On December 22, 2021, the Austrian Supervisory Authority (“Authority”) found that an Austrian website that implemented the (free version of) Google analytics violated the GDPR’s rules on international data transfers (see here).

The Authority decided that the Standard Contractual Clauses, combined with the Austrian website operator’s supplementary measures to transfer personal data to Google

On March 7, 2019, the Dutch Supervisory Authority for data protection issued guidance prohibiting the use of “cookie walls” on websites.  Cookie walls require website users to consent to the placing of tracking cookies or similar technologies before allowing them access to the website.  According to the regulator, it received many complaints about this practice.

On 30 November 2018, the Austrian Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) decided that the website of an online media publisher – which offers users the option to either consent to advertising cookies or pay for a subscription – gives users a free choice that is compatible with the requirements of consent under the GDPR. (The decision

Earlier this year, in the run-up to the General Data Protection Regulation’s (“GDPR”) May 25, 2018 date of application, a major question for stakeholders was how zealously the GDPR would be enforced.  Now, as the GDPR approaches its six-month birthday, an answer to that question is rapidly emerging.  Enforcement appears to be ramping up significantly. 

Industry eagerly awaits further guidance from data protection authorities (“DPAs”) relating to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield as well as on the validity (or otherwise) of other mechanisms for transfers to the U.S. such as standard contractual clauses (“SCCs”) and binding corporate rules (“BCRs”).  As we explained in recent posts (here and here), publication of an opinion by the Article 29 Working Party, representing, among other things, the EU’s data protection authorities, is a key next step that will shape enforcement and data transfer options for companies in the post-Schrems environment.  Until then, here is a summary of the approach that some of the national DPAs are taking:
Continue Reading EU DPA Enforcement Guidance Post-Schrems

On 16 October 2012, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) ruled in favour of the European Commission in its claim against Austria that the Austrian Data Protection Authority, the Datenschutzkommission (“DSK”), was not independent from the Austrian government as required under Article 28 of the EU’s Data Protection Directive. The Commission’s action was supported by the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”); Austria’s defence was supported by Germany.

Article 28, which was the focus of the case, requires data protection authorities to “act with complete independence in exercising the functions entrusted to them”. This principle is also made clear in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (“TFEU”).

Continue Reading The European Court of Justice Rules That Austria’s Data Protection Authority Is Not Sufficiently Independent