The Civil Code of China (the “Civil Code”) was approved by the National People’s Congress of China on May 28, 2020 and will take effect January 1, 2021. Part Four of the Civil Code explicitly stipulates that the “Right of Privacy” is one of the “Rights of Personality” covered therein and includes a chapter on “Privacy and Personal Information Protection,” which contains detailed provisions to protect privacy and personal information.
On June 26, 2020, New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little announced that the bill to repeal and replace New Zealand’s existing Privacy Act 1993 (the “Privacy Bill”) had passed its third reading in Parliament. The Privacy Bill received royal assent on June 30, 2020.
On June 16, 2020, the Litigation Chamber of the Belgian Data Protection Authority (the “Belgian DPA”) imposed a fine on a company (the “defendant”) for unlawful and incorrect processing of personal data and non-compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation’s (the “GDPR”) data subject rights provisions.
On July 1, 2020, the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) Data Protection Law No. 5 of 2020 came into effect (“New DP Law”). Due to the current pandemic, a three-month grace period, running until October 1, 2020, has been provided for companies to comply. The New DP Law replaces DIFC Law No. 1 of 2007. The release of the New DP Law is, in part, an effort to ensure that the DIFC, a financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, meets the standard of data protection required to receive an “adequacy” finding from the European Commission and the United Kingdom, meaning that companies may transfer EU/UK personal data to the DIFC without putting in place a transfer mechanism (such as Standard Contractual Clauses).
On July 1, 2020, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens, the “Dutch DPA”) published its 2019 annual report (the “Report”). The Report shows that in 2019, the Dutch DPA focused on enforcement actions, after having raised awareness about the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) in 2018. Below are key findings from the Report.
On June 24, 2020, the Washington State Attorney General (“Washington AG”) announced that it had settled an enforcement action against the owners of the “We Heart It” social media platform for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and the Washington State Consumer Protection Act. Under the consent decree, the defendants must pay $100,000, with an additional $400,000 suspended contingent upon compliance with the consent decree.
Last month, in In re: Capital One Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, E.D. Va., No. 1:19-md-02915, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Anderson (the “Judge”) ordered Capital One Financial Corp. (“Capital One”) to disclose a forensic report to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit stemming from Capital One’s 2019 data breach. In doing so, the Judge rejected Capital One’s argument that the report is protected from disclosure to the plaintiffs by the work product doctrine.
When compared to the EU or the U.S., China has lacked a comprehensive data protection and data security law that regulates in detail requirements and procedures relating to the collection, processing, control and storage of personal data. In recent years, China has seen developments on data protection both in legislation and in practice. Recently, another significant draft law on data security was issued by the Chinese legislative authority. On June 28 to June 30, 2020, the 20th Session of the 13th Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China (the “NPC”) deliberated on the draft of the Data Security Law (the “Draft”), and on July 3, published the Draft on the NPC’s official website for public comment. The public comment period for the Draft will end on August 16, 2020. It is expected that the Draft will be finalized within the year and that the regulatory requirements relating to data security eventually will be reflected in law in China.
On July 1, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) launched a joint endeavor with the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) and Office of Communications (“Ofcom”), named the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (“DRCF”). The DRCF is intended to promote collaboration between the three regulators and pool their collective expertise with regard to data, privacy, competition, communications and content in digital markets and services. It also intends to engage regularly with the UK government.
On July 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) became enforceable by the California Attorney General. Under the statute, businesses are granted 30 days to cure any alleged violations of the law after being notified of alleged noncompliance. If a business fails to cure the alleged violation, it may be subject to an injunction and liable for a civil penalty of up to $2,500 for each violation or $7,500 for each intentional violation.