European Communications Privacy Law Strengthens Rights for Internet Users

A draft of the update to the European "e-Privacy Directive" provides important new safeguards for users of Internet-based services. The new regulation will apply to all online communications services, including email, instant messaging, and social media. The updated privacy law will limit tracking and profiling of Internet users. The report notes that lax rules for companies such as Facebook and Skype, "create a void of protection of confidentiality for the users of these services." The US FCC recently adopted modest privacy rules that apply only to broadband services offered by telecom companies, despite EPIC's repeated advice to the FCC to address "the full range of communications privacy issues facing US consumers." The EU Commission's update of the e-Privacy Directive follows the recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation. The Commission's formal proposal is expected in January of 2017

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