Privacy and Electronic Communications

The UK government has issued the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (Amendment) 2018 (ePrivacy Regs), which comes into force on 17 December 2018.

The ePrivacy Regs amend the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR) and modify the application of the Data Protection (Monetary Penalties) (Maximum Penalty and Notices) Regulations 2010 and the Data Protection (Monetary Penalties) Order 2010. The amendments are intended to ensure that the regime covering breaches is “effective, proportionate and dissuasive” in accordance with the criteria outlined in the PECR.

Background on PECR

The PECR covers several areas, including marketing by electronic means, the use of cookies and similar technologies, security of public electronic communication services, and the privacy of customers using such communication networks and services. The GDPR does not replace the PECR but sits alongside it. All applicable companies that send electronic marketing or use cookies (or similar technology) must now comply with the PECR and the GDPR.

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