Calls for Cookie Law to be Strengthened
Preliminary results of a consultation on the EU ePrivacy Directive, which includes the rules on consent for cookies, show that citizens, civil society groups and data protection authorities all want to see a strengthening of rights and rules in online privacy. Industry however is hoping for a different outcome, almost certainly because proposed changes look set to disrupt their business models, and force them to do more to ensure privacy of communications and online activity are better protected.
The report published by the European Commission shows that the large majority of citizen respondents support specific communications privacy rules, and believe the current rules are less effective than they could be.
This would seem to support the Commission’s own position that, as with the GDPR, ePrivacy laws need to be modernised and strengthened in light of current trends in technology. This is likely to mean online messaging, email and chat services like Skype, Gmail, and WhatsApp will be required to provide the same level of communications privacy that fixed and mobile phone services are required to do already. Most of the internet communications services are free of charge to consumers because they can mine the personal data of users to sell to advertisers, something that new rules could prevent.
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