Earlier this week, the draft ePrivacy Regulation has been discussed by Ministers in the Telecommunications Council. The progress report prepared by the Austrian Presidency has been adopted, summarizing the work done over the past 6 month on this file. Since July 2018, the Austrian Presidency has concentrated the effort of the TELE WP on the confidentiality of communication , the confidentiality of devices, and on privacy settings. While the vast majority of Member States believes the work on this file is going in the right direction, many of them still believe the text is not mature yet to enter negotiations with the European Parliament, as several issues remain to be discussed. This, despite the strong urge form the European Commission to close the file as soon as possible. Many Countries are particularly careful for the text to reach the right balance between the protection of Privacy in the EU without slowing down innovation based on data and the development of electronic communication services. In addition, several still have questions regarding the relationship between the ePrivacy and the General Data Protection Regulation, how the two texts will work together. Several Ministers raised particular issues they wish to be re-opened for discussion, including the impact of the ePrivacy Regulation on BtoB communications, and more broadly on direct marketing communication.
A last TELEWG meeting will take place on the 13th December, to discuss the particular impact the ePrivacy may have on the fight against online child pornography, and the role of the regulators. After this meeting, the file will be transferred to Romania who will take the Presidency on the 1st of January.