Tag Archives: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

German Court Overturns GDPR Fine, Raises Legal Questions About Fines Against Companies

On February 18, 2021, the District Court of Berlin overturned a €14.5 million fine that had been imposed on German real estate company Deutsche Wohnen SE.  The Court held that the fine – which was issued by the Berlin Supervisory Authority (“SA”) and had been the second highest fine in Germany so far under the … Continue Reading

French Supervisory Authority Publishes Results of Public Consultation on the Digital Rights of Minors

In January 2021, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) published a summary report of contributions it received in response to a public consultation and survey on the digital rights of minors launched in April 2020 (see the press release here and a summary report here, both in French).  Stakeholders who responded to the consultation included companies, … Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes Report on EU Member States’ Rules in Relation to Health Data

In February 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) released a report on European Union (“EU”) Member States’ laws governing the processing of health data.  The report discusses three general types of health data uses: primary use for health care services; secondary use for public health purposes; and secondary use for scientific research purposes. For each of … Continue Reading

A New Day for GDPR Damages Claims in Germany?

Until now, damages claims awarded by German courts pursuant to Article 82 of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) – in particular, claims for non-material damages – have been relatively low.  This restrained approach thus far has been predicated primarily on the position that German law requires a serious violation of personality rights to justify … Continue Reading

German Supervisory Authorities Plan to Circulate Questionnaires on Personal Data Transfers in Wake of Schrems II Decision

On February 3, 2021, the Conference of the Supervisory Authorities (“SAs”) of Germany (known as the Datenschutzkonferenz or “DSK”) published minutes from its meetings held in November 2020 (available here, in German).  The minutes include discussions about how the German SAs plan to enforce the recent Schrems II ruling of the Court of Justice of … Continue Reading

EDPB Publishes Draft Guidelines on Data Breach Notification Examples

On January 18, 2021, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) published its draft Guidelines 01/2021 on Examples regarding Data Breach Notification (“Guidelines”) (available here).  The Guidelines aim to assist data controllers in responding to and assessing the risk of personal data breaches, providing “practice-oriented, case-based guidance” which draws from the experiences of European supervisory authorities … Continue Reading

Spanish Supervisory Authority Issues Guidance on Auditing Data Processing Activities Involving Artificial Intelligence

On January 12, 2020, the Spanish Supervisory Authority (“AEPD”) issued guidance on how to audit personal data processing activities that involve Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) (available here, in Spanish).  The AEPD’s guidance is directed at data controllers and processors, as well as AI developers, data protection officers (“DPO”), and auditors.  The guidance aims to help ensure … Continue Reading

EDPB and EDPS Release Joint Opinion on Draft EU Standard Contractual Clauses

On January 19, 2021, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) issued a joint opinion on the draft standard contractual clauses for international data transfers (“draft SCCs”) published by the European Commission (“EC”) on November 12, 2020, including a marked-up version of the clauses. The EDPB/EDPS joint opinion proposes … Continue Reading

New Guidelines for Companies from German Supervisory Authority (DPA-BW) following Schrems II

On September 7, 2020, the German data protection supervisory authority for Baden-Wuerttemberg (“DPA-BW”) released new guidelines following the Schrems II judgment on how companies should transfer data to third countries. For a more in-depth summary of the CJEU’s Schrems II decision, please see our previous blog post here and our audiocast episode here.… Continue Reading

H&M Receives Record-Breaking Fine for Employee Surveillance in Violation of the GDPR

On October 1, 2020, the Hamburg Data Protection Authority (“Hamburg DPA”) fined H&M, the Swedish clothing company, over €35 million for illegally surveilling employees at its service center in Nuremberg.  This fine is the largest financial penalty issued by a German DPA to date for a violation of the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), … Continue Reading

UK Information Commissioner’s Office Publishes Draft Accountability Framework Tool

On 10 September 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published its beta-phase “Accountability Framework” (“Framework”).  The Framework is designed to assist organisations, of any size and across all sectors, in complying with the accountability principle under the GDPR and in meeting the expectations of the ICO. The Framework will help those within organisations who … Continue Reading

