Kristof Van Quathem

Kristof Van Quathem

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COVID-19 Apps and Websites – The “Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing Initiative” and Guidance by Supervisory Authorities

Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing Initiative According to media sources, an EU consortium led by Germany’s Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for telecoms (HHI) will soon release software code that can be used to create apps that will help track transmission chains of COVID-19.  The Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing (“PEPP-PT”) project comprises more than 130 … Continue Reading

Dutch Supervisory Authority Investigates Connected Cars

On March 24, 2020, the Dutch Supervisory Authority (“SA”) announced the launch of a broad investigation into automobile manufacturers, to determine whether any violations of data protection laws have occurred in relation to connected cars. The Dutch SA sent a questionnaire to all Netherlands-based car and truck manufacturers, asking what types of personal data they … Continue Reading

Guidance released by EU Authorities on How to Ensure IT Security when Working Remotely

In order to combat the proliferation of COVID-1, several EU Member States have strongly recommended or required that employees engage in teleworking, rather than attend work as normal. In this context, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (“ENISA”), on March 15, 2020, issued its “top tips for cybersecurity when working remotely”. Some data protection Supervisory … Continue Reading

COVID-19, Scientific Research and the GDPR – Some Basic Principles

As scientists work around the clock to gain insights into the Corona virus and how to fight it, public and private-sector stakeholders are in discussions to promote the rapid exchange of scientific data. During these discussions, the GDPR acronym inevitably rears its head and casts doubt over what is lawful. The GDPR and national data … Continue Reading

Belgian Supervisory Authority Issues Guidance on Data Protection and Coronavirus

On March 13, 2020, the Belgian data protection authority (“APD”) issued guidance on data protection and COVID-19. The guidance is mainly aimed at employers processing personal data of employees in the context of the measures they have taken to contain the spreading of COVID-19. The guidance is divided in the following three parts: legal basis … Continue Reading

Procurement Tenders in the Health Sector: More Protection for Patient Data

On March 6, 2020, the Italian Data Protection Authority (“Garante”) reported on new measures designed to protect the health data of patients in the context of Government procurement efforts (calls for tender) to acquire medical equipment and devices. The new measures are the result of a collaboration between the Garante and Consip, a company wholly … Continue Reading

French Supervisory Authority issues COVID-19 Guidance

On March 6, 2020, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) released a statement on processing personal data in light of COVID-19. The CNIL notes that while everyone should take measures to prevent the spread of the virus, such efforts must comply with applicable data protection rules, in particular when collecting and processing sensitive health data. As … Continue Reading

French Supervisory Authority Publishes Guidance for Website and App Developers

On January 27, 2020, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) issued a guidance for developers of websites and applications which sets out the main principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), expounds on their application in the online environment, and gives practical tips to help developers respect users’ privacy when deploying websites and apps. The … Continue Reading

German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Launches Public Consultation on Anonymization

On February 10, 2020, Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) launched its first public consultation procedure.  The consultation invites comments on a position paper of the BfDI which addresses the anonymization of personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with a particular focus on the telecommunications sector (for … Continue Reading

Germany Publishes Draft Regulation on the Reimbursement of Digital Health Applications

Germany recently enacted a law that enables state health insurance schemes to reimburse costs related to the use of digital health applications (“health apps”), but the law requires the Federal Ministry of Health to first develop the reimbursement process for such apps.  Accordingly, on January 15, 2020, the German government published a draft regulation setting … Continue Reading

French Supervisory Authority Publishes Second Guidance on Cookies and Similar Technologies

On January 14, 2020, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) published a new draft guidance on the use of cookies and similar technologies on websites and applications (see here, in French).  The draft guidance is open for public consultation until February 25, 2020. In its nine articles, the guidance sets out how to properly inform users … Continue Reading

Dutch Court Decides on Scope of GDPR Right of Access

In late December 2019, the Court of The Hague (Netherlands) published a preliminary reference procedure (see here, in Dutch).  The Court was asked to decide on the scope of the right of access under the GDPR. The defendant in this case was a bailiff involved in the bankruptcy procedure.  The individual who was target of … Continue Reading

