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European Union

13 November 2020

European Commission Proposes Revised Standard Contractual Clauses

The European Commission (EC), on 12 November 2020, published a draft decision implementing revised Standard Contractual Clauses (draft SCCs) – (the EC’s Draft). The EC’s Draft was published following the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) decision in Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Ltd and Maximillian Schrems on 16 July 2020 (Schrems II), which found (amongst other things) that supplementary protections may need to be implemented when SCCs are used to ensure an ‘essentially equivalent’ level of data protection. The publication of the EC’s Draft comes just one day after the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published its draft recommendations describing how controllers and processors transferring personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA) may comply with the Schrems II ruling. The EC’s Draft is open for public consultation until 10 December 2020, after which it will undergo a process of review by representatives of every EU Member State (the Committee) who will each need to provide a positive opinion in relation to the EC’s Draft as part of the EU examination procedure. The European Data Protection Supervisor must also be consulted and it is recommended that the EDPB is consulted. The EC’s College of Commissioners may then adopt the EC’s final decision

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11 November 2020

European Data Protection Board Issues Schrems II Recommendations

Following the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (“CJEU”) decision in Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Ltd and Maximillian Schrems on 16 July 2020 (“Schrems II”), the European Data Protection Board, tasked with overseeing compliance with the GDPR (“EDPB”), on 11 November 2020 issued its anticipated recommendations describing how controllers and processors transferring personal data outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) may comply with the Schrems II ruling. These recommendations are applicable immediately but are open for public consultation until November 30. Information on submitting public comments is accessible here.

In Schrems II, the CJEU invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield program (“Privacy Shield”) and potentially required supplementary protections to be implemented when Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) are used to ensure an ‘essentially equivalent’ level of data protection.  Under the GDPR, personal data transfers outside the EEA to jurisdictions which are not found to provide an ‘adequate level of protection’ to the data, are restricted unless appropriate safeguards are implemented.  The Privacy Shield and SCCs were two key appropriate safeguard mechanisms used to legitimize transfers of personal data outside the EEA to ‘non-adequate’ recipient countries, referred to as “Third Countries.”

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22 October 2020

SEC Lifts Moratorium on Registration of UK-Based Managers

Recent communications from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicate that the SEC is again considering registration of advisers located in the UK. The SEC had delayed approving UK and European Union (EU) investment managers’ applications for registration since the adoption of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to concerns that the GDPR would impede the SEC’s ability to collect data from, and supervise, these UK and EU investment managers.

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07 October 2020

European Court of Justice Applies Free Movement Rules of E-Commerce Directive to Advertising by Mail-Order Pharmacy

In its judgment from October 1, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that an EU Member State cannot restrict a mail-order pharmacy, established in another Member State, from using paid referencing on search engines and price-comparison websites to promote its service, unless the Member State clearly establishes that the restriction is appropriate, and does not go beyond what is necessary, to protect public health. The ECJ further found that several other advertising restrictions imposed by France restricted the freedom to provide services under the e-commerce rules, but added that those restrictions may be justified provided that certain conditions are fulfilled, which is for the national referring court to verify.

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02 October 2020

European Commission to Issue New Standard Contractual Clauses by End of 2020

In the wake of the recent Court of Justice of the European Union’s decision in Schrems II, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs met in early September to discuss the long-awaited revision of Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs). During the meeting, Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders expressed hope that revised SCCs would be finalised by the end of 2020.

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25 September 2020

The Swiss Parliament Agrees on the Draft Bill of a New Data Protection Act

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…)

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18 September 2020

EDPB Publishes Draft Guidelines on the Concepts of Controller and Processor under the GDPR

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.

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28 July 2020

Schrems II Fallout — Understanding Essential Equivalence and What Businesses Should Do Now

Schrems II — Legal Analysis

With the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield declared invalid as a result of the Schrems II decision, there will be an immediate impact on the future of international data flows and potentially for your business.

Join OneTrust DataGuidance, Sidley, and speakers from industry for a webinar taking a detailed look at the Schrems II decision and discussing what additional safeguards may be required for international transfers following the decision, as well as legal analysis into whether there is essential equivalence between U.S. and EU privacy protections.

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24 July 2020

EDPB Publishes FAQs on Recent Schrems II Judgment

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:

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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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