In a move toward implementation of the EU e-Privacy Directive, on November 3, 2010, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs submitted a bill to the Dutch Parliament that would amend the Dutch Telecommunications Act to obligate telecom and internet service providers to provide notification of data security breaches, and require consent for the use of cookies (the “Bill”).

The proposed Bill would require telecom and internet service providers to notify the Dutch Telecom Authority (the “OPTA”) without delay in the event of a security breach involving personal data.  They also would be required to notify affected individuals without delay if the breach is likely to have an adverse effect on the protection of their personal data.  The Bill does not affect initiatives to introduce a broader data breach notification regime applicable to other industries outside the telecom sector.  The Dutch Minister of Justice recently stated that he expects to issue a proposal to implement a more general data breach notification law in 2011. Continue Reading Dutch Bill Proposes Data Breach Notification Requirements and Revised Cookie Regime

At a meeting held April 7-9, 2010, the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Hague Conference on Private International Law adopted a document entitled ‘Cross-Border Data Flows and Protection of Privacy’ that outlines the organization’s possible future work in the area of privacy and data protection law.  The document contains an overview of international data protection initiatives of the last few years, and addresses various cross-border cooperation issues, including problems created by the difficulty of determining applicable law and jurisdiction in cross-border data flows.  In

Continue Reading Hague Conference Adopts Paper on Privacy and Data Protection

According to a report issued by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (“FRA”), European data protection authorities lack sufficient independence and funding.  In addition, DPAs impose few sanctions for violations of data protection laws.  DPAs “are often not equipped with full powers of investigation and intervention or the capacity to give legal advice or engage in legal proceedings.”  In a number of countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK, “prosecutions and sanctions for violations are limited or non-existing.”  The report also highlights EU citizens’ limited awareness of the DPAs’ existence.  The FRA Director, Morten Kjaerum, noted that “improvements need to take place concerning the independence, effectiveness, resources and powers of data protection authorities.”

On April 19, 2010, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, and the heads of nine other international data protection authorities took part in an unprecedented collaboration by issuing a strongly worded letter of reproach to Google’s Chief Executive Officer, Eric Schmidt.  The joint letter, which was also signed by data protection officials from France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom, highlighted growing international concern that “the privacy rights of the world’s citizens are being forgotten as Google rolls out new technological applications.”

Continue Reading International Data Protection Authorities Scold Google Over Privacy Concerns