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Data Protection Law: E-Privacy Regulation (e-Privacy-VO)

The new Basic Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) regulates data protection in the EU in a uniform and technology-neutral manner. In the future, the e-Privacy Regulation will also apply to electronic communications in particular. The aim of the regulation is to ensure the confidentiality of electronic communications. The main point of regulation is so-called web tracking and the associated use of cookies. Cookies are text files that are stored in the user's browser and allow recognition. They enable online advertising tailored to the user. The regulation stipulates that cookies may only be used in future with the express consent of the user. As with the DSGVO, the penalties for violations of the e-Privacy Regulation will be drastic.

In this respect, the e-Privacy Regulation is more specific than the DSGVO, which - at least in the recitals - considers data processing for the purpose of direct marketing as a "legitimate interest" of companies without explaining this in more detail. The e-Privacy Regulation with its specific requirements in the field of electronic communications thus provides more legal certainty than the DSGVO.

Originally, it was planned that the e-Privacy Regulation would enter into force together with the DSGVO in May 2018. However, the European Commission's first draft of January 2017 has been severely criticized. The final positioning of the EU Council is currently pending; according to current knowledge, the e-Privacy Regulation is not expected to be promulgated before the end of 2019.

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