As part of the EU Single Digital Market strategy, the European Commission is proposing to amend the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications (Directive 2002/58/EC). The purpose of the amendment "to ensure a high level of data protection for data subjects and a level playing field for all market players". In addition the draft legislation seeks to bring the current rules for electronic communications services in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

A positive element of the draft legislation is that, as with the GDPR, it is being proposed as a Regulation meaning that it will apply directly in each Member State without the need for national transposing measures. This will provide for a more consistent approach to ePrivacy throughout the EU.

One of the key aspects of the draft legislation is the relaxation of the rules surrounding cookies. Consent of users to the use of cookies will not be required in certain circumstances, for instance where the cookies are necessary to detect technical faults or for the purposes of billing.

As the proposal is still in draft form, it is likely to be subject to further changes before being approved by the European Parliament and Council. However, the proposals have been welcomed as a step towards harmonising European data protection law for all market players.