Kristof Van Quathem

Kristof Van Quathem

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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

New Draft ePrivacy Regulation Released

The Council of EU Member States – one of the two main EU lawmaking bodies – recently released a new draft version of the ePrivacy Regulation (“EPR”).  Negotiations on the regulation have been deadlocked for a while, but seem to be gathering new momentum under the Finnish Presidency.  Below we highlight some selected topics that … Continue Reading

CJEU Issues Decision on Consent for Cookies and Intersection with the GDPR

On September 10, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) issued its decision in the Planet 49 case.  The case centers on the consent requirements for the use of cookies. Planet49 GmbH offered an online lottery service for which interested users had to register.  The registration form asked users to tick a … Continue Reading

GDPR’s right to be forgotten limited to EU websites

On September 24, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) adopted a decision on the geographical scope of the right to erasure under the GDPR (decision available here).  The court decided, in line with the opinion of Advocate General Szpunar, that a US-based search engine does not have to remove (de-reference) search … Continue Reading

Italian Supervisory Authority approves Code of Conduct under the GDPR

On September 12, 2019, the Italian Supervisory Authority (“Garante”) approved a code of conduct for consumer credit agencies (the “Code”), pursuant to Art. 40 GDPR (see here in Italian). The Code already existed prior to the GDPR, but it had to be amended to meet the requirements of the GDPR and be approved by the … Continue Reading

German court decides that GDPR consent can be tied to receiving advertising

On June 27, 2019, the High Court of Frankfurt decided that a consent for data processing tied to a consent for receiving advertising can be considered as freely given under the GDPR. The case concerned an electricity company that relied on consent obtained by another company to advertise its products and services to the claimant. … Continue Reading

European Data Protection Board Issues Opinion on U.S. CLOUD Act

On July 10, 2019, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) issued a joint assessment of the impact of the U.S. Clarifying Overseas Use of Data Act (“CLOUD Act”) on the legal framework for the protection of personal data in the EU. The EDPB is an independent body composed … Continue Reading

The European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor consider the European Commission to be a processor of patient data in the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure

On July 12, 2019, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) issued a joint opinion on the processing of patient data and the role of the European Commission within the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (“eHDSI”). Background The eHDSI system was established in the context of the eHealth Network.  The … Continue Reading

German Supervisory Authorities Issue Guidance on Data Subject Rights

Guidance on how to identify data subjects On July 1, 2019, the Bavarian Supervisory Authority for the public sector (“SA”) published guidance on how to verify the identity of data subjects exercising their data protection rights under the GDPR. The guidance is directed at public bodies, but is also helpful for private entities. According to … Continue Reading

French Supervisory Authority will issue new guidelines on cookies

On June 28, 2019, the French Supervisory Authority (CNIL) announced that it will issue new guidelines on the use of cookies for direct marketing purposes.  It will issue these guidelines in two phases. First, during July 2019, the CNIL will update its guidance issued in 2013 on cookies.  According to the CNIL, the 2013 guidance … Continue Reading

European Commission Issues Updated Q&A on Interplay between the GDPR and the Clinical Trials Regulation

On April 10, 2019, European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety issued a revised Q&A analyzing the interplay between the EU Clinical Trials Regulation (“CTR”) and the  EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The revised Q&A takes into account the opinion of the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) issued on January 23, 2019, on … Continue Reading

Association of German Supervisory Authorities issues paper on broad consent for research

On April 3, 2019, the Association of German Supervisory Authorities (“Datenschutzkonferenz” or “DSK”) issued a paper (available here in German) on the interpretation of “broad consent” for scientific research in Recital 33 of the GDPR and the interplay with the definition of consent  and the principle of purpose limitation. According to the DSK, broad consent … Continue Reading

Polish Supervisory Authority issues GDPR fine for data scraping without informing individuals

On March 26, 2019, the Polish Supervisory Authority (“SA”) issued a fine of around €220,000 against a company that processed contact data obtained from publicly available sources without informing the individuals concerned (decision in Polish here and English summary here). Article 14 of the GDPR requires data controllers, who do not obtain personal data directly … Continue Reading
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