EU Data Protection

In six months’ time, on 17 October 2024, Member State laws that transpose the EU’s revised Network and Information Systems Directive (“NIS2”) will start to apply.  As described in more detail in our earlier blog post (here), NIS2 significantly expands the categories of organizations that fall within scope of EU cybersecurity legislation. This new, cross-sector law imposes additional and more granular security and incident reporting rules, enhanced governance requirements that apply to organizations’ “management bodies,” and creates a stricter enforcement regime.Continue Reading NIS2 implementation enters the final stretch – six months to deadline

In recent months, the European Court of Justice (“CJEU”) issued five judgments providing some clarity on the scope of individuals’ rights to claim compensation for “material and non-material damage” under Article 82 of the GDPR. These rulings will inform companies’ exposure to compensation claims, particularly in the context of the EU’s Collective Redress Directive, but open questions remain about the quantum of compensation courts will offer in these cases and we expect both the CJEU and national courts to deliver additional case-law clarifying this topic in the coming year (for more information on recent CJEU cases related to compensation, see our previous blog posts here and here).

  • In VB v Natsionalna agentsia za prihodite (C-340/21), the CJEU concluded that individuals may have suffered “non-material damage”—and therefore be able to claim compensation—if they can demonstrate that they feared future misuse of personal data that was compromised in a personal data breach.  
  • In VX v Gemeinde Ummendorf (C-456/22), the CJEU found that there is no de minimis threshold for damage, below which individuals cannot claim for compensation.
  • In BL v MediaMarktSaturn (C-687-21), the CJEU restated its existing case-law, and expanded upon its analysis in VB by clarifying that alleged harms cannot be “purely hypothetical”.
  • In Kočner v Europol (C-755/21), the CJEU awarded non-material damages of €2000 for the publication in newspapers of transcripts of “intimate” text messages.
  • In GP v Juris GmbH (C-741/21), the CJEU found that where one processing activity infringes multiple provisions of the GDPR, this should not allow claimants to “double-count” the harm they suffered.

We provide further detail on each case below.Continue Reading Rounding up Five Recent CJEU Cases on GDPR Compensation

On January 17, 2024, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) published its report on the 2023 Coordinated Enforcement Framework (“CEF”), which examines the current landscape and obstacles faced by data protection officers (“DPOs”) across the EU.  In particular, the report provides a snapshot of the findings of each supervisory authority (“SA”) on the role of DPOs, with a particular focus on (i) the challenges DPOs face and (ii) recommendations to mitigate and address these obstacles in light of the GDPR.  This blog post summarizes the key findings of the EDPB’s 2023 CEF report.Continue Reading EDPB 2023 Coordinated Enforcement Framework on DPOs: What Are the Key Takeaways for Organizations?

On February 7, 2024, the German Federal Cabinet approved a draft law (“the Draft Law”) amending the Federal Data Protection Act (“BDSG”).  The Draft Law will now go to the Bundesrat (the legislative body that represents the sixteen Länder (federated states) of Germany at the federal level ) for its opinion and then to the Bundestag (the federal parliament) for discussion and, potentially, adoption.Continue Reading German Government Proposes to Amend Federal Data Protection Act

On March 14, 2024, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) ruled that EU supervisory authorities have the (corrective) power to order data controllers who have been found to process personal data unlawfully to erase such personal data, even if the data subjects have not requested the erasure.  (Case C‑46/23)Continue Reading The CJEU Ruled that Supervisory Authorities Can Order the Deletion of Unlawfully Processed Personal Data

On March 7, 2024, the CJEU rendered its judgement in the IAB Europe case (C-604/22).   The case relates to role of IAB Europe, a sector organization, in its Transparency and Consent Framework (“TCF”) used by companies to record the GDPR consent granted (or not granted) by a user and to document compliance with their GDPR transparency obligations.  The framework is widely used in digital advertising, including in real-time bidding scenarios; below, we set out the court’s three main findings.Continue Reading CJEU Decides the IAB Europe Case, Expanding the Concept of Controllership

In December 2023, the Dutch SA fined a credit card company €150,000 for failure to perform a proper data protection impact assessment (“DPIA”) in accordance with Art. 35 GDPR for its “identification and verification process”.Continue Reading Dutch SA Sanctions Credit Card Company for Failure to Perform Data Protection Impact Assessment

On January 15, 2024, the European Commission released its report on the first review of the functioning of the existing eleven adequacy decisions adopted under the pre-GDPR framework.  

The Commission concluded that personal data transferred from the European Economic Area to any of Andorra, Argentina, Canada (for PIPEDA-regulated entities), the Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Israel, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland and Uruguay continue to receive an adequate level of protection.Continue Reading European Commission Retains Adequacy Decisions for Data Transfers to Eleven Countries

Several EU data protection supervisory authorities (“SAs”) have recently issued guidance on cookies.  On January 11, 2024, the Spanish SA published guidance on cookies used for audience measurement (often referred to as analytics cookies) (available in Spanish only).  On December 20, 2023, the Austrian SA published FAQs  on cookies and data protection (available in German only).  On October 23, 2023, the Belgian SA published a cookie checklist (available in Dutch and French).

The new guidance builds on existing guidance but addresses some new topics which we discuss below.Continue Reading EU Supervisory Authorities Publish New Guidance on Cookies

On November 16, 2023, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) issued draft Guidelines 2/2023 on Technical Scope of Art. 5(3) of ePrivacy Directive (“Guidelines”).  Article 5(3) is the provision that requires consent before storing or accessing information on an end user’s device. Over the years it has become known as the “cookie rule,” but it is technology-agnostic.  The Guidelines expand upon guidance issued by the Article 29 Working Group in 2014, and are intended to clarify when the requirement applies to new tracking methods.  The Guidelines are open to public consultation through December 28, 2023. 

The Guidelines identify and explain the four key elements that trigger the obligation to obtain opt-in consent under Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive (“ePD”).  The Guidelines set forth an extremely broad interpretation of what constitutes “storing” and “accessing” information on a user’s device that arguably goes beyond the plain meaning of these terms.  This interpretation is likely to be relevant for companies considering how to approach the discontinuation of third-party cookies on many browsers.    Continue Reading EDPB Issues Draft Guidelines on Technical Scope of ePrivacy Directive Rules for Storage and Access