European Countries Approve Sweeping Communications, Privacy Reforms

On November 24, the European Parliament established new Internet policies, including a right to Internet access, net neutrality obligations, and strengthened consumer protections. Under the ePrivacy directive, communications service providers will also be required to notify consumers of security breaches, persistent identifiers ("cookies") will become opt-in, there will be enhanced penalties for spammers, and national data protection agencies will receive new enforcement powers. The amended directive takes effect with publication on December 18 in the EU Official Journal. Member states then have 18 months to transpose the Directive into national law. See EPIC Privacy Law Sourcebook.

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