19 January, 2024

ETNO-GSMA comments on EDPB Guidelines 2/2023 on Technical Scope of Art. 5(3) of ePrivacy Directive

The protection of customer privacy and the confidentiality of their communications is at the core of the services offered by telecom operators. While these rules establish the foundation for delivering secure, trusted telecommunications services in Europe, they must also provide a degree of flexibility to enable European telcos to use data to improve customer experience, bring societal benefits, and, in general, keep pace with innovation and competition.

Now that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in force for over seven years, a significant body of experience and jurisprudence has developed regarding its application. It is crucial that the e-Privacy rules align with the GDPR, enabling the European industry to remain competitive in the growing field of data analytics and take a leadership role in responsible artificial intelligence.

ETNO and the GSMA regret that the old e-Privacy Directive (ePD) has become untenable in light of and legal and technological developments that have occurred over the past decade. A series of EU regulations governing the use of personal and non-personal data, such as the Data Act, Data Governance Act, Digital Markets Act, and the soon-to-come Artificial Intelligence Act, have been added to the GDPR. Together, they form a richer framework that combines data privacy with the promotion of competitiveness and innovation. The ePD no longer fits this evolving regulatory landscape.

We elaborate on our recommendations in the paper. For questions and clarifications regarding this feedback, please contact Paolo Grassia (grassia@etno.eu), Director of Public Policy at ETNO

© ETNO 2024
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