Data Protection

Georgia Court of Appeals Reaffirms Lack of Duty to Safeguard Personal Information

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The Georgia Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed its prior conclusion that there is no duty to safeguard personal information under Georgia law.  In McConnell v. Ga. Dep’t of Labor, --- S.E.2d ----, 2018 WL 2173252 (Ga. App. May 11, 2018), the Court of Appeals addressed whether a plaintiff whose social security number and other personal identifying information (“PII”) had allegedly been negligently disclosed by an employee of the Georgia Department of Labor stated a negligence claim in connection with the unauthorized disclosure. In urging that the Court of Appeals should recognize such [...] Read more

Alston & Bird Issues Data Protection Advisory on Accurate Retrieval of Personal Data under the GDPR

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Today Alston & Bird’s Jan Dhont, Peter Swire, and DeBrae Kennedy-Mayo, with support from Senzing, Inc., are publishing a White Paper titled The Importance of Accurate Retrieval of Data Subjects’ Personal Data in Complying with GDPR Individual Rights Requirements. The General Data Protection Regulation, which enters into effect on May 25, 2018, goes considerably beyond existing law in setting forth individual rights that allow data subjects to control how their personal data is used. This Paper addresses an important issue for implementing individual rights – how can those companies [...] Read more

Belgian Privacy Commission Issues DPIA “Black” and “White List” Recommendation

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On February 28, 2018, the Belgian Privacy Commission issued a recommendation on the position it takes with regard to data protection impact assessments (or “DPIAs”) as foreseen in the GDPR. A DPIA under the GDPR is similar in scope and impact to its predecessor, the PIA (or “privacy impact assessment”) and requires businesses to assess processing operations that are likely to present a high risk to individuals’ rights. Such “high risk” is, for instance, likely to present itself in processing operations involving sensitive data, systematic monitoring, or vulnerable individuals such [...] Read more

DHS and FBI Issue a Joint Technical Alert with UK Warning Russian State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks

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On April 16, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre issued a joint Technical Alert (TA), alerting the worldwide cyber exploitation of network infrastructure devices by Russian state-sponsored cyber actors.  The TA explains primary targets to be government and private-sector organizations, critical infrastructure providers, and the Internet service providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors.  The affected systems include: Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) Enabled Devices; Cisco Smart [...] Read more

Irish High Court Refers Schrems 2.0 to the ECJ

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On April 11, Justice Caroline Costello of the Irish High Court referred the Schrems 2.0 case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) with 11 questions for the ECJ to answer. Per Justice Costello, the sole issue in the case is whether the European Commission’s Decisions regarding standard contractual clauses (SCCs) are valid, which is reflected in the 11 questions posed. The reference asks the ECJ to determine: Whether provisions of EU law related to national security, public security, defense, and state security apply to transfers of data outside the EU under SCCs; Whether [...] Read more

Privacy Commissioner of Hong Kong Issues a GDPR Guidance Document

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On April 3, the Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) announced the publication of the “European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016” guidance document.  The PCPD explains that the publication was issued to raise awareness among organizations and businesses in Hong Kong of the possible impact of the new regulatory framework for data protection in the GDPR.  The guidance document covers various provisions of the GDPR, including extra-territorial application of the GDPR and new data privacy governance requirements.  It also contains a chart [...] Read more

Council of the European Union publishes new draft ePrivacy Regulation

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The Council of the European Union published a new draft of the ePrivacy Regulation (link here) for discussion purposes on 22 March. This draft aims to facilitate discussions as we are moving towards the final version of the ePrivacy Regulation. As such, the changes outlined below are not final, but rather indicative of the direction that the ePrivacy Regulation is taking. Of particular interest to companies are the provisions relating to cookie settings, and direct marketing communications:   Cookie Settings The new draft clarifies that a one-off consent for a cookie in the context [...] Read more

The CLOUD Act and its Impact on Cross-Border Access to the Contents of Communications

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On Friday morning, March 23, President Trump signed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law, including the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, and in doing so established a sea change in the rules for cross-border government access to the contents of electronic communications. The CLOUD Act consists of three core components: (1) resolving the main issue in the Microsoft Ireland case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, (2) providing a process for entities to request a comity analysis for potential conflicts with non-U.S. legal obligations, and (3) removing legal barriers [...] Read more

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