This very short note doesn’t mean to be technical.

European Parliament will soon start the work on the ePrivacy regulation, one of the most important privacy and data protection regulatory frameworks in Europe. In short, ePrivacy concerns the matters of security and privacy of communication and data exchange, as well as other electronic interactions.

To most of Europeans, ePrivacy regulation is the reason why most websites are displaying “cookie consent information boxes”. In reality, ePrivacy is definitely much more important. Notably, ePrivacy is one of the documents that mandates the basic communication confidentiality guarantees. These days, end-to-end encryption is becoming the de facto standard in communication confidentiality, and principles of Privacy by Design are increasingly recognized as good project management patterns. Should we agree for a landmark regulation not being visionary enough?

I’ve already written about the leaked ePrivacy proposal which displayed quite strong privacy guarantees in the regulatory proposal. However, the officially released document has been significantly changed (in a matter of few weeks). It is not clear if that document is coherent, but one thing is already known - it’s not looking ahead. The internet and communications are fields of rapid changes. Good regulation should not just sanction the status quo. Ideal ePrivacy text should be visionary and rather than limiting its considerations to detailed descriptions of cookies and third-party tracking, it should also see the future: AI, connected cars, sensors. Regulations often cannot respond to rapid technological changes, so the only possible choice is to design them in a smart and adequately general manner, with a superb understanding of the current status and ability to predict the things to come.

La Quadrature du Net has released a statementregarding the importance of ePrivacy regulation.

It is important that the people working on ePrivacy have exceptional understanding of security and privacy technologies and technologies in general.

Today, coordinators of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE committee of European Parliament have assigned the rapporteur of ePrivacy regulation to the S&D group.

Let’s have hope that these choices are correct, but also let’s keep a careful eye on this work. I will update this post to reflect the name(s) of rapporteur(s) as soon as this matter becomes a bit more clear.

Timeline of events.

  • As previously discussed in certain circles, S&D's Marju Lauristin has been appointed as ePrivacy rapporteur

[17/03/17] Edit: we now know all the details.

Below a list of shadow rapporteurs:

  • Michal Boni (EPP)
  • Sophie in 't Veld (ALDE)
  • Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens)
  • Daniel Dalton (ECR)
  • Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL)
  • Lorenzo Fontana (ENF)

Let’s have hope that these choices will be adequate, but also let’s keep a careful eye on this work.