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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  The DSK indicated that this model is subject to change and will be superseded by any method put forward in guidance issued by the European Data Protection Board.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

European Parliamentary Research Service issues a briefing paper on implementing EU’s ethical guidelines on AI

On 19 September 2019, the European Parliamentary Research Service (“EPRS”)—the European Parliament’s in-house research service—released a briefing paper that summarizes the current status of the EU’s approach to developing a regulatory framework for ethical AI.  Although not a policymaking body, the EPRS can provide useful insights into the direction of EU policy on an issue. … 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

New Calculation Model for Data Protection Fines in Germany

Update, September 19, 2019: Further to the reports on its scheme for calculating fines, which prompted requests on the supervisory to publish it, the Datenschutzkonferenz has clarified that fines in individual cases are calculated on the basis of Art. 83(2) GDPR, and that the model is only used on a complimentary basis. Furthermore, the model … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Enforcement Actions Relating to Privacy Shield Certifications

On September 3, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced settlement agreements with five companies for alleged false claims of certification under the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks (collectively, “Privacy Shield”).  These settlements indicate that the FTC is continuing to actively enforce Privacy Shield commitments, as it has done with respect to several other … 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 Parliament Publishes Study on Blockchain and the GDPR

On July 24, 2019, the European Parliament published a study entitled “Blockchain and the General Data Protection Regulation: Can distributed ledgers be squared with European data protection law?”  The study explores the tension between blockchain technology and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), the EU’s data protection law.  The study also explores … Continue Reading

New Research Exposes Perils of Bogus Access Requests Under GDPR, With Implications for CCPA

At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas last week, a security researcher presented his research on using access rights available under the GDPR for identity theft purposes (slides available here; whitepaper available here).  Specifically, the researcher “attempted to steal as much information as possible” about his fiancé by submitting GDPR access requests in her … Continue Reading

CJEU rules that Facebook and website operators are joint controllers if the website embeds Facebook’s “Like” button

On July 29, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down its judgment in the Fashion ID case (Case C-40/17).   The CJEU found that when a website operator embeds Facebook’s “Like” button on its website, Facebook and the website operator become joint controllers. The case clarifies the relationship between website operators … Continue Reading

European Commission Issues Report on the Implementation of the GDPR

On July 24, 2019, the European Commission (“the Commission”) published a report appraising Europe’s progress in implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) as a central component of its revamped data protection framework.  In its report, the Commission highlights certain achievements resulting from implementation efforts, calls attention to issues that require further action, and describes … 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

German Bundestag approves 2nd German Data Protection Adaptation Act (“2nd DSAnpUG”): Summary of significant changes for German data protection laws.

On 28 June 2019, the German Bundestag passed the 2nd DSAnpUG which will amongst other things further adapt the German Federal Data Protection Act („BDSG“), the German Federal Registration Act (“BMG”), the German Act on the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (“BSI-Act”) and the Act on the Establishment of a Federal Institute for … Continue Reading

Two new developments from the EU High-Level Working Group on AI: launch of pilot phase of Ethics Guidelines and publication of Policy and Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy AI

On June 26, 2019, the EU High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG) announced two important developments: (1) the launch of the pilot phase of the assessment list in its Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI (the “Ethics Guidelines”); and (2) the publication of its Policy and Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy AI (the “Recommendations”). The … 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

Privacy Shield Ombudsperson Confirmed by the Senate

On June 20, 2019, Keith Krach was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the Trump administration’s first permanent Privacy Shield Ombudsperson at the State Department.  The role of the Privacy Shield Ombudsperson is to act as an additional redress avenue for all EU data subjects whose data is transferred from the EU or Switzerland … Continue Reading

German DSK publishes guidance on the applicability of the German Telemedia Act to telemedia services

On April 5, 2019, the association of German Supervisory Authorities for data protection (‘Datenschutzkonferenz’ or ‘DSK’) published a guideline regarding the applicability of the German Telemedia Act (‘TMG’) to telemedia services – including, for example, the use of website cookies for targeted advertising post-GDPR. The guideline aims to “clarify and concretize” a previous statement on … Continue Reading

EDPB Begins Consultation on New Guidelines on Use of the “Performance of a Contract” GDPR Legal Basis by Online Services

On 9 April 2019, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) adopted new guidelines “on the processing of personal data under Article 6(1)(b) GDPR in the context of the provision of online services to data subjects.” In general, the GDPR requires that processing of personal data be justified under a legal basis in Article 6 GDPR.  … 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
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