directive. The draft regulation forms part of the digital single market strategy and seeks to ensure stronger privacy rules for all electronic communications. In addition the draft regulation attempts to harmonise the rules around electronic communications with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
A key aspect of the draft regulation is that it will broaden the scope of e-privacy rules. Currently, e-privacy rules only apply to telecommunication companies. However, the draft regulation will apply to all providers of electronic communications, such as web-based messaging services, and internet of things devices.
The draft regulation substantially retains the rules regarding direct marketing, allowing businesses to market similar products and services to existing customers, provided such customers are given a clear opportunity to opt-out of such marketing communications.