Pursuant to its Digital Single Market strategy and adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation on the revision of Directive 2002/58/EC, better known as the ePrivacy Directive. Its intention is to bring the existing legal framework up to date “with the challenges of the digital era”. Stakeholders have been asked to provide feedback between 12 April and 5 July on two subjects: First, gather views on the current legal framework, and second, what changes respondents would propose. The feedback from the consultation will be used by the EC to prepare a subsequent legislative proposal on ePrivacy, which is expected by the end of the year.

The EC has noted the emergence of several policy issues that need to be addressed during the review of the ePrivacy Directive. These include ensuring that the ePrivacy legal framework is consistent with the GDPR, guaranteeing that its scope is appropriate to new market and technological developments, and enhancing its security and confidentiality of communications provisions. The EC also outlined its intention to tackle the current fragmented approach to enforcement that is evident across member states. The consultation was opened to citizens, associations, businesses, public authorities and academics – highlighting the EC’s intention to ensure a diverse range of responses.