Apple joins tech coalition in fight to kill European Union’s ‘Cookie Law’

“Apple and a cadre of other tech companies are fighting the European Union’s so-called ‘Cookie Law,’ lobbying the organization for more refined laws that aim to strike a balance between user privacy and data collected by providers,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“The filing, submitted just hours before a July 5 public comment deadline, states that a similar law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), should be the framework for ‘a comprehensive set of horizontal rules ensuring high levels of data protection’ for citizens of the EU,” Wuerthele reports. “The parties would prefer the GDPR over expansion of the widely criticized ePrivacy Directive.”

“The industry group is seeking as yet unspecified ‘appropriate legal instruments’ rather than continuation of the wide-reaching ePrivacy Directive,” Wuerthele reports. “The coalition includes Apple, Amazon, BT, Blackberry, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, Fastnet, Foursquare, Google, Huawei, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Orange, Paypal, T-Mobile, TalkTalk, Telefonica, Three, and Vodafone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The tech and telecom industries’ full statement, verbatim:

The tech and telecom industries call for the e-Privacy Directive to be repealed. We believe that simplifying and streamlining regulation will benefit consumers by ensuring they are provided with a simple, consistent and meaningful set of rules designed to protect their personal data.

At the same time, it will encourage innovation across the digital value chain and drive new growth and social opportunities. This is critical at a time when digital companies are striving to launch new innovative services and working to build a 5G Europe.

In this context, we believe that the review process of the e-Privacy Directive offers a unique opportunity to achieve a simple, clear and horizontal approach to digital regulation. Sector-specific rules on privacy are no longer able to address the challenges of the digital age.

For this reason, we believe that Europe should fully take stock of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which creates a comprehensive set of horizontal rules ensuring high levels of data protection.

During the review of the e-Privacy directive, we believe that the EU should:

• Carefully evaluate the extent to which the e-Privacy Directive is still necessary and meaningful;

• Eliminate any provisions that are overlapping with the GDPR;

• If still considered necessary, transfer non-privacy related consumer protection provisions, to more appropriate legal instruments; the on-going review of consumer protection rules, and more specifically of the Telecoms Framework, provides opportunities for streamlining legislation;

• Align the relative timing of the e-Privacy and Telecoms Framework reviews;

• Make sure that the review of the e-Privacy Directive is fully aligned with the GDPR.

Such an approach would also be in line with the Digital Single Market Strategy and would help achieve further concrete steps in the context of the Commission’s REFIT programme.

We believe that the above-mentioned steps would maximise the consistency of the rules, increase clarity for consumers and help Europe unlock new innovation opportunities across the digital value chain.

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.

Source: GSMA


  1. This is new to me, situated in the USA. I’m reading a lot of rhetoric talking around the actual core of these legislative proposals and nothing about what they’d actually accomplish. That’s not good. Off to research the subject! But my expectation is corporatocracy interests buried in the GDPR (considering the blatant corporatocracy written into both the TPP and TTIP ‘treaties’) and irrational overreach in the EU’s ePrivacy Directive. But that’s just me.

    Enlightenment about both is very welcome. Thanks to MDN for bringing this to our attention. Do I use cookie control applications on my devices? Oh yes! I don’t deal with tracking.

      1. Yeah, I know. I deliberately use my real name. Getting my IP address is trivial. I go around criticizing ‘#MyStupidGovernment’ about quite a few things, from their horrendously poor attention to their own computer’s security to the nightmares that are the TPP and TTIP ‘treaties’ that seek to induce corporatocracy across most of the planet. They know me. I know them. Meanwhile, I keep all my personal/private files in a highly encrypted sparse bundle disk image they can’t access until such time as they PWN my computers. And even then they’ll find it’s a tease and nothing of any national security importance is there, ha ha paranoids, etc. Meanwhile, I am highly defensive of the US Constitution, UNLIKE so many in #MyStupidGovernment. That makes the REAL patriots happy and pisses off the numerous, abominable crooks and corporatocracy puppets.

        Oh and I happy point out what we know about the REAL events of 9/11. That ticks off Israel, the Neo-Cons and other 9/11 enablers. And no, I don’t bother with conspiracy theories. I only bother with facts of the matter.

        You get the idea. It’s all kind of obvious if you fanatically search on my name.

        And as ever, I appreciate your similar efforts botvinnik!

  2. The problem with rules and regulations is that it is not sufficient to specify the intent (e.g., don’t dump waste chemicals into ground water). In order to provide a legal framework for enforcement it is necessary to enumerate the regulation in excruciating detail – in this simple example, the designation of each chemical covered under the regulation, the concentration and quantities deemed hazardous, etc. It is unfortunate, but some companies will jump at using any loophole, no matter the consequences, in order to save a buck and increase short-term profit at the expense of society. There are far too many examples for that to be disputed. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to write laws/rules/regulations that are air-tight against a determined adversary. It is much like trying to write bug-free code with perfect security – a nice objective, but impossible to fully realize.

    When, as in the case of data protection/privacy, the problem is more complex, so are the associated regulations. It is no longer a matter of tracking and securing paper documents. It is a matter of managing electrons propagating across the world. I believe that we have already reached a point at which the best way to keep information private is to never enter it into an internet-connected device.

    1. One solution for your example that _should_ exist is class-action lawsuits against companies that externalize their costs by polluting their neighbors or the public commons. The problem is that courts tend to stack the burden of proof against those claiming harm. Arguably, a company should have to prove that it is safe for them to dump specific chemicals into the water system or spew into the air. That changes the dynamic quite a bit in favor of perhaps NOT dumping haphazardly.

      There are quite a few ways that regulations could be made less necessary, but it would involve removing strong protections the rich and powerful use against the common people. Interesting that I rarely hear rich libertarians argue for replacing regulations with a judicial system that enables people to protect themselves from costs being externalized into the bodies of poor people.

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