UPDATED: Have a private hotspot? What are your legal obligations? BELTUG and V-ICT-OR discuss with BIPT/IBPT and the Privacy Commission


Do private hotspots carry the same legal obligations for recording activity as public operators’ networks? BELTUG asked the National Regulator BIPT / IBPT, and the answer came back: 'no'.

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.

But applying these rules to private hotspots, such as those often deployed in hotels, restaurants, hospitals, libraries, building lobbies, etc., would be a serious burden - and could lead to the site closing down this service for customers.

The BIPT / IBPT assured us that Art 126 is only applicable for public operators and not for private hotspots. But they stipulate that while this is the current state of the law, this could change in the future.

We need transparency and clarity, and BELTUG and V-ICT-OR have launched the debate: when has the ICT manager done “enough”.  Which data should be kept and for how long? What kind of identification is required? Etc.

In response to our request, the BIPT / IBPT is preparing:

  • a communication that will be published on its website explaining the definition of "operator"
  • an explanation on the obligations of "non-operators" in terms of recording data, identification and collaboration.

We have also organised a new meeting with the BIPT / IBPT and the Privacy Commission.

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

*First posted on 27/11/2013

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