News: Coalition argues that vertical approach is no longer applicable to regulating the digital market.
A large coalition of tech and telecoms companies has called on the European Commission to scrap the e-Privacy Directive, which governs the use of internet cookies and spam.
The companies called for the e-Privacy Directive to be evaluated and replaced with a "simple, clear and horizontal approach to digital regulation".
They said that vertical, or sector-specific, rules on privacy are no longer able to "address the challenges of the digital age".
"We believe that simplifying and streamlining regulation will benefit consumers by ensuring they are provided with a simple, consistent and meaningful set of rules designed to protect their personal data," the coalition said in a statement.
The statement said that Europe should "fully take stock of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which creates a comprehensive set of horizontal rules ensuring high levels of data protection," meaning that where the rules overlap the e-Privacy Directive provisions should be axed.
Other suggestions were that non-privacy related consumer protection provisions be transferred to more appropriate legal instruments, and that the relative timing of the e-Privacy and Telecoms Framework reviews be aligned as they provided opportunities to streamline the legislation.
This would be critical to enable new services and the proliferation of 5G in Europe, the coalition said.
The submission was in response to the European Commission’s public consultation on e-Privacy rules called following the adoption of the Digital Single Market Strategy. The consultation lasted 12 weeks from 12 April 2016, with the coalition’s submission taking place on the last day.
12 associations signed the statement: Application Developers Alliance, Cable Europe, CCIA, COCIR, DIGITALEUROPE, ECTA, EDIMA, ETNO, EuroISPA, IAB Europe, GSMA and EPC.
This includes telecoms operators such as BT, Telefonica and Vodafone, online service providers such as Netflix, Facebook, eBay, Amazon and Google and hardware manufacturers such as Microsoft, Apple and BlackBerry.