After three years of discussions and in a final debate, the Swiss parliament has agreed on the final draft bill of a new and modernized data protection law.
In particular, the National Council and the Council of States found a compromise on the these outstanding issues: (more…)
In 2017, the Swiss government issued a draft bill for a new Swiss Data Protection Act (“nDPA”) with two main goals: (1) to enhance the level of protection of personal data provided in the current Swiss Data Protection Act which dates back to 1992 (largely, to align with the EU GDPR); and (2) to ensure that there is an “adequate” level of data protection to allow for the continued flow of personal data from the EEA to Switzerland.
On 2 September 2020, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published draft guidelines on the concepts of controller and processor under the GDPR (Draft Guidelines). The Draft Guidelines are intended to expand on and ultimately replace the guidance issued by the former Article 29 Working Party in 2010 (WP29 Guidance). The Draft Guidelines should be reviewed carefully to assess whether: (i) the understanding of an organisation’s role as a controller, joint controller or processor should be revised; and (ii) changes to existing vendor processes and contracts are needed in light of the assessment of guarantees provided by vendors and the more detailed processing provisions and ongoing diligence now required.
The Draft Guidelines consist of two parts. The first part seeks to further clarify the meaning of these concepts—which are crucial in determining compliance responsibilities under the GDPR—by reference to various examples. The second part provides detailed guidance on their respective roles and responsibilities, and the relationships between them.
The Draft Guidelines, accessible here, are subject to public consultation until 19 October 2020.
Following the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (“CJEU”) decision in Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Ltd and Maximillian Schrems (“Schrems II”), the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (“FDPIC”) concluded in a position paper published on 8 September that the Swiss-US Privacy Shield no longer provides a valid mechanism for the transfer of personal data from Switzerland to the US.
On July 23, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (the “EDPB”) published a set of important responses to a set of 12 frequently asked questions put forward to supervisory authorities regarding the recent Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) decision in Case C-311/18 – Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Ltd and Maximillian Schrems (“Schrems II”) (“FAQs”).
Below is a summary of the key take-aways from the EDPB’s FAQs, which is intended to address a range of topics including the lack of a grace period following the decision and the conditions surrounding the use of certain data transfer mechanisms:
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).
The Supreme Court has recently granted Google permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Lloyd v Google LLC () EWCA Civ 1599). The class action brought against Google by Richard Lloyd, the former editor of consumer protection rights group “Which?”, relates to the alleged tracking of personal data by Google of 4.4 million iPhone users and subsequent selling of the users’ data to advertisers, without the users’ knowledge and consent. Google is now appealing the Court of Appeal’s decision granting Mr Lloyd permission to serve his representative action on Google. This landmark case is of particular importance as it has the potential to significantly widen the scope for claims to be brought in respect of a failure to protect data under the GDPR.
On June 19, 2020, the French Conseil d’État (“Council of State”) issued a decision partially annulling the Guidelines of the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) on cookies and other tracking tools (“Guidelines”). The Council of State ruled that the CNIL’s Guidelines could not prohibit the use of ‘cookie walls’, a practice which consists of blocking user access to a website where the user refuses to consent to cookies and other tracking tools. Nevertheless, the Council of State confirms the Guidelines on other key points, such as the requirement to facilitate the right to withdraw consent to cookies, the retention period for cookies and the information requirement for cookies not subject to a consent requirement.
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.