European Union

26 September 2017

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.” (more…)

19 September 2017

European Commission prioritizes cybersecurity, GDPR compliance and free flow of data

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission presented its draft work program for the next sixteen months up to the end of 2018.  In addition to boosting jobs, growth and investments, the European Commission’s main priority is to improve and strengthen the Single Digital Market, where individuals as well as businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition and a high level of consumer and personal data protection.  With that objective in mind, the European Commission plans to launch the following initiatives between now and the end of 2018:


13 September 2017

EU Adequacy Ruling on Japan Expected

The EU Commission, through a joint statement on 4 July 2017 by Vera Jourova, EU Commissioner for Justice, and Haruchi Kumazawa, a Commissioner of Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission, announced that the process is underway to provide Japan an EU adequacy decision on international data transfers by early 2018. Once approved, Japan will become the 13th country (crediting the US with an adequacy finding for organizations certifying under the Privacy Shield) globally and the first Asian country to be given adequate status by the EU Commission. (more…)

11 September 2017

FinTech and Regulatory Sandboxes in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore

As the FinTech industry continues to expand, regulators around the globe are starting to react. The past 18 months have seen the emergence of a new trend in financial services regulation, the “sandbox.”

Since the launch of the UK’s regulatory sandbox in May 2016, regulators across the globe have adopted similar frameworks. There are now regulatory sandboxes in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Singapore, Switzerland and Thailand, to name a few, and the European Union recently set out proposals for a possible EU-wide regulatory sandbox. (more…)

17 August 2017

Influential Stakeholders Debate a Cross-Sector Approach in Using Big Data for Improving Human Health

Big Data has been a hot topic of discussion in recent years. This was especially the case in Brussels, where the fiercely debated EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in 2016. A major concern for all of us is personal privacy. Less discussed is the use of Big Data for social good.

A traditional sectoral approach to harnessing the potential of Big Data for social good is insufficient. This is the case in terms of organisations from different sectors partnering to develop new technologies. It also means that legislation and policies on Big Data must be forward thinking and facilitate cross-sectoral co-operation. (more…)

10 August 2017

Greater Protection for Individuals and Larger Fines for Organisations Under a New UK Data Protection Bill

In a statement of intent published on 7 August 2017, the UK Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill (the “Bill”). The Bill will incorporate the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) into UK law.

According to the UK’s Minister of State for Digital, Matt Hancock, the Bill will “give [the UK] one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit.” (more…)

01 August 2017

CJEU Rules on EU-Canadian Passenger Name Record Agreement; Data Retention Possible; Detailed Court Scrutiny to Ensure Proportionality

On 26 July 2017, the Court of Justice of the EU (“Court”) issued its Opinion on the proposed EU-Canada Agreement on the transfer and processing of Passenger Name Record data (“PNR Data”).  The opinion, issued by the Court’s Grand Chamber, confirms that the Court accepts the necessity of processing large amounts of personal data to protect against terrorism in general.  However, in order to ensure compliance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (“the Charter”), the Court will scrutinize the details of any EU legislative act to ensure that no data are retained or accessed without a clear link to the underlying justification of combating terrorism. (more…)

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