EC to push for greater regulation of messaging apps - Mobile World Live

EC to push for greater regulation of messaging apps

09 SEP 2016
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The European Commission will next week make a proposal to extend some security rules applied to operators to also cover OTT players, said Reuters.

Extending requirements to cover the likes of WhatsApp and Skype was mooted last month.

A draft directive will stipulate that OTT players must ensure the security and integrity of their services, which includes reporting breaches to authorities, being ready to deploy contingency plans, as well as offering service continuity.

But the report said the proposal will allow some leeway for those firms which do not control the transmission of their services over the underlying telecoms infrastructure.

“Providers of such services should thus ensure a level of security commensurate with the degree of risk posed to the security of the communications services they provide,” according to the draft directive.

“Therefore, whenever it is justified by the actual assessment of the security risks involved, the security requirements … should be lighter,” it adds.

Those OTT services, such as Skype and Viber, which enable their users to make voice calls to fixed and mobile numbers must also offer emergency calls.

In addition, the commission is to give all EU consumers the right to affordable basic broadband, sufficient to enable the checking of emails and access to online banking among other services, meaning member states will have to find the funds to ensure universal network coverage for all their citizens.

The proposals must also be approved by the European Parliament and EU member states, meaning they will face a period of horsetrading before they become law.

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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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