The EU Commission has published initial findings on its consultation on the ePrivacy Directive, which includes the regulation of how businesses use cookies and direct marketing. There were over 400 responses to the consultation (including 162 from citizens and 186 from industry). Around 14% of the responses were from the UK. The preliminary findings show that citizens and industry take very different views:

Direct marketing: Nearly 90% of citizens were in favour of a fully opt-in (prior consent) regime for direct marketing calls. In contrast, 73% of industry respondents favoured a fully opt-out (right to object) regime.

Cookies: 77% of citizens thought ISPs should have to allow access to their service even if users refuse cookies. 75% of industry respondents disagreed. 

The report also suggests that the Commission is likely to look further at extending the ePrivacy rules to VOIP and instant messaging.

There are no real surprises here, but it should remind businesses that consumers continue to take their privacy rights seriously.

The Commission is expected to issue a full review of the consultation responses in Autumn 2016, and publish legislative proposals by the end of the year.