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EU telcos: “Data protection regulation a key milestone. Let’s now move fast on ePrivacy”


14 Apr 2016



Brussels, Strasbourg, 14 April 2016 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, welcomes the formal approval of the final text of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Parliament and the Council.

The importance of implementation

Today, the privacy of European citizens is better protected. The GDPR is a major step towards a real Digital Single Market. It is now important to work on a proper implementation in view of new digital business models and technologies such as IoT, Big Data, 5G and Connected Cars. Input from the industry and from experts will be crucial during the implementation phase and ETNO will continue engaging with the European Commission, the European Data Protection Supervisor and with national Data Protection Authorities in this process.

Towards horizontal regulation

The GDPR sets an important example of horizontal regulation, applicable to all players in the value chain. At times in which lives and businesses increasingly benefit from online and digital services, it is crucial to move away from a sector-specific approach to regulation.

Taking action on ePrivacy

In this light, it is important to take swift action and launch a deep reform of the current ePrivacy Directive, assessing first whether there is a continued need for additional sector specific privacy rules. More specifically, provisions overlapping with the GDPR should be removed and we should promote a consistent set of protection standards for consumers, while ensuring that all players can innovate. The work on the ePrivacy directive should also be consistent with the review of the Telecoms Regulatory Framework.

Lise Fuhr, ETNO’s Director General, commented: “Consumers across Europe enjoy digital services. With the important approval of the GDPR, it is now urgent to reform the outdated ePrivacy Directive and make sure Europe unleashes new, innovative services to the benefit of European users”.

For more information, see ETNO’s position on the upcoming ePrivacy review:

For media inquiries, Alessandro Gropelli,, +32 476 94 18 39