EU draft e-Privacy regulation not making progress

The e-Privacy compromise proposal by the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council has stalled as too many Member State representatives have rejected the proposal. The Presidency was hoping that the TTE (Transport, Telecomms and Energy) Council could adopt a general approach in its meeting on 3 December.

The progress note on e-Privacy from the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) says there have been differing views on the issue of processing of electronic communications data for the purposes of prevention of child abuse imagery.

It says that the Presidency made ‘considerable effort on clarifying the scope of the Regulation, in particular when it comes to processing of electronic communications data by the end-users or entrusted third parties after receipt, or upon receipt for ensuring the security of the end-user’s network and information systems. The Presidency has also included recital text clarifying the concept of third parties.’

‘In this connection, when it comes to processing of electronic communications data by the providers of electronic communications networks and services, the Presidency proposed a change that would allow such processing when necessary to provide electronic communications service.’

Delegations have also raised concerns about the way the e-Privacy proposal would interact with new technologies, in particular in the context of Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things services.

In 2020, the Presidency (Croatia: January-June 2020 and Germany: July-December) may need to re-draft the text, or the Commission may choose to withdraw the proposal altogether.

Source: Interinstitutional File: 2017/0003(COD)