On January 18, 2023, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) published a report setting out the common positions of the EDPB and EEA member state supervisory authorities (“SAs”) with respect to interpreting the EU rules applying to cookies. SAs will take these common positions into account when handling cookie complaints.

The report was drafted by the EDPB’s Cookie Banner Taskforce (“Taskforce”), which is composed of the EDPB and 18 SAs. However, the report does not have the same interpretative value as EDPB guidance. Moreover, SAs will not take into account the positions mentioned in the report in isolation – they will also take into account additional national requirements stemming from the national laws transposing the ePrivacy Directive and SAs’ national guidance.

Continue Reading EDPB Publishes Report of Cookie Banners Taskforce

On January 18, 2023, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) published a report on the outcome of its investigation into the use of cloud-based services by the public sector.

The EDPB prepared the report as part of its first coordinated enforcement action under the Coordinated Enforcement Framework (“Framework”), a key part of the EDPB’s 2021-2023 strategy. The Framework facilitates coordinated actions between the EDPB and national data protection authorities to (i) share information and best practices on a topic related to data privacy, and (ii) provide recommendations to better support compliance with data protection laws. Through the Framework, the EDPB and national authorities investigate compliance with a specific data protection topic each year; in 2023, the EDPB will investigate the designation and role of data protection officers (“DPOs”).

This blog summarizes the main takeaways of the 2022 Coordinated Enforcement Action, and highlights its most relevant data privacy concerns.

Continue Reading EDPB Releases Outcome of its Investigation into the Use of Cloud-Based Services by the Public Sector

On January 12, 2023, the Belgian Constitutional Court decided that a provision of the Belgian data protection law is unconstitutional. 

The relevant provision prevented parties from challenging a decision of the Belgian Supervisory Authority if they were not a party to the proceedings before the Belgian Supervisory Authority that led to the decision.

The Constitutional

On December 20th, 2022, the French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”) closed down an investigation against a US company providing a browser extension (the “Company”), after finding that its activities were not subject to the GDPR. The CNIL’s decision is available here in French.

The Company provides a browser extension (the “Extension”) allowing users to obtain

On December 28, 2022, the Spanish Data Protection Authority (“AEPD”) published a statement on the interplay between its recently approved Spanish code of conduct for the pharmaceutical industry and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations’ (“EFPIA”) proposal for an EU code of conduct on clinical trials and pharmacovigilance.  The statement relates specifically to the legal basis for processing personal data in the context of clinical trials.

Continue Reading The Spanish AEPD Publishes Statement on the Interplay Between its Code of Conduct for the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Potential EU Code of Conduct on Clinical Trials

On December 15, 2022, the Advocate Generals (“AG”) of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued two separate opinions in cases C‑487/21 and C‑579/21 on the right of access, pursuant to Article 15 GDPR.  The first case concerns the proper interpretation and application of Article 15(3), which permits a data subject to obtain a “copy” of their personal data, among other things. The second case concerns whether the right of access includes the right to receive the identity of the controller’s employees, who are processing the data subject’s personal data in the scope of their employment.

Continue Reading CJEU’s Advocate General Issues Opinions on the GDPR’s Right of Access to Personal Data

On December 14, 2022, the members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) (which includes various EU Member States, Mexico, Turkey, the UK and the United States) and the EU, adopted the Declaration on Government Access to Personal Data held by Private Sector Entities (“Declaration”). 

Continue Reading OECD and the EU adopt Declaration on Government Access to Personal Data

On December 13, 2022, the European Commission released its draft adequacy decision on the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (“EU-U.S. DPF”), which, once formally adopted, would recognize that the United States ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU to organizations certified under the EU-U.S. DPF.  The draft decision follows the issuance of Executive Order 14086 on Enhancing Safeguards for U.S. Signals Intelligence Activities (“EO 14086”) by President Biden on October 7, 2022 (see our previous blog post here), and the political agreement reached between the EU and the U.S. in March 2022 (see our previous blog post here).

As many had expected, the draft adequacy decision assesses the limitations and safeguards relating to the collection and subsequent use of personal data transferred to controllers and processors in the United States by U.S. public authorities.  In particular, the draft decision assesses whether the conditions under which the U.S. government may access data transferred to the United States fulfill the “essential equivalence” test pursuant to Article 45(1) of the GDPR, as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in Schrems II (see our previous blog post here). 

Continue Reading European Commission Releases Draft Adequacy Decision on the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework

On November 22, 2022, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued its judgment in joint cases C‑37/20 and C‑601/20, holding that provisions of an EU anti-money laundering directive relating to the publication of beneficial ownership registers were incompatible with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (“CFR”). The Court found that while deterring money laundering was a valid objective, making data available to the general public was neither a necessary nor proportionate way to achieve this objective, so contravened the CFR. The judgment demonstrates the Court’s view that sharing a person’s personal data with a third party is a serious intrusion, and that the Court will carefully scrutinize any such sharing.

Although the case concerned the CFR, it sheds light on how the Court approaches similar principles that apply in other contexts, including in the context of the GDPR.

Continue Reading CJEU Invalidates Public Anti-Money Laundering Registers on Privacy Grounds

On October 6, 2022, the Advocate General (“AG”) of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) released an opinion in case C-300/21 to the effect that a controller or processor’s non-compliance with the GDPR does not automatically entitle data subjects to receive compensation for non-material damages pursuant to Article 82 GDPR.  According to the AG, compensation is meant to remedy the consequences caused by a breach of the GDPR, and therefore a data subject must have suffered damage that he or she can affirmatively demonstrate.

Continue Reading CJEU Advocate General Issues Opinion on Non-Material Damages for GDPR Breach