Croatian Presidency tables new compromise on ePrivacy proposal
The Croatian Presidency published a revised draft of the ePrivacy proposal, which introduces modifications in articles 6 and 8 and related recitals. Discussions on the document will continue at the Council’s WP TELE on 12 March. The Digital Services Act will also be discussed.The Presidency draft proposes to simplify the text of some of the core provisions and to further align them with the GDPR. The suggested changes concern:
- Article 6: the Presidency introduced a possibility to process metadata for legitimate interests and for the provision of electronic communications service for which the end-user has concluded a contract;
- Article 8 and related recitals (20, 21, 21b and 21c): a new ground for processing for legitimate interests has been introduced.
DIGITAL AND DATA
EP IMCO holds workshop on e-Commerce rules in the digital age
On 18 February, a workshop on ‘E-commerce rules, fit for the digital age’ was hosted at the European Parliament. The workshop looked at the current state of play, possible ways of improving the level playing field for European companies and businesses to the benefit of consumers, as well as the upcoming Digital Services Act. A full list of the presentations can be found here.
European Data Protection Authorities hold 18th plenary session
During 18-19 February, the EEA Supervisory Authorities (SAs) and the European Data Protection Supervisor, assembled in the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), met for their eighteenth plenary session. The full agenda can be found here.
During this Plenary, the EDPB adopted its contribution to the evaluation and review of the GDPR, which the Commission is expected to publish by 25 May (as per Art. 97 of the GDPR). DPAs were of the view that the application of the GDPR had strengthened data protection as a fundamental right and also harmonized the interpretation of data protection principles. It is also noted that the implementation of the GDPR had been challenging for SMEs. Overall, the EDPB took a positive view and argued that it would be premature to revise the GDPR at this point.
In addition, draft guidelines for transfers of personal data between EEA and non-EEA public authorities and bodies were adopted and will remain open for public consultation until 6 April. The guidelines seek to provide an indication as to the expectations of the EDPB on the safeguards required to be put in place and the Board recommends parties to use these guidelines as a reference. All adopted documents can be accessed here.
EP CULT holds hearing on use of AI in education, culture and the audio-visual sector
On 19 February, the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) organised a public hearing on the use of AI in education, culture and the audio-visual sector. The debate focused on the changing role of educators, implications of intellectual property rights and the evolution of copyright rules, the role of platforms and service providers, as well as the need to promote AI literacy of citizens in order to protect them from the negative use of such new technologies. CULT is currently preparing an own-initiative (“INI”) report on this topic drafted by its chair, German centre-right Sabine Verheyen.
European Commission representatives from DG CNECT and DG EAC confirmed that the Commission is working on pilot actions experimenting new curricula on AI and reaffirmed the importance of equipping people with AI literacy and boosting the EU’s digital talent pool. The Commission is closely working with member states that are developing national AI strategies and an updated Digital Education Action Plan is expected to be adopted in Q2 2020. The Commission also confirmed that it will carry out a study in the second half of 2020 on AI with a focus on cultural and creative sectors, looking at the opportunities and challenges, as well as legal obligations, employment issues, cultural diversity, etc.
Regarding audio-visual media services (AVMS), there are two groups of actors that can use AI in AVMS, namely content providers and video sharing platforms providers. In terms of regulation, it can be either of a protective or enabling type. Protective regulation deals with misleading or illegal content and enabling regulation relates to the need for public media to ensure a sufficient level of divergence of opinions. In this sense, intelligent filtering systems are linked to the formation of public opinion, so risks to equal public access to information must be regulated.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
11 March: Big data and B2B platforms the next big opportunity for Europe, The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
18 March: Digital Innovation Hubs serving the public sector, The European Commission
19 March: 10th annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference, Forum Europe
19 March: The Beyond Data Event, The Netherlands.
20 March: Media and democracy – the way forward, The European Commission
24 March: Digital services act – A new rulebook for the digital economy?, Forum Europe
30 March: European Media Literacy Week, The European Commission
1 April: 8th BEREC stakeholder forum, The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)