The review of the EU Data Protection legal framework is the main focus of this Working Group (WG), created to represent ETNO Member interests concerning EU regulation and global developments in the field of data protection, trust and security.
- ETNO members have reiterated their commitment to Europe’s high standards for privacy and data protection and have asked that any new provisions do not hamper innovation and the development of new products/services (eg. Cloud Computing). ETNO has called on legislators to ensure a global level playing field for all actors processing personal data of EU citizens, regardless of their geographic location. In the context of the review of the EU Data Protection legal framework, GSMA and ETNO produced a set of briefing papers on issues that are important for the telco sector. Each paper identified the issue and impact and put forward some policy considerations.
- ETNO has for many years been stressing the need for a review of the 2002 ePrivacy Directive, last reviewed in 2009. The first ePrivacy Directive was introduced in 1997: at that time telecoms operators were collecting data that was deemed to be unique to that sector (e.g. traffic and location data) and as such, still today, this Directive only applies to providers of electronic communications networks and services and not to Information Society service providers. However, the situation has since changed and the so-called Over-the-Top players (Information Society service providers) are now collecting vast amounts of personal data for their online services, such as VoIP and messaging, but yet they fall outside the scope of the ePrivacy Directive. Further, in practical terms, telecoms operators face a dual compliance regime (the ePrivacy Directive and also the Data Protection Directive).
ETNO has called for legislators to repeal the ePrivacy Directive through the new Data Protection Regulation, which is currently under discussion at Council and will apply to all players offering services to EU citizens. This would ensure that consumers can benefit from transparent and consistent rights and user experiences for functionally equivalent services.
- The WG monitors debates around the Safe Harbour programme
- In collaboration with ETNO’s Taskforce on Competition Policy, the WG monitors the cross-cutting debate around Data Protection and Competition
- The WG also monitors the European Commission’s work on Data Retention, including possible Commission guidance or any new legislative measure
- The WG also monitors the implementation of the European Cloud Strategy (focus on Privacy Code of Conduct)
- Finally, the WG participates in the legislative process for the Directive on Network and Information Security (NIS) and monitor implementation of the European Cybersecurity Strategy (eg: NIS Platform)
Working Group Structure
ETNO WGs are the engine of the Association. The bottom-up approach when formulating ETNO position papers ensures that all ETNO member interests are captured. The Data Protection, Trust & Security (DPTS) WG Chair is Cristina Vela Marimon of Telefonica: cristina.velamarimon(at)telefonica(dot)com
ETNO signs the ‘’Paris call for trust and security in Cyberspace’’ and joins Women4Cyber initiative
Paris 12 November 2018 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, joined the early supporters of the French Government’s ‘’Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace”, launched today by President Emmanuel Macron on the occasion of the Paris Digital Week. In this context, ETNO’s Director General Lise Fuhr has also joined the Women4Cyber initiative.
ETNO position paper on improving cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal matters
Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities increasingly rely on the analysis of data generated by the widespread use of electronic communications services and devices. The ability of individuals and organisations to easily store and share data across borders, through major service providers that often operate from outside the European Union, means that even an ordinary crime with a clear national or local dimension can easily acquire a transnational relevance.
While ETNO acknowledges the importance for Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities to have the right tools to investigate and prosecute serious crime, legal certainty is crucial especially when such tools may affect individuals’ fundamental rights. Therefore, ETNO calls for more legal certainty and clear and feasible provisions in the proposed Regulation on cross-border access to e-Evidence that reduce the burden on service providers.
ETNO welcomes the Austrian Presidency’s approach to ePrivacy, asks Member States to support future-oriented rules
Brussels, 13 July 2018 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, welcome proposals to ensure that the ePrivacy Regulation is better fit for global digital competition, ensuring trust and consistency across legal instruments.
ETNO believes the Electronic Communications Code is a missed opportunity
Brussels, 6 June 2018 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, believes that the Electronic Communications Code (the Code) represented a once in a decade chance to simplify and improve the EU rules for the sector in the interest of European citizens and businesses. This opportunity has been missed. The Code will not ignite the much needed rush to invest in 5G and fibre networks and it will add complexity to an already burdensome system.
Plea of European Telecom DPOs and Heads of Privacy on e-Privacy Regulation
Brussels, 22 March 2018 - As Data Protection Officers (DPO) and Heads of Privacy of Europe’s leading telecommunications operators, we are working full speed ahead to bring our companies in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as of 25th May 2018. We consider the GDPR as an opportunity to further enhance the privacy of our customers and users in an increasingly digitised society.
Latest Position Paper
Legal memo with respect to Law Enforcement Access to Data across Borders - Legal Challenges for Digital Service Providers and Citizen Rights
This legal memo investigates the challenges for private sector service providers of complying with recent initiatives that facilitate cross border law enforcement access to data across borders, with a particular emphasis on potential impacts on the European electronic communications and ICT industries.
Joint Statement of the European Telecom Social Partners on Reconciling Innovation and Privacy Protection to the Benefit of the European Data Economy
Brussels, January 2018 - The value of the European data economy could reach up to 740 billion euros, or 4% of the European Union’s total GDP, by 2020. Smart solutions such as big data analytics, the Internet of Things, and connected driving thus have the potential to trigger a fourth industrial revolution.