By

Jasmine Agyekum

18 July 2020

The EU’s Highest Court Announces Significant Decision Regarding Cross-Border Data Flows: Invalidates EU-US Privacy Shield Program and Upholds Standard Contractual Clauses

In a decision with significant implications for international trade and cross-border data flows, the EU’s highest court – the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) ruled on 16 July 2020 that a key legal mechanism (called the EU-US Privacy Shield program) used to enable transfers of personal data from the European Union (“EU”) was invalid, while also potentially requiring additional protections to be implemented when another key transfer mechanism (called Standard Contractual Clauses) is used.  The case – Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland, Max Schrems (“Schrems II”) – considered the validity of the EU-US Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”) program (a privacy certification made available for US organizations through an agreement between the European Commission and the US government) and Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCC”) (a form of international data transfer agreement made available for use by the European Commission).

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30 June 2020

Key Takeaways From Sidley’s Privacy and Cybersecurity Monitor-Side Chat Featuring Bruno Gencarelli, Head of International Data Flows and Protection at the European Commission

On June 25, 2020, Sidley partner, Alan Raul, founder and co-head of Sidley’s privacy and cybersecurity practice, hosted Bruno Gencarelli, head of International Data Flows and Protection at the European Commission, for a Monitor-Side Chat.

The discussion focused largely on the Commission’s report on two years of the GDPR which was issued on 24 June 2020. Key themes of the report include:

  • EU data protection authorities (“DPAs”) should increase their efforts towards the adoption of a harmonised approach to responding to cross-border investigations;
  • a call for greater resources to be given to DPAs by EU Member States to ensure the GDPR is sufficiently enforced;
  • a need for greater consistency among EU Member States on interpretations of the GDPR in national laws in order to avoid unnecessary burdens on companies; and
  • greater utilisation of the data portability right under the GDPR to ensure individuals have greater involvement in the digital economy by enabling them to switch between different service providers and make use of other innovative services.

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18 May 2020

European Commission’s Public Consultation on Proposed EU Artificial Intelligence Regulatory Framework

On 19 February 2020, the European Commission published a white paper on the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in the EU (the “White Paper”). The White Paper forms part of the Commission President, Ursula Von der Leyen’s, digital strategy, one of the key pillars of her administration’s five year tenure, recognising that the EU has fallen behind the US and China with respect to the strategic deployment of AI. To tackle this problem, the Commission proposes a common EU approach to ‘speed up the uptake’ of AI in the EU, whilst also tackling the human and ethical implications of AI’s fast growing use in the EU, including the possible downsides of its use, such as opaque decision making and hidden, embedded gender and racial discrimination. In order to achieve a common EU approach to AI, and to create “trustworthy” AI that can rival developments in the US and China, the Commission proposes the creation of a regulatory framework for AI.

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12 December 2019

EDPB Provides Clarity and Raises New Questions with Publication of Final Guidelines on the Territorial Scope of the GDPR

Following an extensive public consultation, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) has published a final version of its guidelines on the territorial scope of the GDPR (“Guidelines”). This comes almost one year since the draft guidelines were originally published.  Please read this blog together with our previous blog on the draft guidelines, as this blog addresses only the key differences between the draft guidelines and the Guidelines. (more…)

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02 December 2019

EDPB Stakeholder Event Highlights Continued Confusion over Data Subject Rights Compliance under the GDPR

On 4 November 2019, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), the EU-wide data supervisory authority, held a stakeholders’ event on data subject rights under the GDPR. At the event, various stakeholders including e.g., corporates and NGOs, raised a number of issues including, for example:

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04 November 2019

Website Cookie Consent: Is the Cookie Starting to Crumble?

Two important decisions have recently occurred relating to website operators’ use of cookies.  First, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU” or the “Court”) has issued its judgment in Planet49, a case which looked at the standards of consent and transparency for the use of cookies and similar technologies in the context of the e-Privacy Directive and the GDPR and determined that opt-out consent, by way of a pre-ticked checkbox, was insufficient to obtain GDPR-standard consent for non-essential cookies.  Second, the Spanish data protection authority, AEPD, fined Vueling, a Spanish airline, €30,000 for forcing visitors to its website to accept the use of non-essential cookies on their device in order to continue viewing the website.

We set out below our summaries and key takeaways from both decisions which help to highlight the latest approach of both the courts and European data protection regulators in relation to cookie consent.

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26 April 2019

UK and U.S. Privacy Shield Guidance on Brexit

In light of the UK’s possible departure from the European Union (EU), currently scheduled for October 31, 2019 (“Exit Day”), the UK Government has passed the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) (No.2) Regulations 2019 (“Regulations”) which enter into force immediately before Exit Day.

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07 February 2019

EDPB Adopts Opinion on Interplay Between the EU Clinical Trials Regulation and the GDPR

On 23 January 2019, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted an opinion on the interplay between the EU Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Opinion addresses the appropriate legal basis for the processing of personal data in the context of clinical trials (primary use), and the secondary use of clinical trial data. (more…)

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22 January 2019

Transfers of Personal Data from the EU to the U.S. in the Event of a Brexit ‘No-Deal’

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”) enables the free-flow of personal data from the European Economic Area (“EEA”) to the U.S. Under the Privacy Shield, U.S. participant organisations commit to adhering to Privacy Shield principles, which include accountability for the onward transfer of personal data after receiving such data from EEA organisations, data integrity obligations and purpose limitations with respect to the personal data transferred. Privacy Shield participant organisations are also required to develop and maintain a Privacy Shield-compliant privacy policy which informs individuals of the organisation’s practices and procedures when handling personal data and explains the independent recourse mechanisms in place for individuals to address complaints with respect to the processing of their personal data.  (more…)

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17 January 2019

French DPA Publishes Updated Data Protection Impact Assessment Guidance

Under Article 35(3) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organisations are required to conduct a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) where they: (i) engage in a systematic and extensive evaluation of personal aspects of individuals, based on automated processing, and on which decisions are based that produce legal or other effects that concern the individual, or (ii) process special categories of personal data (e.g. health data) on a large scale or personal data relating to criminal convictions, or (iii) engage in a systematic monitoring of a publicly accessible area on a large scale. (more…)

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