EU To Relaunch Push To Regulate WhatsApp, Skype On Privacy
Daniyal Sohail 11 days ago Tue 03rd December 2019 | 09:04 PM
The EU will relaunch its deadlocked effort to more closely regulate internet phone and message services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Messenger, a top bloc official said on Tuesday
Europe is seeking to be the global leader on stronger regulation of big tech companies, and the failure to agree on the so-called ePrivacy regulation has been a source of embarrassment.
"I definitely think that, if I hear you, everybody wants to do something but obviously you are not in agreement," Breton, a former French finance minister, said.
Under the existing EU rules that date back to 2002, strict privacy protection is only applied to text messages and voice calls provided by traditional telecoms, sparing tech giants Facebook, Google and Skype from the same oversight.
Ministers have been dogged by divisions on a myriad of issues, including how to handle pornography and online child abuse as well as controls on so-called cookies used by advertisers to track users.
Tech companies argue the reform is unnecessary as it duplicates the EU's landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that has become a global benchmark on the protection of data and privacy online.
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, had hoped for a breakthrough on the stalled effort to level the playing field, but ministers meeting in Brussels once again made their divisions plain.