GSMA Europe Mobile Meetings Series: Protecting consumer confidence: ePrivacy and confidentiality of data

Start: Wednesday 12 October 2016 08:00

End: Wednesday 12 October 2016 10:00

Venue: GSMA Europe Offices

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Communication, confidentiality and transparency are key to the development of the digital society. To build a modern legal framework that increases trust in the online world, the European Commission is reforming EU privacy rules to foster consumer protection and to enable the European Digital Single Market to flourish. Since Europeans entrust personal information to Internet service providers and telecoms operators, the mobile industry is a critical enabler for delivering trusted services to consumers and increasing individuals’ confidence in the security of their personal information online.

The latest GSMA Europe Mobile Meeting Series debate, which took place on 12 October in Brussels, brought together representatives from the EU institutions, business and civil society to discuss the role of mobile operators and platforms in ensuring the confidentiality of data.

The participants discussed the upcoming review of the ePrivacy rules and their consistency with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which represents a cornerstone of EU privacy regulation. They agreed that any upcoming legislation should be a complementary tool to the GDPR, highlighting the need for a balanced policy framework between economic interests and consumers’ right to data protection. In this respect, transparency and clarity of rules should be used to reduce overlap and multiple reporting requirements for businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), while fostering consumer benefits from the digital economy.

Participants in the Mobile Meeting also noted that regulations on data protection require greater hamonisation, clarity and simplification. The ePrivacy Directive review process represents a unique opportunity to achieve a simple, clear and horizontal approach to digital regulation. Sector-specific rules on privacy are no longer able to address the challenges of the digital age: Regulators should ensure consistency between the central role of the GDPR, which lays down a comprehensive set of horizontal rules ensuring high levels of data protection, and the complementary role of the ePrivacy Directive.

For more information, read the GSMA response to the European Commission Public Consultation on the Evaluation and Review of the ePrivacy Directive here.