eCall and the Quest for Effective Protection of the Right to Privacy

14 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2015 Last revised: 17 Apr 2016

Date Written: September 17, 2015


On the 29th of April 2015 EU Regulation 2015/758 was adopted that turned the installation of this eCall system into a statutory requirement for car manufacturers. From 31st of March 2018 onwards every certified car for the European market must be equipped with the eCall-system. This is an ICT-system, embedded with GSM and satellite technology, which automatically transmits vital data from the car to an emergency centre in case of an accident. The technologies that enable eCall to perform this function are satellite receivers and GSM. Expectations are that eCall will prevent 2500 traffic deaths per year, mitigate the consequences of severe accidents in 5850 cases.

The mandatory installation of eCall introduces great challenges to the right to privacy. The aim of this paper is to illustrate through these challenges why the European Commission has fallen short in adequately addressing these challenges throughout the legislative process. It will elaborate on the impact assessment, the ambition of the Commission to realize a fundamental rights culture and how the dichotomy of essential and non-essential elements in delegated acts corresponds to the potential privacy-invading qualities of eCall.

Keywords: eCall, privacy, data protection, privacy by design, surveillance, fundamental rights, effective protection, Charter, European Commission, Commission, Impac assessment, Delegated acts, Intelligent Transport Sytems, national security

Suggested Citation

Wisman, Tijmen, eCall and the Quest for Effective Protection of the Right to Privacy (September 17, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

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