The European Commission is taking the UK to court over its failure to fully implement European rules covering privacy and personal data protection.
The Commission says current UK laws don’t meet EU rules covering consent to intercept e-mail and web browsing sessions by authorities, as laid out in its ePrivacy Directive and Data Protection Directives, and has referred the country to Europe’s court of justice as a result.
It has investigated the UK’s laws for the past 18 months following complaints from web users who received adverts targeted to them following analysis of their web traffic patterns without their consent.
The Commission said it has been forced to escalate its probe after the UK government failed to meet demands to update its laws made in October 2009.
The ePrivacy and Data Protection directives require member states to establish an independent body to monitor the interception of communications.
Because it has no such body, the UK effectively authorizes interception of communications whether users have consented or not, the Commission argues.