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Mozilla wants EU to slow down its ePrivacy Directive process

'We love privacy, just not this much privacy, not this fast'

Privacy

Mozilla wants the EU to tap the brake on a privacy process slated to deliver a new ePrivacy Directive by May 2018, calling the timeline “overly aggressive”.

While saying it supports the main features of the proposal currently in front of the European Commission, in this post by legal advisor Sherrie Quinn, Mozilla hopes Europe takes time “to more thoroughly assess the Regulation”.

Back in January, America's Internet Advertising Bureau warned that the power to fine digital services for privacy breaches meant a danger to “the future of the web as we know it”.

Mozilla might not have linked arms with the IAB, but it acknowledges a risk to ISP business models, along with other concerns:

For instance, the draft Regulation imposes very specific restrictions on the technology industry that may challenge the business models of some ISPs. In some areas, obligations are proscriptive, undermining the principle of technological neutrality that this legislation needs to withstand the test of time in a rapidly changing environment, in addition to potentially restricting companies in freely developing innovative products and services.

Like practically any business talking about practically any regulation, Mozilla trots out the need for certainty, calling for “a future proof framework that provides predictability for both users and online service providers, and contributes to a more secure online communications ecosystem”.

Mozilla further warns against “undue or unhelpful burdens”, and fears the proposed directive would prematurely regulate industries and practices.

For those who haven't followed the proposal's progress, Quinn's post has a useful summary of the high points: the directive highlights confidentiality of communications; consent for tracking; easy-to-use privacy settings in software; lawful access to communications; and breadth (the proposal covers not just ISPs and telcos, but also over-the-top services). ®

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