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EU: Presidency of the Council releases progress report on draft ePrivacy Regulation

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union released, on 20 November 2020, its progress report on the Proposal for a Regulation Concerning the Respect for Private Life and the Protection of Personal Data in Electronic Communications and Repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications) ('the Draft ePrivacy Regulation'). In particular, the report recalls that the German Presidency proposed, among other things, to remove, as a legal basis, the legitimate interests of an electronic communications network or service provider as a legal basis for processing of electronic communications metadata or for using processing and storage capabilities of terminal equipment or collecting information from an end-users' terminal equipment. In addition, the report highlights that the Presidency proposed to delete specific data retention issues in view of the Court of Justice of the European Union's ('CJEU') judgments in Case C-623/17, Privacy International, and in Joined Cases C-511/18, La Quadrature du Net and Others, C-512/18, French Data Network and Others, and C-520/18, Ordre des barreaux francophones et germanophone and Others.

However, the report notes that while Member States broadly supported the deletion of 'legitimate interests' as legal basis, they also noted that the text was too restrictive towards innovation and the permission for processing of metadata, among other things. Furthermore, the report provides that a number of Member States expressed the view that the Finnish Presidency's proposal could be considered as the starting point for future negotiations, that it is clear from the Member States' reactions that further work is needed on the file, and that the German Presidency is committed to working closely with the forthcoming Portuguese Presidency to facilitate further discussions and to ensure smooth progress on the file.

You can read the report here.