Brussels plans to force through the ePrivacy Regulation – which covers all digital and telemarketing activity – to coincide with GDPR in May next year, appear to have been blown out of the water following reports that the legislation may not now be in place before the end of 2019.
According to the DMA, the draft text, first published by the Commission earlier this year, has received an extensive list of potential amendments by the European Parliament as well as the Council of Ministers.
The UK trade body – which works with Fedma to fight the UK’s corner – recently aired its own concerns over the Regulation, claiming it will severely restrict the use of third party data and hold back technological developments in the digital economy. The online ad industry is also opposed to many of the measures.
In addition, it has been argued that the current UK telemarketing opt-out regime could be under threat. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has already put the new tender to run the Telephone Preference Service on hold.
However, given the strength of feeling over some measures, the DMA believes it may encounter significant delays, as the Council and Parliament battle it out.
Industry insiders believe that this will help the DMA’s cause as it will give it more time to get its arguments across. It has also been lobbying the UK Government over the potential threats.
The original timetable dictated that the ePrivacy Regulation should be passed by May next year with a 6-month grace period to follow. This was greeted with widespread concerns, with even Member States, branding it “unrealistic”, adding that “a number of delegations consider [the plans] to be too restrictive and ask for more flexibility”.
The DMA now believes the Regulation may not see the light of day until a year after its original deadline, meaning firms could have until the end of 2019 – or may be even longer – to comply.
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