Have a private hotspot? What are your legal obligations?


Do private hotspots carry the same legal obligations for recording activity as public operators’ networks? No, says the BIPT / IBPT…

Recent publications in the Belgian Moniteur concerning the amended Law on Electronic Communications (Art 126) oblige operators to keep detailed records on all activity deployed on their network. The purpose is to make it possible to trace back criminal activity when necessary.

BELTUG asked the National Regulator BIPT / IBPT if these rules also apply to private hotspots, such as those often deployed in hotels, restaurants, hospitals, libraries, building lobbies, etc. … Such an obligation would mean a serious burden and in many cases lead to closing down this service for customers.

Fortunately, BIPT / IBPT assured us that Art 126 is only applicable for public operators and not for private hotspots. Therefore detailed records do not need to be kept of the identity of the users signing on to private hotspots, nor of the kind of traffic they generate.

This is good news, although the National Regulator stipulates that this is the present state of the law, and no guarantee can be given that these rules will remain the same in the future.

BELTUG will continue to monitor this important matter, and inform our members.

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