Europe wants tougher rules for services like WhatsApp

Aug

15

2016

The European Commission would like to introduce stricter rules for chat services like WhatsApp and Skype. These would have to comply with “security and confidentiality rules. Currently for WhatsApp different rules, for example, providers that offer SMS services.

According to the Financial Times, which has seen confidential documents, the Commission intends rules enter on the way the services handle requests from security services and the way they make money on the basis of user data. It is expected that the Commission makes an official announcement in September of the rules, which should be included in the e-Privacy Directive. It has long been known that this directive will undergo a revision.

Commission officials would consider that so-called over-the-top services which send messages and conduct voice calls over the internet enabling should have similar regulation as their traditional counterparts. Naturally, mobile carriers agrees and they are asking for some time for stricter laws for these services, writes the newspaper. Mobile carriers must now comply with different rules for SMS services than WhatsApp for its messaging service. At present, however, were mostly American services fall into a legal gray area. ”

The revision of EU legislation will also address services that allow online users dial a number, so for example, they must have the ability to call emergency numbers. Services that do not use a number, for example between two Skype users will not be covered by the new rules. It is expected that some countries already take faster action. As decided by the French regulator in September or Google, Viber and Skype are required to register as a telecommunications provider, said the Financial Times.

In Belgium Microsoft recently was fined about 220,000 euros imposed for its SkypeOut service that allows users to place calls to landline and mobile numbers. Skype would thus act as a telecommunications provider in accordance with the applicable legislation.

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