At the beginning of a new year, we are looking ahead to five key technology trends in the EMEA region that are likely to impact businesses in 2023.

Continue Reading Top Five EMEA Technology Trends to Watch in 2023

The new EU-wide cyber law, Directive 2022/2555 (NIS2), entered into force on Monday, January 16, 2023. NIS2 builds on the original NIS Directive but significantly expands the categories of organizations that fall within the scope of the law, imposes new and more granular security and incident reporting rules, and creates a stricter enforcement regime. Member states now have until October 18, 2024 to transpose the new directive into their respective national laws.

The passage of NIS2 sets the stage for 2023 to be another big year for cybersecurity in Europe. We expect the global cyber threat landscape to remain challenging and the regulatory landscape to become even more complex due to a raft of new laws including the Cyber Resilience Act (which we covered here), the Critical Entities Resilience Directive (see our post here), the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) (focused on financial services), and the UK’s ongoing reforms to its Network and Information Systems Regulations.

In this blog post, we summarize the key elements of NIS2 and describe what they will mean for your cybersecurity program this year.

Continue Reading New EU Cyber Law “NIS2” Enters Into Force

On January 12, 2023, the Court of Justice of the EU (“Court”) decided that the GDPR’s right of access gives a data subject the choice between asking a controller for (i) the identity of each data recipient to whom the controller will or has disclosed the data subject’s personal data or (ii) only the categories of data recipients.  The controller must comply with the data subject’s request, unless it is impossible to identify those recipients (e.g., because they are not yet known) or the controller demonstrates that the data subject’s access request is “manifestly unfounded or excessive.”

Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU Decides that GDPR Right of Access Allows Data Subjects to Request the Identity of Each Data Recipient

In 2022, the European Union announced the creation of Digital Partnerships with three Asian countries: Japan, South Korea and Singapore. This is in line with the EU’s Digital Compass strategy which seeks to make the European Union the most connected continent by 2030. The European Commission is expanding its connections between Europe and the rest of the world to address the digital divide and further develop a sustainable digital economy with trusted partners.

Below we set out the key points from the Digital Partnerships that the European Commission has announced with Japan, South Korea and Singapore, respectively.

Continue Reading EU Digital Partnerships with Asia: A New Path Towards Enhanced Digital Collaboration and Opportunities

On November 28, 2022, the European Commission launched a public consultation on whether the following three EU consumer laws remain adequate for ensuring a high level of consumer protection in the digital environment:

  • the Consumer Rights Directive (Directive 2011/83/EU, as amended), which sets out the minimum information traders must provide to EU consumers and which offers consumers certain rights, such as the right to withdraw from a contract;
  • the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (Directive 93/13/EEC, as amended), which prohibits terms in “standardized” (i.e., non-negotiable) business-to-consumer agreements that cause a significant imbalance between the parties rights and obligations to the detriment of consumers; and
  • the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (Directive 2005/29/EC, as amended), which prohibits commercial practices considered unfair, for example, because they are misleading or aggressive.

The public consultation consists of filling out a short questionnaire, which needs to be submitted by February 20, 2023.  It is aimed at stakeholders that operate in the digital environment, such as online platforms.

Continue Reading New Data Laws Prompt European Commission to Open Consultation on EU Consumer Laws

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 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 October 7, 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order directing the steps that the United States will take to implement its commitments under the new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework.  The framework was announced by the U.S. and the EU Commission in March 2022, after reaching a political agreement in principle (see our blog post

On September 28, 2022, the European Commission published its long-promised proposal for an AI Liability Directive.  The draft Directive is intended to complement the EU AI Act, which the EU’s institutions are still negotiating.  In parallel, the European Commission also published its proposal to update the EU’s 1985 Product Liability Directive.  If adopted, the proposals will change the liability rules for software and AI systems in the EU.

The draft AI Liability Directive establishes rules applicable to non-contractual, fault-based civil claims involving AI systems.  Specifically, the proposal establishes rules that would govern the preservation and disclosure of evidence in cases involving high-risk AI, as well as rules on the burden of proof and corresponding rebuttable presumptions.  If adopted as proposed, the draft AI Liability Directive will apply to damages that occur two years or more after the Directive enters into force; five years after its entry into force, the Commission will consider the need for rules on no-fault liability for AI claims.

As for the draft Directive on Liability of Defective Products, if adopted, EU Member States will have one year from its entry into force to implement it in their national laws.  The draft Directive would apply to products placed on the market one year after it enters into force.

Continue Reading European Commission Publishes Directive on the Liability of Artificial Intelligence Systems

On September 16, 2022, the European Commission published its Proposal for a European Media Freedom Act (“Proposed MFA”). The Proposed MFA is broadly designed to protect media pluralism and independence in the EU. It does so by setting a common set of rules “for all EU media players,” in particular, providers of “media services.” The Proposed MFA also imposes new obligations on providers of “very large online platforms” (“VLOPs”) as defined in the EU’s Digital Services Act (“DSA”).

Continue Reading European Commission publishes its Proposal for a European Media Freedom Act