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The New e-Privacy Regulation: Key Points to Know!

March 22, 2017

This webinar was hosted by the Data Protection Committee. Thank you to our speaker, Steven De Schrijver, ASTREA, for presenting on the new e-Privacy Regulation. The audio recording and slides are available. 


The scope of the recently proposed e-Privacy Regulation is so wide that it will apply, in today’s digital age, to just about any electronic communications service. Many of its provisions (especially around communications data, tracking technologies, use of cookies and electronic direct marketing) will be highly contentious for both industry and civil liberties groups.

The commission recently announced the key objectives and how it intends to achieve them under the new e-Privacy Regulation, stating, inter alia, that:

  • Privacy rules will in the future also apply to OTT players such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Skype.
  • Privacy is guaranteed for both content and metadata, e.g. time of a call and location (by anonymization or deletion).
  • Concerning ‘cookies’, the new rules will be more user-friendly as browser settings will provide for an easy way to accept or refuse tracking cookies and other identifiers.
  • The proposal attempts to ban unsolicited electronic communications by emails, SMS and automated calling machines.

The European Commission wants the new e-Privacy Regulation to enter into force on 25 May 2018, the same date as the General Data Protection Regulation will take effect. This means that businesses in the electronic communications sector have only about one year left to implement the changes required to ensure compliance with the new rules. During his webinar, Steven De Schrijver will focus on the key points businesses need to consider in this respect.


Steven De Schrijver is a partner in the Brussels office of Astrea. He has more than 20 years of experience advising some of the largest Belgian and foreign technology companies, as well as innovative entrepreneurs on complex commercial agreements and projects dealing with new technologies. His expertise includes e-commerce, software licensing, website development and hosting, privacy law, intellectual property law, IT security, IT contracts, technology transfers, digital signatures, IT outsourcing, cloud computing, robotics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, drones, augmented and virtual reality.

Steven has been admitted to the Brussels Bar. He holds a law degree from the University of Antwerp (1992) and an LLM degree from the university of Virginia School of Law (1993).