The Council makes progress on the ePrivacy negotiations

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The Council negotiations on the ePrivacy Regulation are moving forward as the Bulgarian presidency  continues to present updated discussion papers and revised texts to the national delegations. The last Discussion Paper, published on 22 March, invited delegations to reflect on several new points, including amendments to Article 8 (Protection of end-user’s terminal equipment information), Article 10 (Privacy settings) and Article 16 (direct marketing communication).

The revised text provides additional clarification on consent, notably on the fact that a one-off consent for a cookie in the context of one website is possible, and proposes to add exemptions to where consent is required.  The Presidency has also decided to propose amendments to the question of Privacy settings, including the obligation to remind end-users of the availability of privacy settings.

The Bulgarian Presidency has put forward substantive amendments to article 16 on direct marketing communication. The revised text tries to clarify the scope of the provision on direct marketing by explicitly excluding advertisements on websites that are displayed to the general public and do not require end-users’ contact details. On a more surprising note, the Presidency has decided to introduce through a new paragraph to Article 16, a provision that would allow Member States to set a time limit of 12 months for using customers’ contact details for direct marketing. In an attempt to facilitate upcoming discussions, the Presidency also invited delegations to share their comments on article 18 to 29.

While the Council continues to negotiate, the EU Parliament Rapporteur on the ePrivacy Regulation, MEP Birgit Sippel, reiterated her intention to contribute to setting a high global standard for privacy during a speech at the IAPP’s Global Privacy Summit. We can however assume that the discussions in trialogue between the EU institutions will be complicated, further delaying the adoption of the Regulation.

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