For a long time the planned ePrivacy Regulation of the European Union was on hold, now the new EU Commission wants to start over and submit a new proposal. Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton announced this on Tuesday following a split public debate over fundamental issues.
The aim of the regulation was, among other things, to limit the collection of data on the Internet via cookies and to extend the privacy rules that already apply to traditional telephone providers to Internet services such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook. The ePrivacy Regulation was thus intended as a supplement to the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) and as a replacement for the ePrivacy Directive of 2002.
Many European publishers protested against the Commission's proposals, including DER SPIEGEL, SPIEGEL ONLINE, DIE ZEIT, the FAZ and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. They feared revenue from personalized advertising, which is the economic basis for making their offers largely free of charge on the net. Parts of the regulation regarded them as a threat to their business model, while Internet companies like Google and Facebook would benefit.
"Three years of wasted time"
The EU Parliament had adopted its position on the regulation in October 2017, but Member States could never agree on a common line. This did not change compromise proposals, which would have benefited publishers above all.
According to "Netzpolitik.org", Poland even asked the Commission to consider whether it was even necessary to have its own ePrivacy regulation. Austria also called for a "thorough rethinking" of the previous proposals. According to the report, the Luxembourg representative complained that the countries in the Council of Ministers only paid lip service to better protect the privacy of their citizens, but ultimately "wasted three years on it".
EU Commissioner Breton said to EU governments: "We will have to put a new proposal on the table because everyone wants something to happen, but you obviously do not agree on what". However, you will not start from scratch. Nevertheless, it is expected that it will take months for the Commission to present a retreaded proposal.