The European Data Protection Supervisor In Favor of End-to-end Encryption

01 August 2016

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, published a preliminary opinion on the review of the ePrivacy Directive, in response to a request of the European Commission.

The EDPS supports the Commission's initiative to review the ePrivacy Directive. Specific rules are necessary to protect the confidentiality and security of electronic communications and to complement the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provisions. The opinion stresses the confidentiality of user’s communications is a fundamental right enshrined in Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

The EDPS points out the need to clearly allow users to use end-to-end encryption, without back-doors. It should be encouraged and when necessary, mandated. Giovanni Buttarelli also calls the Commission to consider “measures to encourage development of technical standards on encryption”.

The new Commission’s proposal is expected at the very end of 2016.