Tag Archives: European Union (EU)

Data Processing at Work: New Challenges towards Compliance

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The Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) recently issued an opinion that discusses the processing of employee personal information (Opinion 02/2017). WP29 focuses on the use of new technologies by employers and assesses requirements in light of the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). Consent and legal bases to process personal information The WP29 has historically asserted that employees’ consent should not be a legal basis for processing employees’ personal information. The power imbalance between employer and employee leads to an uneven situation where consent [...] Read more

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

A Look Into Europe’s New Cybersecurity Regimes

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Europe is facing two important reforms addressing cybersecurity, which will apply in 2018. Jan Dhont and Delphine Charlot outlined the details of these regimes in an article for the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, which you can read here.

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

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

Italy Imposes Record Data Protection Fines

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On March 10, Italy’s data protection authority, Il Garante per la protezione dei dati personali (the “Garante”), announced that it had ordered fines totaling more than €11 million on five companies operating in the money transfers sector for breach of Italian data protection law.   The sanctions have been described as the largest privacy fines ever imposed in the European Union. The Garante’s review grew out of an investigation by the Guardia di Financia, Italy’s financial police, of potential money-laundering violations by UK-based Sigue Global Service Limited (“Sigue”) and [...] 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