EU regulators drop legal case after UK implements ePrivacy legislation

Case closed over Phorm technology use in the UK

European regulators have dropped a legal case against the U.K. over failure to implement ePrivacy laws, saying that changes in the country's legislation mean it is now looking after the online privacy rights of its citizens.

The case was launched in April 2009 following several complaints to the European Commission about the use of behavioral advertising software by ISPs and about how the U.K.'s personal data protection authority, the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office, had handled complaints. The software, from a company called Phorm, works by constantly analyzing people's Web surfing to determine their interests and then deliver targeted advertising to them when they visit certain websites.

The E.U. directive on privacy and electronic communications requires E.U. member states to ensure confidentiality of communications by prohibiting unlawful interception and surveillance unless users have given "free and informed consent." Article 24 of the law also requires countries to establish appropriate sanctions for infringements.

In September 2010, the Commission referred the case to the European Court of Justice. Shortly afterward the U.K. amended its Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by removing references to "implied consent." U.K. authorities also established a new sanction against unlawful interception and breaches of confidentiality in electronic communications, which previously fell outside the scope of RIPA.

The new sanction is administered by the Interception of Communications Commissioner (ICC), who has published information about how these new powers will operate in practice. Closing the infringement case on Thursday, the European Commission said it believes "U.K. law and institutions are now well-equipped to enforce the privacy rights of U.K. users."

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?