EU ePrivacy Directive

What is the EU ePrivacy Directive?


The ePrivacy Directive, officially known as the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications, is a legislative act of the European Union that regulates the processing of personal data in the electronic communication sector. Adopted in 2002 and revised in 2009, it complements the general data protection framework set by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The ePrivacy Directive is also widely known as the EU cookie law. It was passed in the early 2000s, which makes it outdated, yet it contains provisions that are still important for businesses and obliges them to:

  • Not use cookies without consent
  • Not send unsolicited marketing materials
  • Ensure that electronic communications are confidential
  • Limit the data retention periods
  • Ensure that the data is secured

MergeBase and the ePrivacy Directive


It’s important to clarify that MergeBase, as a software tool, isn’t directly subject to the ePrivacy Directive. The ePrivacy Directive primarily targets electronic communication service providers and how they handle user data within their communication services. It regulates practices like email service providers, messaging apps, and internet service providers, and we are not such a company.

However, while MergeBase itself isn’t bound by the Directive, it can still be an indirect and valuable tool for organizations aiming to comply with the ePrivacy Directive’s data security provisions.


How Can MergeBase Help You Comply with the ePrivacy Directive?


Article 5 of the Directive prohibits the “listening, tapping, storage or other kinds of interception or surveillance of communications and the related traffic data by persons other than users, without the consent of the users concerned, except when legally authorized.” This means that organizations cannot intercept or access electronic communications without the user’s consent unless there is a legal basis for doing so, such as in law enforcement investigations.

Article 13 of the Directive requires that “appropriate technical and organizational measures” be taken to protect the security and confidentiality of communications data, including measures to prevent unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification of the data. This is where MergeBase can help.

MergeBase significantly narrows the attack surface by targeting vulnerabilities in open-source components commonly found in applications that manage communication data. This approach effectively reduces potential entry points for unauthorized access and data breaches.

MergeBase also categorizes vulnerabilities by their severity and potential for exploitation, guiding organizations to prioritize their remediation efforts on the most critical threats to communication data security.

Finally, the integration of MergeBase reports with patch management tools streamlines the process of addressing vulnerabilities. This integration ensures that patches are applied more swiftly, consequently narrowing the window of vulnerability for communication data and bolstering its overall security.