Belgian Supervisory Authority Imposes Cookie Fine

On December 17, 2019, the Belgian Supervisory Authority (“SA”) imposed a fine of € 15,000 on an SME operating a legal information website that welcomes approximately 35,000 unique visitors a month.  Interestingly, in the apparent absence of any actual complaints submitted to the SA, it carried out this enforcement action on its own initiative. In … Continue Reading

AG Publishes Opinion on the Validity of the EU Standard Contractual Clauses

On December 19, 2019, Advocate General (“AG”) Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe handed down his Opinion in Case C-311/18, Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland and Maximillian Schrems (“Schrems II”). The AG’s Opinion provides non-binding guidance to the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) on how to decide the case. In brief, the AG recommended that … Continue Reading

EDPB Publishes Article 28 Standard Clauses Adopted by Danish Supervisory Authority

On December 11, 2019, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) published the final text of the standard clauses adopted by the Danish Supervisory Authority (Datatilsynet, hereafter “Danish SA”) pursuant to Article 28(8) of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The Danish clauses are now accessible on the EDPB’s register of decisions taken by Supervisory Authorities.  … Continue Reading

German Supervisory Authorities Propose Changes to the GDPR

On December 2, 2019, the German Supervisory Authorities issued a report evaluating the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in Germany.  The report describes the Supervisory Authorities’ experience thus far in applying the GDPR and lists the provisions of the GDPR they see as problematic in practice.  For each of these provisions, … Continue Reading

German Constitutional Court Reshapes “Right to be Forgotten” and Expands Its Oversight of Human Rights Violations

In two recent landmark decisions issued on November 6, 2019, the German Constitutional Court (“BVerfG”) presented its unique perspective on the “right to be forgotten” and announced that it will assume a greater role in safeguarding German residents’ fundamental rights from now on.… Continue Reading

UPDATE: AG Opinion in Schrems II Delayed

The Advocate General’s (“AG”) Opinion in Case C-311/18, Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland and Maximillian Schrems (“Schrems II”), has been delayed until the 19th December 2019.  (The original publication date was set for the week before, on the 12th December.) The primary question before the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”), and the AG, in Schrems … Continue Reading

EDPB Adopts Final Version of Guidelines on Territorial Scope of the GDPR

On November 14, 2019, the EDPB adopted a final version of Guidelines 3/2018 on the territorial scope of the GDPR (Art. 3). This takes into account the contributions and feedback that the EDPB received during a public consultation on a draft version of the guidelines (see here). The draft version of the guidelines raised many … Continue Reading

French Supervisory Authority Publishes Guidance on Facial Recognition

On November 15, 2019, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) published guidance on the use of facial recognition. The guidance is primarily directed at public authorities in France that want to experiment with facial recognition. The guidance warns that this technology risks leading to biased results because the algorithms used are not 100% reliable and the … Continue Reading

The Spanish Supervisory Authority Issues Guidance on the Use of Cookies

On November 8, 2019, the Spanish Supervisory Authority (“SA”) issued detailed guidance on cookies and similar technologies in collaboration with stakeholders in the ad industry, including Adigital, Anunciantes, AUTOCONTROL and IAB Spain. The guidance is divided in 4 chapters: Chapter 1: scope of the Spanish cookie rules (Art. 22 of Law 34/2002); Chapter 2: terminology … Continue Reading

EU adopts New Deal for Consumers

On November 8, 2019, the European Union adopted the “Directive Modernizing Consumer Law”. This directive is part of the so-called “New Deal for Consumer” (see here), a package of legislative reforms designed to revise existing EU consumer laws. The main objective of these reforms is to adapt EU consumer protection legislation to the realities of … Continue Reading

Spanish Supervisory Authority and EDPS Release Guidance on Hashing for Data Pseudonymization and Anonymization Purposes

On November 4, 2019, the Spanish Supervisory Authority (“AEPD”), in collaboration with the European Data Protection Supervisor, published guidance on the use of hashing techniques for pseudonymization and anonymization purposes. In particular, the guidance analyses what factors increase the probability of re-identifying hashed messages. The AEPD explains that the probability of re-identification increases if more … Continue Reading

New Calculation Model for Data Protection Fines in Germany

On October 16, 2019, the body of German Supervisory Authorities known as the Datenschutzkonferenz (“DSK”) released a document proposing a model for calculating fines under the GDPR.  The DSK indicated that this model is subject to change and will be superseded by any method put forward in guidance issued by the European Data Protection Board. … Continue Reading
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