E-Privacy progress!

It was announced yesterday that the EU Council of Ministers has agreed on a draft text to replace the EU E-Privacy Directive.

The Directive is implemented into UK law by PECR – the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

In terms of marketing, PECR governs calls, emails, texts, and faxes and has rules for the use of cookies.

It was optimistically intended to update the Directive at the same time as the Data Protection Directive and to bring this into force at the same time as the GDPR in May 2018!

There has been much disagreement over the text since the first draft was introduced in January 2017 by the European Commission.

The agreement of the Council means that negotiations with the European Parliament can begin on a final text.

Whether we will see the end result implemented in UK law is another matter, as the new Regulation will not come into force until 20 days after its publication and will not apply until 2 years later.

Given we have left the EU and in theory no longer have to follow EU law, the Government may decide not to incorporate this into UK law.

It will depend, in my view, on what final text is agreed upon and whether the end result helps or hinders responsible marketing by UK businesses.

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