Viviane Reding may be on her way out of DG Info Society, but it seems like she'll be bringing along some pet projects to her new Fundamental Rights Directorate. EurActiv reports today that Reding's personal priority will be updating the outdated Data Protection Directive, and sources close to Reding insinuate that her focus shall be on online privacy. Never mind that much of online privacy is being dealt with in the ePrivacy Directive, for which Reding's former Directorate is responsible.
Not coincidentally, Reding and the new commissioner at Information Society—Neelie Kroes—reportedly do not get along well. The heated debate between Kroes and Reding over functional separation of telecom operators of 2007 most clearly testified to their icy relationship.
So is a turf war to follow? Reding's approach seems to suggest that she already fired the first shot. After all, while she stresses that the Data Protection Directive has not been revised in 15 years, she does nowhere mention the 'particularizing and complementing' role of the ePrivacy Directive alongside the Data Protection laws. Moreover, the ePrivacy Directive has officially been revised only a month ago—which took place under Reding's watch.
I'm curious to see if and how Neelie Kroes will respond. Only then it can be determined whether we've got a fight on our hands...