Category Archives: Privacy

Data Monetization and State Privacy Laws

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On June 8, magazine publisher Trusted Media Brands, Inc. settled a class action lawsuit for $8.2 million after purportedly disclosing the personal information and magazine choices of customers to third parties.  The lawsuit, Taylor v. Trusted Media Brands, Inc., No. 7:16-cv-01812 (S.D.N.Y. June 8, 2017), alleged that the publisher’s actions violated Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA), demonstrating the sometimes hidden legal risks of data monetization. VRPA, inspired by the federal Video Privacy Protection Act, was passed in 1988 and applies to the purchase, rental, or borrowing [...] Read more

Facebook Fined for WhatsApp Data Linking Fallout

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On 18 May 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) fined Facebook €110 million ($122 million) for misrepresentations made in its application for competition clearance of the company’s acquisition of WhatsApp. In its merger application, Facebook claimed that it would be unable to automatically match Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts for marketing and other purposes. However, in August 2016, WhatsApp introduced functionality enabling the linking of WhatsApp users’ phone numbers with Facebook users’ identities. This is the first time since the new Merger Regulation [...] Read more

French CNIL Releases GDPR Compliance Toolkit

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On March 15, 2017, the French data protection authority (CNIL) released its six step- GDPR compliance program together with GDPR-tailored templates for use by companies, the “GDPR Toolkit.” The GDPR Toolkit is helpful for companies because it provides guidance that companies may directly include in their privacy programs. Companies with sophisticated privacy programs may also use the GDPR Toolkit as a reality check against CNIL and, more generally, European data protection authorities’ standards and expectations for GDPR compliance. Click here to access the Toolkit. [...] Read more

Working Party welcomes the draft ePrivacy Regulation, yet expresses grave concerns

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The Working Party recently issued its first Opinion for 2017, focusing on the EU Commission’s proposed ePrivacy Regulation (WP 247, Opinion 01/2017). The Commission’s proposal, which was published in January this year, aims to modernize the existing ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC as amended by 2009/136/EC) which concerns the protection of personal data in the context of electronic communication services. In its Opinion, the Working Party overall welcomed the proposed regulation, yet expressed several points of concern and suggested amendments. The congratulations… In welcoming the regulation, [...] Read more

May 30 is Fast Approaching – Are You Ready for Compliance with the Amended Act on Protection of Personal Information in Japan?

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Japan’s Act on Protection of Personal Information currently in force (“Current APPI”) dates back to 2003.  It was originally enacted on May 30, 2003, and came into effect in 2005.  Ten years later, the National Diet passed extensive reforms to modernize the Current APPI in September, 2015.  Although the Amended Act on Protection of Personal Information (“Amended APPI”) has been partly in effect, it will come fully into effect on May 30, 2017. It is important to note that the Amended APPI applies to “personal information handling business operators” which is defined as a person [...] Read more

ICO Seeks Extra Resources for GDPR Enforcement

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On March 13, 2017, Elizabeth Denham, head of the UK data protection authority (“ICO”) publicly expressed her intention to massively recruit new personnel in an effort to be ready for the European (“EU”) general data protection regulation (“GDPR”). In a statement released on its website, the ICO announced its plan to recruit new personnel by May 2018, in light of the new responsibilities and enforcement powers granted to the ICO under the GDPR. Ms. Denham later told the press the ICO would hire approximately 200 persons. Interestingly, the ICO statement comes on the same day the [...] Read more

Germany Proposes Bill Requiring Social Network Takedowns – with € 50 Million Fines

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Recent media reports indicated that Germany was considering legislation that would fine social networks for failing to combat fake news and hate speech.  Today, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas introduced a “Draft Law to Improve Law Enforcement in Social Networks” (abbreviated as the Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz), or “NetzDG”).  The NetzDG aims to curb “hate-based criminality” in large social networks that have the potential to drive public opinion, and to improve law enforcement access to evidence held by social networks.  The Justice Department’s NetzDG [...] Read more

UK Launches Public Consultation on GDPR Consent Guidance

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on 25 May 2018, replacing UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). It is yet unclear how Brexit will play out, yet in the meantime the United Kingdom is moving to adopt the GDPR principles so that it adequately protects the personal data transferred within the EU. The GDPR sets a high standard for consent and compliance, which means that companies must start preparing for this transition. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued a guidance on GDPR consent on 2 March, explaining its recommended approach to compliance and [...] Read more

CNIL Launches Second Round of Public Consultation on GDPR

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Last week, the French Data Protection Authority ("CNIL") launched the second round of a public consultation on the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The first public consultation was launched in June 2016 and addressed the requirements in the GDPR relating to data protection officers, data portability and privacy seals and certifications.  The outcome of the June 2016 consultation was integrated by the Consortium of the European data protection authorities (“WP29”) into WP29’s recent guidance. Similarly, the new public consultation launched by the CNIL is aligned with [...] Read more

Spanish Ministry of Justice Launches Public Consultation on GDPR

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On February 7, 2017, the Spanish Ministry of Justice launched a public consultation as a preliminary step before the drafting of a new bill implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The press release clarifies that although the GDPR has direct effect in the European Member States, its implementation into Spanish law is not a straightforward exercise because (i) the obligations in existing data protection legislation need to be maintained or amended (as the case may be), and (ii) other sector specific laws containing provisions on data protection need to be updated.  A [...] Read more