On December 29, 2018, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office announced that Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner, was awarded a CBE for her services to protecting information. Denham’s award was announced in the United Kingdom’s 2019 New Year’s Honours list. This honor reflects Denham’s achievements as the UK Information Commissioner and the enhanced leadership, visibility and impact that she has brought to the role and the Office.
The Belgian Data Protection Authority (the “Belgian DPA”) recently published on its website a form to be completed for prior consultation in the context of a data protection impact assessment (“DPIA”).
On January 23, 2019, the European Commission announced that it has adopted its adequacy decision on Japan (the “Adequacy Decision”). According to the announcement, Japan has adopted an equivalent decision and the adequacy arrangement is applicable with immediate effect.
On January 21, 2019, the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) imposed a fine of €50 million on Google LLC under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) for its alleged failure to (1) provide notice in an easily accessible form, using clear and plain language, when users configure their Android mobile device and create a Google account, and (2) obtain users’ valid consent to process their personal data for ad personalization purposes. The CNIL’s enforcement action was the result of collective actions filed by two not-for-profit associations. This fine against Google is the first fine imposed by the CNIL under the GDPR and the highest fine imposed by a supervisory authority within the EU under the GDPR to date.
On January 18, 2019, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP submitted formal comments to the European Data Protection Board (the “EDPB”) on its draft guidelines on the territorial scope of the GDPR (the “Guidelines”). The Guidelines were adopted by the EDPB on November 16, 2018, for public consultation.
On January 16, 2019, the Dutch Data Protection Authority, the Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (the “Dutch DPA”), announced that it had requested 30 private organizations provide information about the agreements they have with other entities that process personal data on their behalf. The Dutch DPA indicated that the targeted organizations are mainly in energy, media and trade sectors.
On January 15, 2019, the UK House of Commons rejected the draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK Prime Minister and the EU by a margin of 432-202. While the magnitude of the loss sets in motion a process which could potentially have resulted in an early general election being held, on January 16 a majority of British Members of Parliament rejected a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government.
On January 10, 2018, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar (“Advocate General”) of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued an Opinion in the case of Google v. CNIL, which is currently pending before the CJEU. In the Opinion, the Advocate General provided his views concerning the territorial scope of the right to be forgotten under the relevant EU Data Protection Directive in the case at hand.
On October 22, 2018, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP co-hosted a workshop in Brussels on “Can GDPR Work for Health Scientific Research?” (the “Workshop”) with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (“EFPIA”) and the Future of Privacy Forum (“FPF”) to address the challenges raised by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in conducting scientific health research.