Platform responsibility? Get the backstory - check my book The Closing of the Net - only £15.99!

A Telecoms Package  amendment on the processing of traffic data could lead to large-scale deployment of filtering technology, according to a body which advises the European Union on privacy matters, known as the Article 29 Working Party.

The Article 29 Working Party  issued an opinion on the proposals to amend the e-Privacy directive. In the document, it warns  that  the  amendment on the processing of traffic data for security purposes (ePrivacy directive, Article 6.7 in the Council's Common position and Amendment 181 in the European Parliament text) could "lend  legitimacy to large-scale deployment of  deep packet inspection." Deep packet inspection is the technology that facilities filtering, as well as "traffic management" by network operators.

And it reiterates the opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) that the amendment is unnecessary. The legal basis for network operators to process traffic data is found in a

combination of ARticle 6 of the ePrivacy directive together with Articles 7 and 17 of the Data Protection directive. Therefore it calls for the amendment to be deleted.


The Article 29 Working Party further notes that the Commission's amended version of Recital 26 (Amendment  180 in the European Parliament text) makes it very clear that the processing of traffic data falls within the scope of the data protection law, and that network operators would have to notify the relevant data protection authorities of what they are doing in this respect. It also reminds us that the retention of traffic data is governed by the Data Retention directive.

Here is the full text of the Article 29 Working Party's statement in relation to traffic data processing and deep packet inspection:
"The Working Party is aware that "providers of security services" deploy security solutions (such as anti-virus and anti-spam software, firewalls, or intrusion detection systems) that may
require the processing of traffic data for the purpose of securing personal data of the users and protecting the service itself. Nevertheless, it is concerned that the current wording might lend
legitimacy to large scale deployment of deep packet inspection, both in the network and in user equipment such as ADSL boxes, while the current legal framework already details the
cases in which traffic data may be processed for security purposes."



Here is the Article 29 Working Party opinion on the ePrivacy directive 



States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web."

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net


FROM £15.99

Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and related issues on Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

Contact  me to use  iptegrity content for commercial purposes