Life After Schrems II: Practical Recommendations In An Uncertain Time

On 16 July, 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”), issued its decision in the Schrems II case.  In short, the CJEU invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and clarified that the use of standard contractual clauses (“SCCs”) requires data controllers to conduct a case-by-case assessment of the level of data protection that SCCs … Continue Reading

Inside Privacy Audiocast: Episode 1 – Post-Schrems II: Paving A Way Forward

The Court of Justice of the European Union’s recent decision in the “Schrems II’ case was one of the most highly anticipated decisions in the world of data privacy, striking down the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, but upholding the validity of standard contractual clauses. Tune in to the first episode of Covington’s Inside Privacy Audiocast, where … Continue Reading

EU’s Highest Court Strikes Down Privacy Shield But Upholds Other Key International Data Transfer Mechanism

Today, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a landmark decision striking down the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield—an agreement between EU and U.S. authorities authorizing transfers of EU personal data to the United States—but upholding the validity of standard contractual clauses (“SCCs”), another mechanism that EU-based organizations use to transfer data internationally. Covington represents … Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes 2-Year Report on the Implementation of the GDPR

On June 24, 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its much-anticipated assessment of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) two years after it went into effect.  The assessment takes into account contributions from the European Council, the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”), individual supervisory authorities, the Multi-Stakeholder Expert Group and other … Continue Reading

Belgian SA Decision on Lodging GDPR Complaints

On June 8, 2020, the Belgian Supervisory Authority (“SA”) fined a (then ex-) politician €5,000 for sending political marketing materials without an appropriate legal basis.  Although the fine was not massive, the case is interesting for another reason: the complaint was brought not by the individuals who received the marketing materials, but by their employer. … Continue Reading

Belgian Supervisory Authority’s GDPR Track Record So Far

On May 25, 2020, the second anniversary of the GDPR, the Belgian Supervisory Authority (“SA”) released an overview of its first full year of activity (available in French here, and in Dutch here).  To be clear, this was not a delay in reporting, but rather shows that the Belgian legislature was late in creating its … Continue Reading

Dutch Supervisory Authority Fines Company for Processing Biometric Data of Employees

On April 28, 2020, the Dutch Supervisory Authority (“Dutch SA”) announced its decision to impose a fine of €725,000 on a company for unlawfully processing the biometric data of its employees. In 2018, the company concerned installed an access and time management system that collected and processed biometric templates of employees’ fingerprints.  This initiative came … Continue Reading

French Supervisory Authority Publishes Guidance for Website and App Developers

On January 27, 2020, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) issued a guidance for developers of websites and applications which sets out the main principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), expounds on their application in the online environment, and gives practical tips to help developers respect users’ privacy when deploying websites and apps. The … Continue Reading

German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Launches Public Consultation on Anonymization

On February 10, 2020, Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) launched its first public consultation procedure.  The consultation invites comments on a position paper of the BfDI which addresses the anonymization of personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with a particular focus on the telecommunications sector (for … Continue Reading

Germany Publishes Draft Regulation on the Reimbursement of Digital Health Applications

Germany recently enacted a law that enables state health insurance schemes to reimburse costs related to the use of digital health applications (“health apps”), but the law requires the Federal Ministry of Health to first develop the reimbursement process for such apps.  Accordingly, on January 15, 2020, the German government published a draft regulation setting … Continue Reading

Dutch Court Decides on Scope of GDPR Right of Access

In late December 2019, the Court of The Hague (Netherlands) published a preliminary reference procedure (see here, in Dutch).  The Court was asked to decide on the scope of the right of access under the GDPR. The defendant in this case was a bailiff involved in the bankruptcy procedure.  The individual who was target of … Continue Reading

German Telecommunications Company Fined 9.5 Million Euros for GDPR Violation

On December 9, 2019, the German Federal Data Protection Supervisory Authority (BfDI) imposed a 9.55 million Euro fine on the telecommunications company 1&1 Telecom GmbH.  The BfDI found that the authentication procedures used by 1&1’s customer helpline were insufficient and failed to satisfy the requirements of Art. 32 GDPR.  The company announced that it will … Continue Reading
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