On January 5, 2021, the Council of the European Union released a new, draft version of the ePrivacy Regulation, which is meant to replace the ePrivacy Directive. The European Commission approved a first draft of the ePrivacy Regulation in January 2017. The draft regulation has since then been under discussion in the Council.
On January 1, 2021, Portugal took over the presidency of the Council for six months. Ahead of the next meeting of the Council’s working party responsible for the draft ePrivacy Regulation, the Portuguese Presidency issued a revised version of the draft regulation. This is the 14th draft version of the ePrivacy Regulation (including the European Commission’s first draft).
Once approved, the ePrivacy Regulation will set out requirements and limitations for publicly available electronic communications service providers (“service providers”) processing data of, or accessing devices belonging to, natural and legal persons “who are in the [European] Union” (“end-user”). The regulation aims to safeguard the privacy of the end-users, the confidentiality of their communications, and the integrity of their devices. These requirements and limitations will apply uniformly in all EU Member States. However, EU Member States have the power to restrict the scope of these requirements and limitations where this is a “necessary, appropriate and proportionate measure in a democratic society to safeguard one or more of the general public interests.“
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