EU regulatory framework for electronic communications—ePrivacy Directive
Produced in partnership with David Stewart of Towerhouse LLP

The following TMT practice note produced in partnership with David Stewart of Towerhouse LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • EU regulatory framework for electronic communications—ePrivacy Directive
  • The ePrivacy Directive
  • Aim and scope
  • Relationship with the GDPR
  • Security and confidentiality
  • Traffic and location data
  • Itemised billing
  • Information about subscribers
  • Directories of subscribers
  • Unsolicited communications
  • More...

EU regulatory framework for electronic communications—ePrivacy Directive

This Practice Note explores Directive 2002/58/EC (the ePrivacy Directive), which governs the confidentiality of communications and the processing of personal data in the electronic communications sector. It is part of a series of Practice Notes on core elements of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.

In the EU, the provision of electronic communications networks and services in each Member State is governed by a common regulatory Framework, which previously comprised five directives, including the ePrivacy Directive. See Practice Note: EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.

The original objective of the Framework was to establish a harmonised regime for regulating the electronic communications sector. In December 2018, the Framework was updated via Directive (EU) 2018/1972 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (Recast) (the European Electronic Communications Code). This consolidated four of the directives which make up the Framework. The European Electronic Communications Code has been in force since December 2018, although Member States had until 21 December 2020 to implement it into national law. The European Electronic Communications Code was implemented in the UK within that deadline. For further information, see Practice Note: EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.

The ePrivacy Directive is the one directive within the Framework that has not been consolidated into the Code. It will instead be replaced by an ePrivacy Regulation, which had originally been due

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