On July 14, 2017, the Impact Assessment Institute (“IAI”) (an independent institute committed to impartial impact assessment and scientific evaluation of policy and legislation in the EU) published a study assessing the impact assessment carried out by the European Commission in connection with the Commission’s proposal for a new E-Privacy Regulation (“EPR”). The IAI study is critical of the Commission’s impact assessment, and – by extension – the Commission’s case for the new EPR itself.
Background on the Impact Assessment and EPR
The EPR is the Commission’s proposed update to the existing EU E-Privacy Directive, and is intended to complement the EU’s broader data protection regime (as set out in the General Data Protection Regulation, “GDPR”). The EPR would introduce a number of rules, including a provision protecting the confidentiality of communications that would regulate traditional telecoms services, and new “over-the-top” (“OTT”) services such as VoIP, web email, and instant messaging, among others. The Commission EPR proposal is currently progressing through the legislative process in both the European Parliament and Council.
When formulating new proposals for regulations such as the EPR, the Commission prepares impact assessments in accordance with the Better Regulation Guidelines (detailed guidance intended to improve the quality of the Commission’s law-making). The Commission duly prepared an impact assessment for the EPR, which was published alongside the text of the EPR legislative proposal on January 10, 2017 (the “Impact Assessment”).
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