NEW EU SECURITY RULES FOR SKYPE AND WHATSAPP
Messaging services such as Microsoft's Skype and Facebook's WhatsApp face stricter rules on how they handle customer data under new security laws due to be proposed by the European Union, according to a draft document seen by Reuters. The EU executive wants to extend some rules that now only apply to telecom operators to web companies offering calls and messages using the internet, known as "Over-The-Top" (OTT) services, according to the draft. Web services will have to guarantee the confidentiality of communications and obtain users' consent to process their location data, mirroring similar provisions included in a separate data protection law due to come into force in 2018. Telecoms firms have long complained that companies such as Alphabet Inc's Google, Microsoft and Facebook are more lightly regulated, despite offering similar services. The phone companies have called for European Union rules specific to telecoms firms – known as the e-privacy directive - either to be repealed or extended to everyone. "This creates a void of protection of confidentiality for the users of these services," the draft said, referring to OTTs.