The European Commission has proposed new legislation that extends the scope of EU privacy rules for all electronic communications, in support of its Digital Single Market strategy.
- Extend coverage of privacy rules beyond traditional telecoms operators to include providers of electronic communications "such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Gmail, iMessage, or Viber"
- Individuals and businesses to enjoy the same level of data protection
- Privacy guaranteed for metadata (time, location, etc.) of communications as well as content; must be anonymized absent specific consent by user
- Ban on unsolicited electronic communication by any means including emails, SMS and "in principle" phone calls, without consent.
- "Marketing callers will need to display their phone number or use a special pre-fix that indicates a marketing call."
It's this kind of over-regulation that has led to the UK Brexit vote, and significant numbers of people in other EU member countries urging their governments to hold referenda on "exits" of their own.
FYI, so far, those countries include Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal,Slovakia and Sweden.