Cookies Consent Conflicts May Undercut EU ePrivacy Regulation

April 13, 2017Article
Bloomberg Law- Privacy Law Watch Bulletin

A proposed European Union electronic privacy law reboot raises concerns that it doesn’t sync with the bloc’s new general privacy regime, a group of privacy regulators said in a recent opinion. A simpler approach to consent rules for placing cookies on the computers of users in the EU would be a boon to online companies that do business there. But creating an ePrivacy Regulation that is potentially at odds with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) would create a privacy compliance nightmare for companies already facing daunting implementation challenges, the regulators said. Cookies are small packets of data that websites place on computers to facilitate tracking and ease of use, such as faster downloading.

And cookies aren’t the only thing in the proposed ePrivacy Regulation that may be in conflict with the GDPR. The Article 29 Working Party of EU privacy leaders from the 28 EU countries, in its April 7 opinion, expressed ‘‘grave concerns’’ about the proposed ePrivacy Regulation’s low legal standards for user consent to cellphone Wi-Fi tracking, use of embedded meta data and allowing tracking by other websites affiliated with the one actually visited.

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