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On 26 October 2017, the European Parliament voted for the adoption of the proposed EU Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications, which aims to supplement the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) entering into force in May 2018.

Whereas the current e-Privacy directive only applies to traditional telecom operators, the new regulation will apply also for new providers of electronic communications services such as WhatsApp, iMessage, and Facebook Messenger. Hence, the new regulation secures integrity for both electronic content and metadata (such as the location and time of the call/message). Since metadata is an important integrity factor, such data should also be kept confidential or deleted if the user has not given its consent, with minor exceptions as when the data is required for billing purposes.

Another addition in the new e-Privacy regulation is that the cookie approval requirements will be simplified. The new rules ensure that users get better control over their settings and easily can agree to or decline cookies and other network identifiers, should any privacy risks be at hand. Among the parliament’s priorities further on is also a ban on so-called cookie walls, which block access to a website if users do not agree to their data being used. Spying on personal devices via cookies, or tracking individuals by other means without their clear approval through i.e. public hotspots, should also be prohibited. Time Advokatbyrå will follow the further negotiation process with great interest.

Time is a leading law firm within data privacy and technology law. If you would like to know more or have any other questions within these areas, please contact Fredrik Ståhl on fredrik.stahl@timelaw.se or +46 701 49 25 69.