Tag Archives: EU Privacy

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Allows Wikimedia Upstream Suit to Proceed

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On May 23, 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion on Wikimedia foundation v. NSA/CSS. The Court vacated and remanded the NSA’s previously successful motion to dismiss Wikimedia’s Fourth and First Amendment claims against the NSA’s Upstream surveillance program, while a 2-1 majority upheld the dismissal of the eight other organizations joined as co-plaintiffs. The Court held that Wikimedia’s complaint contained sufficient factual allegations to determine Article III standing and that the District Court misapplied Clapper v. Amnesty International USA’s analysis of [...] 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

Swire Discusses European Data Economy at European Political Strategy Centre Policy Hearing

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Peter Swire, Alston & Bird Senior Counsel and Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor of Law and Ethics at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business, recently participated in a policy hearing held by the European Political Strategy Centre, the in-house think tank of the European Commission. Swire joined five other experts in answering a series of questions posed by the Centre’s moderators on how Europe can build its data economy to compete globally, protect fundamental privacy rights, and guard against anti-competitive behavior. In his remarks, Swire pointed [...] 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

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

Spanish DPA Issues GDPR Guidelines

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On January 26, 2017, the Spanish data protection authority (“AEPD”) published three guidance papers on the implementation of the general data protection regulation (“GDPR”). Although the guidance is primarily directed at small and medium-sized companies, it gives a snapshot on how the AEPD reads the GDPR and is thus relevant for all companies having operations in Spain. GDPR Guide for Controllers: the guide summarizes the requirements of the GDPR while providing practical recommendations on how to implement them. The guide also contains a questionnaire to help controllers make a [...] Read more

Article 29 Working Party Identifies GDPR Implementation Priorities for 2017

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In a press release published on January 16, 2017, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP 29”) has outlined its strategy for 2017 on implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). WP29’s “2017 GDPR Action Plan” identifies the following priorities, objectives, deliverables and activities for the coming year: 2016 Follow-Up.  WP29 will finalize work commenced in 2016 on: (i) data protection certification mechanisms; (ii) processing activities likely to result in “high risk” processing and Data Protection Impact  Assessments; (iii) administrative fines; (iv) [...] Read more

WP29 Issues Guidance on the Right to Data Portability under the GDPR

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Late last week, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) issued detailed guidance on companies’ obligations under three key provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR").  This is part two of a three-part Alston & Bird series evaluating WP29's positions, and relates to the Right of Data Portability for data subjects and its obligations for data controllers.  Part 1 deals with Data Protection Officer obligations, under the GDPR, while part 3 analyzes guidance on the Lead Supervisory Authority mechanism. Article 20 of the GDPR creates a new right to data portability [...] Read more