Belgian Court Uses Novel Argument to Assume International Jurisdiction over Non-EU Facebook Entities

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On February 16, 2018, the Brussels Court of First Instance rendered a judgment in proceedings brought by the Belgian Privacy Commission’s against Facebook. The case forms one part of two-tiered litigation brought by the Commission in regards to alleged monitoring practices vis-à-vis Belgian internet users. In parallel to the proceedings that resulted in the judgment cited above, the Belgian Privacy Commission had also initiated a procedure referred to as “summary proceedings” against Facebook – and Facebook defeated the Privacy Commission’s claim before the Brussels Court of Appeal in [...] Read more

Singapore Joins the APEC CBPR and PRP

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On March 6, Singapore announced that it has become the sixth country to participate in the Cross-Border Privacy Rules System (CBPR) as of February 20, 2018, joining the United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan and the Republic of Korea, and the second country to participate in the Privacy Recognition for Processors System (PRP) alongside the United States.  The APEC CBPR system is a voluntary, enforceable mechanism that certifies a company’s compliance with the principles in the APEC CBPR and facilitates privacy-respecting transfers of data among APEC member economies. Singapore’s Ministry [...] Read more

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in the Microsoft Ireland Case

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On Tuesday, February 27th, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in United States v. Microsoft Corp. on whether a warrant issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) can compel the production of data stored outside the United States. Where Microsoft argues that the emails stored outside the United States also lie outside the reach of the SCA, the government contends that the SCA focuses on “classically domestic content,” and that Microsoft can be compelled within the U.S. to turn over records it controls regardless of where the data sought is stored. This case began in December [...] Read more

In Order, FTC Recognizes Lower Notice Requirements for “Consumer-Expected” Data Collection

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Last week, the Federal Trade Commission granted a petition by Sears Holding Management seeking modification of a 2009 Commission Order. The notable 2009 Order settled allegations that Sears had improperly failed to provide notice regarding data collection by certain software the company offered to consumers. Sears argued that the 2009 Order placed it at a “competitive disadvantage” in the mobile application marketplace. The now-modified Order enables Sears to conduct certain “consumer-expected” forms of data collection and use without requiring heightened notice or consent under the 2009 [...] Read more

German DPAs Publish Model GDPR Processing Records – Translations Provided

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In just under 100 days, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enters into force. One of the major changes the GDPR introduces is a duty for in-scope controllers and processors to maintain written records of their processing activities.  Under Article 30 GDPR, companies will need to inventory all “processing activities under [their] responsibility” and memorialize them in a written record setting forth, inter alia, the purposes of processing operations, international transfers, and retention periods. Article 30 GDPR thus creates a new kind of documentation obligation.  This obligation [...] Read more

SEC Adopts Statement and Interpretive Guidance on Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosures

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release announcing its unanimous approval of a statement by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and interpretive guidance (the “2018 Guidance”) to assist public companies in preparing disclosures about cybersecurity risks and incidents. This is the first interpretive guidance published by the full Commission on the topic of cybersecurity for public companies, and it may foreshadow increased SEC action to protect investors from the potential negative effects of increasingly common large-scale data breaches. The 2018 Guidance formalizes and expands [...] Read more

100 Days Until GDPR Effective Date – Sharing Our GDPR Experience

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In less than 100 days, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect. This means that as of May 25, 2018, each national Supervisory Authority will have the authority to apply and enforce the GDPR. The GDPR raises the bar in terms of requirements substantially higher than the Data Protection Framework Directive. For instance, it recognizes new rights for data subjects (e.g. right to be forgotten and right to data portability), introduces data breach notification requirements, introduces the concept of a Data Protection Officer, and brings enhanced accountability obligations. Given [...] Read more

Privacy & Data Security Team Launches Unique GDPR Tracker Website

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“To Harmonize or Not To Harmonize: That Is the Question.” With the the GDPR fast approaching on May 25, 2018, European Member States are getting ready with the implementation of national legislation. Although the GDPR is a regulation, and directly applicable in all Member States, it has left room for country-specific legislation in several different regards (such as the processing of employee data or individual rights restrictions). Most Member States still only have draft legislation at this point, but the expectation (or at least intention) is that each country will have adopted legislation [...] Read more

Lenovo Wins Second Motion to Dismiss in Adware Class Action

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By Jay Repko A California district court recently dismissed—for the second time—consumer claims that technology giant Lenovo Inc. violated New York’s Deceptive Acts and Practices Statute by selling laptops with preinstalled VisualDiscovery software that allegedly invades users’ privacy and exposes users to security breaches.  In reaching this decision, Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. concluded that dismissal was warranted for two reasons: (i) the plaintiffs lacked standing and (ii) the plaintiffs failed to adequately allege actual damages. By its very terms, New York’s Deceptive [...] Read more

ECJ Rules against Schrems Class Action, Sets Up Jurisdictional Questions for GDPR Class Actions

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In late 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its initial Schrems decision, invalidating the EU/US Safe Harbor and leading to important developments in the rules for transferring personal data from the EU to the US.  Since that decision, Mr. Schrems has pursued two further legal proceedings in the EU. The first involves Mr. Schrems’ challenge in the Irish courts to EU Standard Contractual Clauses, which permit data to be transferred internationally between contract parties.  In the trial,  Alston & Bird Special Counsel Peter Swire testified as an expert on US national [...] Read more