EU proposes to include online messaging services under telecom privacy rules

EU proposes to include online messaging services under telecom privacy rules
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A European Commission proposal put forth on Tuesday would require online messaging services to ask customers for their consent before collecting personal information for targeted ads, Reuters reported.

Services like WhatsApp, Gmail and iMessage would also have to ensure that their customers’ conversations would remain private.

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The proposal would extend a rule that currently only covers telecommunications companies to apply to online services that allow users to send messages and make calls.

But the rules would also allow the online services to use information collected by cookies to place targeted ads and create new features, which those companies are currently prohibited from doing in Europe.

Companies that violate the law could face fines of up to 4 percent their worldwide revenue.

The proposal still needs to be approved by the European Parliament as well as the continent’s member states.