On July 31, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ireland granted Facebook, Inc.’s (“Facebook”) leave to appeal a lower court’s ruling sending a privacy case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”). Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems challenged Facebook’s data transfer practices, arguing that Facebook’s use of standard contractual clauses failed to adequately protect EU citizens’ data. Schrems, supported by Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon, argued that the case belonged in the CJEU, the EU’s highest judicial body. The High Court agreed. Facebook’s request to appeal followed. Continue Reading Supreme Court of Ireland to Review Facebook Privacy Case
On July 17, 2018, the European Union and Japan successfully concluded negotiations on a reciprocal finding of an adequate level of data protection, thereby agreeing to recognize each other’s data protection systems as “equivalent.” This will allow personal data to flow safely between the EU and Japan, without being subject to any further safeguards or authorizations. Continue Reading EU and Japan Agree on Reciprocal Adequacy
On May 30, 2018, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”), replacing the Article 29 Working Party, published the final version of Guidelines 2/2018 on derogations in the context of international data transfers and draft Guidelines 1/2018 on certification under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). Continue Reading EDPB Published Guidelines on Certification and Derogations under the GDPR
On January 30, 2018, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (“DRIPA”) was inconsistent with EU law. The judgment, pertaining to the now-expired act, is relevant to current UK surveillance practices and is likely to result in major amendments to the Investigatory Powers Act (“IP Act”), the successor of DRIPA. Continue Reading UK Court of Appeal Rules DRIPA Inconsistent with EU Law
On October 18, 2017, the EU Commission (“Commission”) released its report and accompanying working document on the first annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework (collectively, the “Report”). The Report states that the Privacy Shield framework continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data that is transferred from the EU to the U.S. It also indicates that U.S. authorities have put in place the necessary structures and procedures to ensure the proper functioning of the Privacy Shield, including by providing new redress possibilities for EU individuals and instituting appropriate safeguards regarding government access to personal data. The Report also states that Privacy Shield-related complaint-handling and enforcement procedures have been properly established.
On October 3, 2017, the Irish High Court referred a legal challenge to the validity of the EU Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for resolution. Max Schrems, who had previously successfully challenged the validity of the now defunct U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Program in the Schrems case, had brought a similar claim in relation to the SCCs, and had requested that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (“DPC”) declare that the SCCs do not provide sufficient protection when personal data is transferred outside the EU to the US and thus are invalid. The Irish DPC declined to make such a ruling, but instead referred the case to the Irish High Court, and requested that the case be referred to the CJEU for a final decision on the validity of the SCCs.
As reported in BNA Privacy & Security Law Report, on August 9, 2017, the Russian privacy regulator, Roskomnadzor, expanded its list of nations that provide sufficient privacy protections to allow transfers of personal data from Russia. Russian law allows data transfers to countries that are signatories to the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (the “Convention”), and to certain other non-signatory countries deemed by Roskomnadzor to have adequate privacy protections based on relevant data protection laws, privacy regulators and penalties for privacy law violations. Continue Reading Russian Privacy Regulator Adds Countries to List of Nations with Sufficient Privacy Protections
On August 14, 2017, the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (“SIC”) announced that it was adding the United States to its list of nations that provide an adequate level of protection for the transfer of personal information, according to a report from Bloomberg BNA. The SIC, along with the Superintendence of Finance, is Colombia’s data protection authority, and is responsible for enforcing Colombia’s data protection law. Under Colombian law, transfers of personal information to countries that are deemed to have laws providing an adequate level of protection are subject to less stringent restrictions (for example, prior consent for certain international transfers of personal information may not be required if a country’s protections are deemed adequate). This development should help facilitate the transfer of personal information from Colombia to the United States.
On August 7, 2017, the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport published a Statement of Intent setting out the planned reforms to be included in the forthcoming Data Protection Bill, which we previously reported is expected to be laid before the UK Parliament in early September. Continue Reading UK Government Releases Statement of Intent Regarding Data Protection Bill
On July 18, 2017, the European Union Committee of the UK’s House of Lords published its paper, Brexit: the EU data protection package (the “Paper”). The Paper urges the UK government to make good on its stated aim of maintaining unhindered and uninterrupted data flows between the UK and EU after Brexit, and examines the options available to ensure that this occurs. It warns that data flows have become so valuable to cross-border business that failure to establish an adequate framework could hamper EU-UK trade.