Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on a temporary derogation from certain provisions of Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the use of technologies by number-independent interpersonal communications service providers for the processing of personal andother data for the purpose of combatting child sexual abuse online

1. This Explanatory Memorandum (EM) relates to a European Commission Communication setting out a legislative proposal for a derogation from specific aspects of Directive 2002/58/EC (the EU e-Privacy Directive) in order to preserve current capabilities for tackling online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA).

2. The Proposal is set out in three Articles:

a. Article 1 sets out the ambition for a time-limited and narrow derogation from some aspects of the E-Privacy Directive in order to allow for the continuation of efforts to combat online CSEA.

b. Article 2 defines many of the terms involved in this and related Directives.

c. Article 3 explains in detail the scope of the derogation and what it is intended to allow to continue.

d. Finally, Article 4 sets out dates for entry into force and also the conditions that will cause the derogation to end.


3. The EPrivacy Regulation (5358/17) is currently under scrutiny. The text refers to the European Electronic Communications Code (12252/16), cleared by the House of Commons on 24 October 2018 and the House of Lords on 07 September 2018. The last piece of correspondence from the House of Lords European Union Committee was on 19 March 2020 and the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee last wrote on 26 March 2020. Both letters are awaiting a response.

4. Responsibility for policy relating to child sexual exploitation and abuse rests with the Home Secretary. The Foreign Secretary has overall responsibility for the Government’s relationship with the EU, and the Secretary of State for Media has overall responsibility for data policy.

Topic  Data 
Department  Home Office 
Council Reference  10682/20 
COM Reference  COM(20)568 
SEC Reference   
PE Cons   
C Reference   

Associated file(s)

  1. 10682/20 - 446 KB - pdf
  2. 15 October 2020 Cash-Atkins - 104 KB - pdf
  3. EM 10682/20 - 109 KB - pdf

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