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Dan Cooper

Daniel Cooper is co-chair of Covington’s Data Privacy and Cyber Security Practice, and advises clients on information technology regulatory and policy issues, particularly data protection, consumer protection, AI, and data security matters. He has over 20 years of experience in the field, representing clients in regulatory proceedings before privacy authorities in Europe and counseling them on their global compliance and government affairs strategies. Dan regularly lectures on the topic, and was instrumental in drafting the privacy standards applied in professional sport.

According to Chambers UK, his "level of expertise is second to none, but it's also equally paired with a keen understanding of our business and direction." It was noted that "he is very good at calibrating and helping to gauge risk."

Dan is qualified to practice law in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium. He has also been appointed to the advisory and expert boards of privacy NGOs and agencies, such as Privacy International and the European security agency, ENISA.

Earlier this year, the UK’s privacy and competition regulators (the ICO and CMA) issued a joint paper setting out their concerns and expectations in the field of dark patterns – techniques designed to mislead or deceive users of online services – which the regulators refer to as “harmful online choice architectures”. As we’ve previously noted, dark patterns are an area of increasing focus of regulators, and the joint paper reflects the growing interplay between privacy and competition laws – a trend we expect to see continue in 2024.Continue Reading UK Regulators Target Dark Patterns

On December 9, 2023, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission reached a political agreement on the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (“AI Act”) (see here for the Parliament’s press statement, here for the Council’s statement, and here for the Commission’s statement). Following three days of intense negotiations, during the fifth “trilogue” discussions amongst the EU institutions, negotiators reached an agreement on key topics, including: (i) the scope of the AI Act; (ii) AI systems classified as “high-risk” under the Act; and (iii) law enforcement exemptions.

As described in our previous blog posts on the AI Act (see here, here, and here), the Act will establish a comprehensive and horizontal law governing the development, import, deployment and use of AI systems in the EU. In this blog post, we provide a high-level summary of the main points EU legislators appear to have agreed upon, based on the press releases linked above and a further Q&A published by the Commission. However, the text of the political agreement is not yet publicly available. Further, although a political agreement has been reached, a number of details remain to be finalized in follow-up technical working meetings over the coming weeks.Continue Reading EU Artificial Intelligence Act: Nearing the Finish Line

On June 27, 2023, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a political agreement on the Data Act (see our previous blog post here), after 18 months of negotiations since the tabling of the Commission’s proposal in February 2022 (see our previous blog post here).  EU lawmakers bridged their differences on a number of topics, including governance matters, territorial scope, protection of trade secrets, and certain defined terms, among others.

The Data Act is a key component of the European strategy for data. Its objective is to remove barriers to the use and re-use of non-personal data, particularly as it relates to data generated by connected products and related services, including virtual assistants. It also seeks to facilitate the ability of customers to switch between providers of data processing services.

We’ve outlined below some key aspects of the new legislation.Continue Reading European Parliament and Council Release Agreed Text on Data Act

On July 10, 2023, the European Commission adopted its adequacy decision on the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (“DPF”). The decision, which took effect on the day of its adoption, concludes that the United States ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EEA to companies certified to the DPF. This blog post summarizes the key findings of the decision, what organizations wishing to certify to the DPF need to do and the process for certifying, as well as the impact on other transfer mechanisms such as the standard contractual clauses (“SCCs”), and on transfers from the UK and Switzerland.Continue Reading European Commission Adopts Adequacy Decision on the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework

On July 4, 2023, the European Commission published its proposal for a regulation laying down additional procedural rules relating to the enforcement of the GDPR.  The aim of the proposed Regulation is to clarify and harmonize the procedural rules that apply when EU supervisory authorities investigate complaint-based and ex officio cross-border cases (i.e., where the relevant processing conducted by a controller or processor  spans multiple Member States, resulting in a “lead” authority and additional “concerned” authorities).  If adopted, the Regulation will sit alongside the GDPR, complementing the existing cooperation and consistency mechanisms set forth in Chapter VII.Continue Reading European Commission Proposes GDPR Enforcement Procedure Regulation

Late yesterday, the EU institutions reached political agreement on the European Data Act (see the European Commission’s press release here and the Council’s press release here).  The proposal for a Data Act was first tabled by the European Commission in February 2022 as a key piece of the European Strategy for Data (see our previous blogpost here). The Data Act will sit alongside the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), Data Governance Act, Digital Services Act, and the Digital Markets Act.Continue Reading Political Agreement Reached on the European Data Act

On April 4, 2023, the European Commission announced that the EU and Japan had successfully completed the first periodic review of the Japan-EU mutual adequacy arrangement, adopted in 2019.  The mutual adequacy recognition – whereby Japan and the EU each have recognized the other’s data protection regime as adequate to protect personal data – complements the regions’ other bilateral partnerships, such as the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, the Strategic Partnership Agreement, and the recently launched EU-Japan Digital Partnership (see our previous blogpost here).

The review process led to the adoption of two reports by the Commission and the Personal Information Protection Commission of Japan (“PPC”), each discussing the functioning of their respective adequacy decisions.  According to the Commission’s report, the convergence between the EU and Japan’s data protection frameworks has further increased in recent years, and the mutual adequacy arrangement appears to be functioning well.  We provide below a brief overview of the Commission’s main findings.Continue Reading European Commission Announces Conclusion of First Review of Japan-EU Adequacy Arrangement

On March 4, 2023, the European Court of Justice (”CJEU”) issued its judgment on case C-300/21, UI v Österreichische Post AG. The CJEU held that the mere infringement of the GDPR does not, alone, give rise to a right to compensation for individuals.  In the Court’s view, Article 82 requires establishing: (i) “damage”, either material or non-material; (ii) an actual infringement of the GDPR; and (iii) a causal link between the two. However, the CJEU also ruled that the right to compensation in the GDPR cannot be made contingent upon individuals satisfying a certain “seriousness” threshold, which is the case under Austrian law at present.Continue Reading CJEU Clarifies the GDPR’s Right to Compensation

There is a flurry of new EU initiatives to regulate the metaverse. Last week, the European Commission launched a public consultation (open until May 3, 2023) to “develop a vision for emerging virtual worlds (e.g. metaverses), based on respect for digital rights and EU laws and values” such that “open, interoperable and innovative virtual worlds … can be used safely and with confidence by the public and businesses.” Continue Reading Regulating the Metaverse in Europe

On March 24, 2023, the Italian data protection authority (“Garante”) approved a Code of conduct (“Code”) on telemarketing and telesales activities.  The Code was promoted by various Italian industry and consumer associations, pursuant to Article 40 of GDPR. 

The Garante notes that the Code reflects broad industry consensus, and welcomes it as an important step to ensuring the lawful performance of the covered activities.  The Garante have been historically active in regulating telemarketing and telesales companies, and has applied some of its largest fines to this sector. We provide below an overview of the Code’s key provisions and obligations.Continue Reading Italian Garante Approves Code of Conduct on Telemarketing and Telesales