On 5 July the tech and telecom industries called for the e-Privacy Directive to be repealed. We believe that simplifying and streamlining regulation will benefit consumers by ensuring they are provided with a simple, consistent and meaningful set of rules designed to protect their personal data.
At the same time, it will encourage innovation across the digital value chain and drive new growth and social opportunities. This is critical at a time when digital companies are striving to launch new innovative services and working to build a 5G Europe.
In this context, we believe that the review process of the e-Privacy Directive offers a unique opportunity to achieve a simple, clear and horizontal approach to digital regulation. Sector-specific rules on privacy are no longer able to address the challenges of the digital age.
For this reason, we believe that Europe should fully take stock of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which creates a comprehensive set of horizontal rules ensuring high levels of data protection.
During the review of the e-Privacy directive, we believe that the EU should:
- Carefully evaluate the extent to which the e-Privacy Directive is still necessary and meaningful;
- Eliminate any provisions that are overlapping with the GDPR;
- If still considered necessary, transfer non-privacy related consumer protection provisions, to more appropriate legal instruments; the on-going review of consumer protection rules, and more specifically of the Telecoms Framework, provides opportunities for streamlining legislation;
- Align the relative timing of the e-Privacy and Telecoms Framework reviews;
- Make sure that the review of the e-Privacy Directive is fully aligned with the GDPR.
Such an approach would also be in line with the Digital Single Market Strategy and would help achieve further concrete steps in the context of the Commission’s REFIT programme.
We believe that the above-mentioned steps would maximise the consistency of the rules, increase clarity for consumers and help Europe unlock new innovation opportunities across the digital value chain.
The following 12 associations have signed this statement:
Application Developers Alliance, Cable Europe, CCIA, COCIR, DIGITALEUROPE, ECTA, EDIMA, ETNO, EuroISPA, IAB Europe, GSMA and EPC.
This press release has originally been published on the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association web site.