Article 29 Working Party Publishes Final Guidance on Data Protection Impact Assessments

On 4 October 2017 the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) published its final Guidelines on Data Protection Impact Assessment (“DPIA”) which were initially released in draft form in April 2017. Article 35 of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) requires the use of DPIAs, or risk assessments of the proposed processing of personal data by an organisation, as part of regular business processes. The key revisions to note are in relation to the following concepts:

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U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Extraterritorial Search Warrant Dispute

On October 16, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the U.S. government’s request for review of a lower court decision that rejected the government’s construction of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and embraced a more restrictive view that Microsoft had advanced, backed by much of the tech industry and many privacy groups.

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Proposed Changes to Singapore’s Data Protection Act

On July 27, 2017, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) initiated a public consultation to consider several significant proposed changes to Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA). Citing technological advances and global developments, the PDPC proposed changes that would have the effect of (1) broadening the circumstances under which organizations could collect, use and disclose personal data without consent and (2) imposing a mandatory data breach notification requirement in certain situations.

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Schrems Judgment in the Irish Commercial Court Raises Concerns over the “Model Contracts” for Transfer of Personal Data Out of Europe

An Irish High Court ruling may have a significant impact on one of the main mechanisms that global companies use to transfer personal data out of the European Economic Area (“EEA”).  The Irish High Court ruled on 3 October 2017 that the Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) used by companies to transfer data from the EEA to US, also frequently referred to as “Model Contracts,” must be the subject of review by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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Illinois’ Governor Vetoes the Geolocation Privacy Bill

On September 22, 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the proposed Geolocation Privacy Protection Act, which sought to limit the collection, use, retention, or disclosure of precise geolocation data from a mobile device without a person’s prior express and written consent.  The General Assembly originally passed the bill on June 27, 2017.  (For more background on the bill, see Illinois Becomes the First State to Pass a Geolocation Privacy Protection Bill (July 5, 2017)).

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ECHR Ruled on Monitoring of Employee’s Electronic Communication

On 5 September 2017, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (the “ECHR”) overturned  the previous decision of the ECHR (sitting as a Chamber) and ruled that the Romanian courts had failed to strike a fair balance between the interest of an employer to monitor its employees’ electronic communications to ensure the smooth operation of the company and the employee’s right to respect for his private life and correspondence under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, in a question and answer  section on its website the EHCR made it clear that the ruling does not mean that employers cannot monitor employee’s communications at work. Employers may still monitor their employee’s communications as long as such a measure is accompanied by “adequate and sufficient safeguards against abuse.”

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