ePrivacy Regulation: Position of the German Government for further negotiations at EU level

The following bullet points are a quick translation of a response (pdf, German, p. 67 f.) from State Secretary Dörr-Voß of 10 July 2018 to a written question in the German parliament. According to the written answer, with this position, Germany will also enter further negotiations at EU level on the ePrivacy Regulation.

  • The Bulgarian Presidency’s proposal for Art. 5 ePrivacy Regulation requires further revision. Communication data processed by communication service providers shall be subject to the protection of the confidentiality of communications, even after the end user has received the communication and the communication process is complete. At the same time, however, it must be clear that the further processing of communication data by the end user or on his behalf is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation. Both should clearly emerge from the ePrivacy Regulation.
  • The Government considers the proposals for processing pseudonymised geolocation data for statistical purposes, including the proposed safeguards, to be an appropriate approach for further negotiations. The Government will in no way support any further openings beyond the Presidency text of 4 May 2018 which would allow processing without consent or which would result in a weakening of the safeguards in Art. 6 ePrivacy regulation.
  • With regard to Art. 8 ePrivacy Regulation, the Government supports the current catalogue of authorised processing operations without a requirement for consent contained in the text version of the Bulgarian Council Presidency. The Government also considers it necessary to include a regulation in Art. 8 ePrivacy Regulation which ensures that the use of online services financed by advertising can be made dependent on the user’s consent to the setting of cookies for advertising purposes.
  • In Art. 10 ePrivacy Regulation, the German government supports the EU Commission’s proposal that end users should be informed about privacy settings on first installation and have to choose a setting. In addition, the Government wants Art. 10 to regulate two core issues. First, the software must not be preset to allow information to be stored and read on the end device without the end user’s knowledge. Secondly, updates must not lead to the end user’s privacy settings being overridden. Finally, it must be ensured that rejected providers (via the software setting) can separately ask the end user for his consent.
  • The Government also considers a transitional period of two years after the entry into force of the ePrivacy Regulation to be necessary.

One most also take note of another document (dated 10th July) of the current Council Presidency to delegations for the meeting of 17th July 2018 in the WP TELE in the Council of the European Union (Examination of the Presidency text, pdf). This document also concerns the above mentioned Articles 6, 8 and 10 of the proposed ePrivacy Regulation and summarizes the current status of the text with the amendments in the Council.

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