EU efforts to agree on proposed privacy rules for Facebook’s WhatsApp and Microsoft's Skype stalled on Friday.
The European Commission initiated the process two years ago with its proposal for an ePrivacy regulation which would ensure that tech companies offering online messaging and email services would be subjected to the same rules as telecoms providers.
The EU members have different opinions on issues such as rules for cookies tracking users’ online activities, provisions on detecting and deleting child pornography and consent requirements.
EU countries need to come up with a stance before they start talks to thrash out a common position with the Commission and European Parliament.
Tech companies and some EU countries have criticized the ePrivacy proposal for being too restrictive, putting them at loggerheads with privacy activists who back the plan.