date icon July 5, 2016 category icon Press Releases

Internet Association Files Response To European Union e-Privacy Directive

Slater: “Internet companies respect the process, authority, and intent behind the creation of the e-Privacy Directive, but it has been superseded by a number of new legal instruments over time…As the EU Commission considers reforms, it should carefully assess the e-Privacy Directive’s continued relevance.”

 

Washington, D.C. – The Internet Association, an association of nearly 40 leading internet companies, announced today that it filed a response to the European Union’s e-Privacy Directive consultation. The Internet Association argues in its response that – for internet intermediaries – the e-Privacy Directive is duplicative of both existing and superseding EU laws, principally the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Furthermore, the e-Privacy Directive creates a fragmented privacy regime between laws and regulations on the books in member states, the GDPR, and ambiguity in the e-Privacy Directive itself.

“Internet companies respect the process, authority, and intent behind the creation of the e-Privacy Directive, but it has been superseded by a number of new legal instruments over time,” said Abigail Slater, General Counsel of the Internet Association. “The co-existence of the e-Privacy Directive and regimes like the General Data Protection Regulation results in duplicative rules with ambiguous implications. As the EU Commission considers reforms, it should carefully assess the e-Privacy Directive’s continued relevance.”

The Internet Association’s response supported data protection policies that protect the right of individual consumers to secure electronic communications and devices through encryption and other mechanisms without backdoors for law enforcement. Strong encryption is the bedrock of modern internet privacy and security, and the Internet industry renewed its calls for governments worldwide to support its ubiquitous adoption.

“Backdoors weaken our collective ability to secure communications from unauthorized access,” Slater continued. “Encryption and security measures protect EU consumers and networks from countless daily attacks by those looking to do harm, including hackers, identity thieves, and foreign governments. Secure communications provide an important tool for achieving the goals of both privacy and law enforcement, and are compatible with the aims of both.”

To read the filing, click here.

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