On June 23, 2022 the Italian data protection authority (“Garante”) released a general statement (here) flagging the unlawfulness of data transfers to the U.S. resulting from the use of Google Analytics.  The Garante invites all Italian website operators, both public and private, to verify that the use of cookies and other tracking tools

On June 21, 2022, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) decided that that the Passenger Name Record (“PNR”) Directive’s provisions providing for  the processing of PNR data by competent Member State authorities are compatible with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (“Charter”).  However, the CJEU also decided that the PNR Directive limits the way in which Member State laws transpose some of its provisions, particularly in relation to the collection of passenger information for intra-EU flights.  Its decision will require Belgium to amend its law transposing the PNR Directive, mainly in relation to the PNR data competent authorities may receive and how they can process this data.  It is likely to indirectly impact air carriers and tour operators operating in Belgium, as it will reduce the amount of data they need to share with competent authorities under such a revised legal framework.

The CJEU decision also considers, as well, Member State laws transposing (1) the Council Directive 2004/82/EC on the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data (API Directive) and (2) Directive 2010/65/EU on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States.

The case was lodged on October 31, 2019, by the non-profit organization Ligue des Droits Humainsbefore the Belgian courts in relation to the Belgian law transposing the PNR and API Directives.  The Belgian Constitutional Court referred certain questions to the CJEU.

Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU Decides that the Passenger Name Record Directive is Compatible with EU Law

On May 25, 2022, the Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC”) issued 3 short guides for children, with the objective of raising awareness among adolescents about data protection and their privacy rights, as well as serving as a resource “for parents, educators and anyone [else] interested in children’s safety and wellbeing online”. The 3 guides

On May 4, 2022, the General Court of the EU handed down a decision that helps clarify the standard of proof required to demonstrate that information that does not identify someone by name constitutes “personal data” under EU data protection law.  The court also clarifies that the burden of proof falls on the entity alleging that the information is personal data.

The case concerns an online press release published by the European Anti-Fraud Office’s (“OLAF”) announcing that it had determined that a Greek scientist had committed fraud using EU funds intended to finance a research project.  Among other things, the scientist alleged that the press release contained “personal data” about her and, therefore, OLAF breached data protection law because it did not have a legal basis to disseminate her “personal data”.  She also alleged that OLAF’s press release had enabled two journalists to identify her and write each an article mentioning her by name.

The court disagreed with the position taken by the scientist, holding that the she was not able to demonstrate that the published information enabled her identification and, therefore, it had not demonstrated that the information was “personal data”.  It also decided that OLAF was not responsible for the news articles that identified the scientist by name.

Continue Reading General Court of the EU Finds that Individual was Unable to Prove that Information Published Online Constitutes “Personal Data”

On May 19, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) adopted, on a unanimous basis, a policy statement reminding educational technology vendors (“ed tech vendors”) of their duty to comply with the substantive privacy protections of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and the Commission-issued COPPA Rule.  The policy statement reiterates the requirements of the Rule and previous informal guidance from Commission staff, and makes clear that ed tech vendors may not submit children to commercial surveillance and data monetization practices when using technology in the classroom.

Continue Reading FTC Unanimously Adopts Policy Statement on Education Technology and COPPA

In the early hours of Friday, 13 May, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached provisional political agreement on a new framework EU cybersecurity law, known as “NIS2”. This new law, which will replace the existing NIS Directive (which was agreed around the same time as GDPR, see here) aims to strengthen EU-wide cybersecurity protection across a broader range of sectors, including the pharmaceutical sector, medical device manufacturing, and the food sector.

Continue Reading Political Agreement Reached on New EU Horizontal Cybersecurity Directive

On May 10, 2022, Prince Charles announced in the Queen’s Speech that the UK Government’s proposed Online Safety Bill (the “OSB”) will proceed through Parliament. The OSB is currently at committee stage in the House of Commons. Since it was first announced in December 2020, the OSB has been the subject of intense debate and scrutiny on the balance it seeks to strike between online safety and protecting children on the one hand, and freedom of expression and privacy on the other.

Continue Reading Online Safety Bill to Proceed Through Parliament

In the Queen’s Speech on 10 May 2022, the UK Government set out its legislative programme for the months ahead. This includes: reforms to UK data protection laws (no details yet); confirmation that the government will strengthen cybersecurity obligations for connected products and make it easier for telecoms providers to improve the UK’s digital infrastructure; and new rules to enable the use of self-driving cars on public roads. In addition, the government confirmed its plans to move forward with the Online Safety Bill. As part of the government’s broader agenda to “level up” the UK and provide a post-Brexit economic dividend, many of the legislative initiatives referenced in the Queen’s Speech are presented as seeking to encourage greater use of data and technology to support innovation and enable growth.

We summarize below the key digital policy announcements in the Queen’s Speech and how they fit into wider developments in the UK’s regulatory landscape.

Continue Reading UK Privacy and Digital Policy & Legislative Roundup

The Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC”), having last month released its annual report (see our blog post here), has now also issued two additional reports detailing statistics on its handling of cross-border cases (see here) and a recently completed Resource Allocation Audit conducted by independent consultants (see here).  Each is important in its own right for the reputation and development of this regulator, the lead EU supervisory authority for many of the large technology companies.

Continue Reading Irish DPC Reports on Cross-Border Activity and Resources

As many readers will be aware, a key enforcement trend in the privacy sphere is the increasing scrutiny by regulators and activists of cookie banners and the use of cookies. This is a topic that we have been tracking on the Inside Privacy blog for some time. Italian and German data protection authorities have