February 10, 2014
On June 13, 2013, the European Union Commission adopted proposed regulations for type-approval requirements in the deployment of the eCall system. This system uses wireless communication networks, and a standardised minimum set of data, to establish a 112-based audio channel between the vehicle and a public safety answering point. It can be used to contact emergency services, either automatically or manually, in the event of an accident.
This mandatory system aims at reducing fatalities, the seriousness of injuries, congestion costs caused by traffic accidents, and the SOS roadside infrastructure. It is also intended to facilitate rescue services. The European Data Protection Supervisor rendered in October 2013 an opinion that not only clarifies some questions regarding the 112 eCall but also gives more details concerning the private eCall and added-value services offered by car manufacturers and independent operators (insurances companies, motor clubs, digital tachograph, electronic toll collection, translation support, etc.).
For one thing, the European Data Protection Supervisor stressed the importance, for the value-added services, of the consent of the consumer, the fact that these services must be deactivated by default, the necessity of a distinct contract between the consumer and the service provider, etc. These details are of prime importance, since these added-value services will no doubt boost innovation and economic growth.