Relevant legal framework for e-communication
To date, there is no Belgian law ‘on e-communication’ or ‘relating to social media’. It is therefore important to examine the general rules on advertising and commercial practices.
In this respect, three Belgian Acts are of fundamental importance:
- the Act of 6 April 2010 on market practices and consumer protection (the AMPC) [Note: Consolidated version on JUSTEL: in French, in Dutch.], which (partially) implements a number of rules adopted at the level of the European Union (including Directive 2005/29/EC);
- the Act of 11 March 2003 on certain legal aspects of information society services (AISS) [Note: Consolidated version on JUSTEL: in French, in Dutch.], which also (partially) implements EU rules (including Directive 2000/31/EC and Directive 2005/28/EC);
- the Act of 8 December 1992 on the protection of privacy in relation to the processing of personal data (Privacy Act) [Note: Consolidated version on JUSTEL: in French, in Dutch.], whose EU sources include Directive 95/46/EC and Directive 2002/58/EC.
The AMPC and the Privacy Act have a broad scope and apply both to online and offline behaviour, while the AISS only covers Internet-related behaviour (including electronic mail and messaging systems).
This website does not aim to provide an in-depth analysis of the Privacy Act, but will present the principles thereof in specific sections where required.