European Privacy Officials Back "E-Privacy" Directive Updates

The Article 29 Working Party, an expert group of European privacy officials, has issued an opinion supporting a key proposal to modernize EU privacy law for electronic communications. The updated e-Privacy Regulation would extend consumer safeguards to users of all online communications services, cover content and metadata, and limit tracking of internet users. The Working Party welcomed the harmonization of privacy standards across the European Union, but cautioned that the Privacy Directive must offer protections at least as strong as the recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation. EPIC had urged the US Federal Communication Commission to adopt a similar, comprehensive approach to communications privacy. A narrow FCC rule covering only ISPs was recently rescinded by Congress, folding under attacks that it unreasonably singled out a sector of the communications industry.

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