European Union

On May 30, 2024, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) handed down its rulings in several cases (C-665/22Joined Cases C‑664/22 and C‑666/22C‑663/22, and Joined Cases C‑662/22 and C‑667/22) concerning the compatibility with EU law of certain Italian measures imposing obligations on providers of online platforms and search engines.  In doing so, the CJEU upheld the so-called “country-of-origin” principle, established in the EU’s e-Commerce Directive and based on the EU Treaties principle of free movement of services.  The country-of-origin principle gives the Member State where an online service provider is established exclusive authority (“competence”) to regulate access to, and exercise of, the provider’s services and prevents other Member States from imposing additional requirements.

We provide below an overview of Court’s key findings.Continue Reading CJEU Upholds Country-of-Origin Principle for Online Service Providers in the EU

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

As many readers will be aware, the EU’s new cybersecurity directive, NIS2, imposes security, incident notification, and governance obligations on entities in a range of critical sectors, including energy, transport, finance, health, and digital infrastructure (for an overview of NIS2, see our previous post here). One of the main reasons the Commission proposed these new rules was the inconsistent ways in which Member States had implemented requirements under the prior directive, NIS. To help improve harmonization further, the Commission has now issued two guidance documents to help assess when NIS2 or sector-specific requirements apply, and to ensure that registration requirements are consistent across the Union.
Continue Reading European Commission Publishes Guidance on NIS2: Interplay with Sector-Specific Laws

On March 2, 2023, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) decided, in case C-268/21, that the GDPR applies to the production of evidence in civil court proceedings. The case sets limits on, but does not preclude, the production of personal data in court proceedings. 
Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU Clarifies Rules on the Production of Evidence Containing Personal Data in Civil Litigation

On March 7, 2023, the Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC”) published its annual report for 2022. The report reflects the DPC’s reputation as both an active enforcer of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and a contributor to policy development at national and EU levels.  The level of interaction between the DPC and the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) is particularly significant with more than 300 meetings reported for 2022 (averaging at more than 25 per month), many of which involved participation in the EDPB’s expert subgroups.Continue Reading Key Takeaways from the Irish DPC’s 2022 Annual Report

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 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 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

On June 30, 2022, the European Data Protection Board published draft guidelines on certification as a tool for transfers.  These guidelines complement the EDPB’s earlier guidelines on certification and identifying certification criteria.

These guidelines and the guidelines on codes of conduct as tools for transfers appear to be part of the EDPB’s broader response to the Schrems II decision issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), which invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield framework.  The approval of certification schemes expands the toolbox available under Art. 46 GDPR for lawfully transferring personal data outside the EEA.Continue Reading European Data Protection Board Publishes Guidelines on Certification as a Tool for International Personal Data Transfers

On June 23, 2022, the German Federal Office for Information Security (“Office”) published technical guidelines on security requirements for healthcare apps, including mobile apps, web apps, and background systems.  Although the technical guidelines are aimed at healthcare app developers, they contain useful guidance for developers of any app that processes or stores sensitive