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European Data Protection Supervisor Backs "E-Privacy" Directive Updates

European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli, one of Europe's top privacy officials, published an opinion backing a key update to EU privacy law. The updated e-Privacy Regulation would extend consumer safeguards to users of all online communications services, cover content and metadata, and limit tracking of internet users. The EDPS welcomed the "ambitious attempt to provide for the comprehensive protection of electronic communications." However, the EDPS opinion also emphasized the need to strengthen privacy protections, raising concern about the proposal's complexity and failure to cover data processing beyond communications services providers. The EDPS's statement follows a supportive opinion from the Article 29 Working Party, an expert group of European privacy officials. EPIC recently hosted Mr. Buttarelli in Washington, DC to speak before the Privacy Coalition, a nonpartisan association established in 1995 to promote dialogue on emerging privacy issues between civil society organizations and policy leaders.

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