On February 7, 2018, representatives of European Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”) met in Brussels to appoint the new leader of the current Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (the “Working Party”). Andrea Jelinek, head of the Austrian DPA, was elected to the post and will replace Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, leader of the French DPA, who has represented the Working Party over the past four years. Continue Reading Head of Austrian DPA Appointed Chair of Article 29 Working Party

On January 24, 2018, the European Commission issued a communication to the European Parliament and the Council (the “Communication”) on the direct application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The Communication (1) recounts novel elements of the GDPR that create stronger protections for individuals and new opportunities for organizations, (2) reviews preparatory work undertaken to date for GDPR implementation, (3) outlines remaining steps for successful preparation and (4) outlines measures the European Commission intends to take up until May 25, 2018. Continue Reading EU Commission Releases Communication on Remaining Issues for GDPR Preparation

Recently, the EU’s Article 29 Working Party (”Working Party”) held a plenary meeting to discuss, among other things, the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. As well as adopting its first Joint Annual Review Report on the Privacy Shield, the Working Party has been working on a number of documents that offer review and/or guidance on the GDPR, including:

  • guidelines on (1) consent and transparency, (2) data protection certifications, and (3) derogations for personal data transfers under the GDPR;
  • updated “referentials” on adequacy and binding corporate rules for data controllers and processors; and
  • tools for cooperation between data protection authorities on data breach notifications.

Continue Reading Article 29 Working Party Meeting Sets Out State of Play on Privacy Initiatives

On November 29, 2017, the EU’s Article 29 Working Party (”Working Party”) announced the establishment of a task force to coordinate the plethora of national investigations throughout the EU into Uber’s 2016 data breach that affected approximately 57 million users worldwide. The task force is being led by the data protection authority (”DPA”) in the Netherlands, where Uber has its EU headquarters, and includes representatives from the DPAs in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom. Continue Reading EU Data Protection Authorities Establish Task Force to Collaborate on Uber Data Breach

On October 24, 2017, an opinion issued by the EU’s Advocate General Bot (“Bot”) rejected Facebook’s assertion that its EU data processing activities fall solely under the jurisdiction of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. The non-binding opinion was issued in relation to the CJEU case C-210/16, under which the German courts sought to clarify whether the data protection authority (“DPA”) in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein could take action against Facebook with respect to its use of web tracking technologies on a German education provider’s fan page without first providing notice. Continue Reading Advocate General Rejects Facebook’s Claim of Sole Irish Jurisdiction in EU

On October 19, 2017, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE Committee”) narrowly voted to approve an amended version of the e-Privacy Regulation (“Regulation”). The committee vote is an important step in the process within the European Parliament. This vote will be followed by a vote of the European Parliament in its plenary session on October 23-26. If the plenary also votes in favor, the European Parliament will have a mandate to begin negotiations with the Member States in the Council. If these negotiations (commonly known as “trilogue”) succeed, the Regulation will be adopted.

Continue Reading European Parliament’s LIBE Committee Approves Amended ePrivacy Regulation

On September 13, 2017, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published a Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on “Resilience, Deterrence and Defence: Building strong cybersecurity for the EU” (“Joint Communication”). This Joint Communication is part of a package of EU documents adopted on the same date aimed at delivering a stronger EU response to cyber attacks. In particular, the Joint Communication puts forward targeted measures to (1) build greater EU resilience to cyber attacks, (2) better detect cyber attacks, and (3) strengthen international cooperation on cybersecurity.
Continue Reading EU Publishes Measures to Strengthen EU Cybersecurity Structures and Capabilities

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.

Continue Reading UK House of Lords Recommends Pursuit of EU Adequacy Decision

On June 7, 2017, the European Commission published a paper signalling the EU’s intention to increase its role in directing cybersecurity policy and responses across its member states. The increasing threat posed by cyber attacks is highlighted in the EU Commission’s Reflection Paper on the Future of European Defence, which builds its case for closer union in respect of defense efforts. Continue Reading European Commission Pushes for Greater EU Role in Cybersecurity