European Data Protection Supervisor Publishes 2015 Annual Report

On May 24, 2016, the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) presented its Annual Report for 2015. The annual report provides an overview of the EDPS’ primary activities in 2015 and sets forth key priorities and challenges for 2016. Continue Reading

European Parliament Calls on European Commission to Renegotiate Privacy Shield

On May 26, 2016, the European Parliament approved a resolution calling for the European Commission to reopen negotiations with U.S. authorities on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”), and to implement the recommendations of the Article 29 Working Party (“Working Party”) on the draft Privacy Shield adequacy decision.

The Working Party had previously published its recommendations in an Opinion regarding the draft decision issued by the European Commission on adequacy of the protection provided by the Privacy Shield. In the Opinion, the Working Party highlighted a number of key issues concerning access to European personal data by law enforcement and government agencies, and also recommended a number of changes to ensure that European citizens’ data are adequately protected. Continue Reading

Will Spokeo Undermine CAFA?

As we previously reported, the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo v. Robins has been nearly universally lauded by defense counsel as a new bulwark against class actions alleging technical violations of federal statutes. It may be that. But Spokeo also poses a significant threat to defendants by defeating their ability to remove exactly the types of cases that defendants most want in federal court. The decision circumscribes the federal jurisdiction, with all its advantages, that defendants have enjoyed under Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) for the past decade. Continue Reading

Irish DPA Expected to Question EU Standard Contractual Clauses before Irish Courts

On May 25, 2016, Max Schrems stated that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (the “DPC”) is expected to bring legal proceedings before the Irish courts concerning international data transfers under EU Standard Contractual Clauses.

In an unofficial statement to the Irish press, a representative of the DPC confirmed the DPC’s intention to seek declaratory relief in the Irish High Court and to recommend that the case be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for a preliminary ruling.

Read our previous entry on the Schrems ruling of the CJEU.

Hunton & Williams will continue monitoring this matter on the blog.

UK ICO Issues Priorities for GDPR Preparation

On May 24, 2016, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published priorities for preparing for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

The ICO’s priorities for issuing guidance to assist organizations with GDPR preparation are split into three phases. Continue Reading

EU Member States to European Commission: Remove Barriers to Data Flows

On May 23, 2016, half of the EU Member States sent a letter to the European Commission and the Netherlands (which holds the rotating presidency), seeking the removal of barriers to the free flow of data both within and outside the EU to benefit the EU from new data-driven technologies, according to Reuters and Continue Reading

Pharmaceutical Company to Plead Guilty and Settle Drug Marketing Charges

Recently, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals announced that it will enter into several settlements and plead guilty to two misdemeanors in connection with alleged violations of HIPAA, drug marketing regulations and securities laws. The criminal charges stem from the company’s marketing of a cholesterol drug called Juxtapid. Aegerion allegedly failed to comply with risk evaluation and management strategies and marketed Juxtapid (which is labeled with a warning about liver toxicity) without proper directions for use.  Continue Reading

EU Council Adopts the Network and Information Security Directive

On May 17, 2016, the European Council adopted its position at first reading of the Network and Information Security Directive (the “NIS Directive”). The NIS Directive was proposed by the European Commission on February 7, 2013, as part of its cybersecurity strategy for the European Union, and is designed to increase cooperation between EU Member States on cybersecurity issues.

The NIS Directive will impose security obligations on “operators of essential services” in critical sectors and “digital service providers.” These operators will be required to take measures to manage cyber risks and report major security incidents. Continue Reading

Supreme Court Finds Consumers Must Prove Injury in Class Actions

On May 16, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins, holding 6-2 that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling applied an incomplete analysis when it failed to consider both aspects of the injury-in-fact requirement under Article III. Writing for the Court, Justice Samuel Alito found that a consumer could not sue Spokeo, Inc., an alleged consumer reporting agency that operates a “people search engine,” for a mere statutory violation without alleging actual injury. Continue Reading

Advocate General Advises EU’s Highest Court that IP Addresses are Personal Data

On May 12, 2016, the Advocate General (“AG”) of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued an opinion stating that Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses are personal data and data protection law should apply to IP addresses. Specifically, the AG urged the CJEU to rule that a dynamic IP address is personal data to the extent that an Internet access provider has additional data that in combination with the IP address would allow for the re-identification of the user.

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