ePrivacy Regulation- Further Delay as Germany Looks for Changes
Originally due to come in at the same time as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the European ePrivacy Regulation looks set for further delay following the German Government setting out an updated position.
Set to replace the ePrivacy Directive (implemented in the UK by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)), the ePrivacy Regulation looks to update the laws relating to the specific privacy issues posed by electronic communications and goes beyond the provisions of GDPR.
The text of the Regulation has been undergoing legislative ping-pong between the Commission and European Parliament and, though delayed, was thought to be on the way to coming in to effect later this year.
In a response to a question in the German Parliament, it now looks like Germany will seek further changes to the draft agreement including a two year transition period. Getting the text of the Regulation fully agreed may now be even further away and the proposed two year transition period may mean that the full effect of the Regulation is not felt for some time to come.
How the Regulation will apply to the UK is also up in the air. As it was originally due to come in at the same time as GDPR, the Regulation would have been covered by the European (withdrawal) Act 2018 and would have transposed in to UK law. Given that the Regulation is now likely to come in either during some form of transition period or when the UK is no longer a member state, the extent to which the Regulation will apply is unclear. Those offering services within the EU will be caught by the Regulation whatever happens, whether the UK government brings the Regulation in to UK law, produces a UK specific approach, or continues with PECR is yet to be seen.