The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the current text of the ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC as well as the possible changes to the existing legal framework to make sure it is up to date with the new challenges of the digital age. The e-Privacy Directive sets out specific data protection rules for the electronic communications sector.

Interested parties, who wish to participate in the consultation process, have until 5 July 2016 to submit responses to the Commission’s online questionnaire.  The Commission will use the feedback from the consultation to prepare a new legislative proposal on ePrivacy, which is expected by the end of 2016. The type of legal instrument to be used in case of a revision may well follow the GDPR approach, taking the form of Regulation rather than a Directive, to avoid inconsistent application of the new rules at national level.

The Commission has already identified several issues as needing to be addressed in the review of the ePrivacy Directive including: ensuring consistency of ePrivacy rules with the provisions of the  General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); enhancing security and confidentiality of communications; simplifying the electronic marketing rules to avoid inconsistencies between Member States.

More information on the Consultation is available here.