EC looks at greater regulation of messaging apps - Mobile World Live

EC looks at greater regulation of messaging apps

15 AUG 2016

The European Commission wants to tighten existing rules on messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Skype, according to the Financial Times (FT).

The EC is working on proposals that would mean messaging firms having to abide by “security and confidentiality provisions”.

At the moment such services do not face the same regulatory scrutiny as mobile operators.

The EC is planning an initial announcement in September before spelling out the provisions in a separate review of the EU’s ePrivacy later this year, according to documents seen by the FT.

The regulation will look at how messaging apps must provide access to national security services, an increasingly contentious area, and how firms can use customer data to make money.

The report said the move comes as part of a wider review of EU telecoms regulation, which aims to increase broadband access across all member states while levelling the playing field between operators and their internet rivals.

The UK has been an opponent within the EU when it comes to regulating messaging apps but the country’s departure from the bloc, although it might not happen for several years, will diminish its influence in negotiations. Meanwhile, France’s Arcep, an influential national regulator, will decide in September whether messaging apps must behave more like traditional telecoms operators.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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