On April 27, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission issued two warning letters to foreign marketers of geolocation tracking devices for violations of the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). The first letter was directed to a Chinese company, Gator Group, Ltd., that sold the “Kids GPS Gator Watch” (marketed as a child’s first cellphone); the second was sent to a Swedish company, Tinitell, Inc., marketing a child-based app that works with a mobile phone worn like a watch. Both products collect a child’s precise geolocation data, and the Gator Watch includes geofencing “safe zones.”   Continue Reading FTC Issues Warning Letters for Potential COPPA Violations

On July 19, 2016, Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Oe (“Advocate General”), published his Opinion on two joined cases relating to data retention requirements in the EU, C-203/15 and C-698/15. These cases were brought following the Court of Justice for the European Union’s (“CJEU’s”) decision in the Digital Rights Ireland case, which invalidated Directive 2006/24/EC on data retention. The two cases, referred from courts in Sweden and the UK respectively, sought to establish whether a general obligation to retain data is compatible with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection under EU law. Continue Reading Advocate General Finds Member States May Not Breach EU Laws Over Electronic Communications Retention

On January 22, 2014, at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt announced the creation of a new independent commission that will examine the future of Internet governance. The Global Commission on Internet Governance (the “Commission”) is being launched by think tanks Chatham House and The Centre for International Governance Innovation (“CIGI”). The Commission will be chaired by Bildt, Sweden’s former Prime Minister, and supported by expert members representing business, government, academia and civil society. In announcing the initiative, Bildt stated that “[n]et freedom is as fundamental as freedom of information and freedom of speech in our societies.”

Continue Reading New Independent Commission on Internet Governance Launched

On June 6, 2013, the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs Council held legislative deliberations regarding key issues concerning the European Commission’s proposed General Data Protection Regulation (the “Proposed Regulation”). The discussions were based on the Irish Presidency’s draft compromise text on Chapters I to IV of the Proposed Regulation, containing the fundamentals of the proposal and reflecting the Presidency’s view of the state of play of negotiations. At the Council meeting, the Presidency was seeking general support for the conclusions drawn in their draft compromise text on the key issues in Chapters I to IV.

Continue Reading Council of the European Union Discusses Progress on the Proposed EU Data Protection Regulation

On May 30, 2013, the European Court of Justice held that Sweden failed to fulfill its obligations under EU law when it delayed complying with the Court’s 2010 ruling regarding the country’s implementation of the EU Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC (the “Data Retention Directive”). The Court ordered Sweden to pay a lump sum of €3,000,000.

Continue Reading Sweden Fined for Delaying Implementation of the Data Retention Directive