Wire Taps on Your Apps? ePrivacy and Security: Striking a Balance

Does the ePrivacy Regulation set a high standard for the confidentiality of electronic communications, or is it a far-reaching expansion of government surveillance authority?

While the ePR is intended to protect the confidentiality of calls, emails, texts and chats, the ePR’s article 11 provides a public interest exception (the “wiretap provisions”) that allows member states to pass laws giving government investigators access to these communications.

EURACTIV and Microsoft organised a lively debate to discuss how to connect the dots of ePrivacy Regulation, government surveillance, encryption and e-Evidence.

Questions included:
– How aligned is the ePR with other recent measures that touch on government access to communications data, such as the European Electronic Communications Code, new national surveillance laws and the e-Evidence package?
– When should intercept obligations apply to new technologies such as apps, smart speakers and game consoles?
– What are the lessons learned from recent ECJ decisions on surveillance?
– Are rules related to communications encryption necessary?

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