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Report: EU draft to introduce new security laws for Skype, WhatsApp

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Report: EU draft to introduce new security laws for Skype, WhatsApp

New proposed security laws by the European Union will result in stricter customer data handling rules for web messaging services like Facebook Inc.'s WhatsApp and Microsoft Corp.'s Skype, Reuters reported Dec. 13, citing a draft document.

The proposed laws will require web services to guarantee the confidentiality of communications and obtain the consent of users for their location data processing, according to the report.

Under the proposed laws, telecom companies, which are currently barred from using customer data to offer additional services or to generate revenue, will reportedly be able to use consumer data with their consent. Additionally, websites will be allowed to place cookies on visitors' browsers without seeking consent from them, as long as the users have already consented via their web browsers' privacy settings.

A European Commission spokeswoman reportedly said that the law review seeks to aid in the adaptation of the data protection regulation, which is set to come into force in 2018, and simplify provisions related to cookies.

The proposal is set to be released in January 2017 and could still be changed.