On November 24, 2009, the European Parliament formally approved the European Union’s telecoms reform package.  This reform proposed by the European Commission in November 2007 consists of various different EU Directives that set-up the legal framework applicable to the electronic communications sector (telecoms) and includes a new e-Privacy Directive.

New provisions of the e-Privacy Directive will strengthen the protection of privacy and personal data in the electronic communication sector and includes the following:

  • mandatory notification for personal data breaches applicable to electronic communication services providers (e.g., telecom providers and ISPs);
  • new regulations on cookies;
  • clarification of the scope of the e-privacy Directive; and
  • enhancement of the right of actions against spam.

The amendment to the e-Privacy Directive seems to be final now and the telecoms package will be signed by the presidents of the European Parliament and Council.  The telecoms reform package will then most likely be enacted with its publication in the EU’s Official Journal on December 18, 2009.  EU Members States will be required to implement the new legislation into their national law by June 2011.

View the press release by the European Commission.