On 20 March 2020, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) released a statement on the protection of personal data in connection with measures that public authorities and business organizations (including employers) are taking to address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This statement is an extension of the statement released by the EDPB chair on 16 March 2020, (which can be accessed here). In its latest statement, the EDPB emphasises that EU data protection law (in particular, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)) does not stand in the way of measures adopted to fight against COVID-19 – if these measures are necessary, proportionate and consistent with safeguards required under EU Member State laws. The EDPB statement also provides useful guidance for organisations to consider when adopting measures to lawfully process personal data during this time.
Overall, while EDPB statement may provide some reassurance to organizations with respect to COVID-19 measures, organizations will be advised to consider guidance issued by specific EU Member State data protection authorities as well. In particular, specific EU Member State data protection authorities have begun issuing COVID-19 guidance that is, at least in certain respects divergent: while certain data protection authorities are adopting a more restrictive approach (for example, the French CNIL), others are more permissible (for example, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office).
In light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the ICO has today issued guidance on “Data protection and coronavirus: what you need to know” for data controllers. The ICO has also published advice for healthcare practitioners. Guidance has also been issued by many other Data Protection Authorities in other European countries. (more…)
With the use of CCTV on the rise, it has become increasingly important for controllers to find a framework in which the conflicting rights of those who are subject to such surveillance are balanced. In its recent decision of TK v Asociaţia de Proprietari bloc M5A-ScaraA EU:C:2019:1064 (TK), the CJEU considered whether the processing carried out by CCTV cameras was necessary and proportionate for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the controller.
On January 14, 2020, the French data protection authority, the CNIL, proposed a consultation on its draft recommendations on practical ways to collect website user consent for cookies and similar technologies (the “Recommendations”). The Recommendations follow the publication in July 2019 of updated guidance on cookies, including requirements for obtaining GDPR-standard consent, by various European data protection authorities, including the CNIL and the ICO (the latter guidance was reported by Data Matters here). The CNIL has since undertaken a consultation to develop practical methods to obtain user consent.
A recent opinion from the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on data protection and scientific research builds on an opinion from January 2019 from the European Data Protection Board on the GDPR and clinical trials. The Opinion from the EDPS should be taken into account by life sciences companies in their ongoing assessment of how to apply the GDPR to scientific research both in clinical trials and more broadly.
The EDPS – an independent supervisory authority whose primary objective is to ensure that European institutions and bodies respect the right to privacy and data protection – recently published a preliminary opinion on data protection and scientific research (the Opinion). The EDPS acknowledges the critical importance of scientific research but states that “data protection obligations should not be misappropriated as a means […] to escape transparency and accountability.” In particular, according to the EDPS, compliance with data protection laws is “wholly compatible” with responsible scientific research. However, the EDPS recommends intensifying dialogue between data protection authorities (DPAs) and ethical review boards for a common understanding of which activities amount to genuine research and expects further guidance to be published by the European Data Protection Board – an independent European body, composed of representatives of the national DPAs and the EDPS.
*This article first appeared in Law360 on January 14, 2020.
After two years in the Brazilian Congress, the General Law of Data Protection was signed on Aug. 18, 2018, by then Brazilian President, Michel Temer, who also signed an executive order (Medida Provisória n. 869, from Dec. 27, 2018).
Further to the publication of the ICO’s notices of intention to fine British Airways and Marriott in July 2019, the ICO has recently issued a statement delaying the issuance of both GDPR fines which had originally been expected by the end of 2019. (The ICO’s initial notices of intention to fine had stated that British Airways would face a fine of £183m ($228m) and Marriott, a fine of £99m ($123m). We reported on these here: British Airways and Marriott.)
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…)
Recently, the Association of German Data Protection Authorities (“Datenschutzkonferenz” or “DSK”) issued guidelines setting a GDPR fining methodology (“Fining Methodology”). GDPR enforcement across the EU has picked up over the past year. This Fining Methodology has been issued at the time of a significant increase in GDPR enforcement action across the EU. The European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) reported a total of 281,088 national enforcement actions being initiated as of May 22, 2019 (approximately one year after the GDPR’s entry into application). Since then, data protection authorities across the EU have been initiating enforcement and fines on a daily basis. In particular, in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has issued two notices of intention to fine of €114m and €215m for failure to implement appropriate data security measures.
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: