Government supports the review of the EU regulatory framework for privacy and electronic communications

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 16.2.2017 13.31
Press release

The Finnish Government welcomes the proposal by the European Union Commission to review the regulatory framework for privacy and electronic communications as it would promote confidentiality and protection of privacy in electronic communications. The proposal would also promote responsible digital business activities and services. The Government submitted a communication on the matter to Parliament on 16 February 2017.

In January 2017, the European Commission submitted a proposal to replace the Directive on privacy and electronic communications (e-privacy) with a Regulation that aims to protect the confidentiality and protection of privacy in electronic communications.

The Finnish Government considers the basis and aims of the proposed regulation justified as they support the implementation of the fundamental rights and the aims of the Government Programme in accordance with the National Information Security Strategy. The Commission's proposal would improve consistent application and interpretation of the regulatory framework in the Union.

The Government is in favour of promoting technology neutrality, the general nature of the data protection provisions and the plans to extend the coverage of the regulation to communications services provided over the internet (such as instant messaging applications in smart phones). According to the Government, all services available for people and businesses to communicate electronically should be equally covered by privacy protection.

It is important that the user can control the processing of data in electronic communications by giving or denying his or her consent. The Government is also in favour of strengthening and clarifying users' rights to protect themselves against undesired communications directed to them. However, it should be ensured in the preparation phase that the regulation will not unreasonably slow down the development of the digital growth environment and digital services.

It is the Government's view that the regulation on general data protection, electronic communications, and privacy protection in electronic communications should form a coherent package and that the authorities responsible for the related supervision should be able to function in Finland in the most appropriate manner.

Discussion on the Commission's regulation proposal will begin this spring. According to the proposal the regulation would be applied from May 2018.


Johanna Tuohino, Senior Officer, tel. +358 295 34 2018