ePrivacy: progress report from the Romanian Presidency

Ahead of the Telecom Council of ministers which will take place on the 7th of June, the Romanian presidency of the Council has prepared a progress report on the ePrivacy Regulation.
The report summarizes the work done since January 2019 by the TELEWG. Under the Romanian Presidency, Member States have considered the following issues:
– The relation between ePR and new technologies such as Machine to Machine, Artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.
– The impact of ePR in prevention/detection and reporting of child abuse imagery
– The ways to ensure that the provisions of the ePrivacy proposal maintain the possibility for existing and future data retention regimes
– The provisions governing supervisory authorities, in particular regarding cross border cooperation and the role of the European Data Protection

The report refers to the debates which have taken place in the TELEWG, and proposed change of wording. However, the report does imply that member states have reached an agreement on any of the above-mentioned issues. On the contrary, the report mentions that “some delegations have underlined repeatedly concerns about the way the ePrivacy proposal would interact with new technologies”.

In addition, the report mentions that “the Presidency introduced numerous clarifications in the respective recitals, in particular, 13, 20a and 21, addressing namely situations of multiple end-users and the question of consent”. Regarding the issue of consent, some modifications have been made to recital 20 back in March, considering the possibility of conditioning access to consent only under very strict situations (equivalent alternative from the same service provider, paywall). On that particular issue, FEDMA together with a number of other trade associations has co-signed a letter asking for more flexibility regarding consent.

The Presidency report does not refer to a political debate to take place during the Council meeting of Ministers on the 7th of June. Finland will take over the Presidency of the Council of ministers on the 1st of July and will carry on the work on the ePrivacy file.