The 25th of May, 2019 marked a year since the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) came into force. For most in privacy, involvement with the GDPR has been ongoing for well over this year, but on the first anniversary of the GDPR we take an opportunity to look back and reflect on where we are now in relation to some key areas of interest including enforcement action, privacy litigation, breach notification and developing guidance from the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”).
More and more entities are deploying machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate tasks previously performed by humans. Such efforts carry with them real benefits, such as the enhancement of operational efficiency and the reduction of costs, but they also raise a number of concerns regarding their potential impacts on human society, particularly as computer algorithms are increasingly used to determine important outcomes like individuals’ treatment within the criminal justice system.
This mixture of benefits and concerns is starting to attract the interest of regulators. Efforts in the European Union, Canada, and the United States have initiated an ongoing discussion around how to regulate “automated decision-making” and what principles should guide it. And while not all of these regulatory efforts will directly implicate private companies, they may nonetheless provide insight for companies seeking to build consumer trust in their artificial intelligence systems or better prepare themselves for the overall direction that regulation is taking.
Recently, the Dutch Supervisory Authority (the “Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens” or “Dutch SA”) has taken the position that the use of so-called “cookie walls,” whereby website access is made conditional upon the provision of consent to tracking cookies, is not compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).
William Long, partner and global co-leader of Sidley’s Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, has been working on global data privacy and information security matters for a number of years. In particular, William advises international clients on a wide variety of General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘GDPR’), data protection, cybersecurity and financial services issues.
DataGuidance by OneTrust spoke with William about data protection issues in the financial services sector, and in particular about approaching compliance with the GDPR, sector-specific challenges, issues around Big Data, and cybersecurity.
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.
On 29 March 2019, the Belgian House of Representatives appointed a new Data Protection Commissioner and four directors to the executive committee of the Belgian Data Protection Authority (‘DPA’).
These are the first appointments to be made to the DPA since it replaced the previous Belgian Privacy Commission in anticipation of the EU GDPR. This is therefore the first time that executive roles have been officially filled in the context of the regulator’s expanded competence – including the DPA’s new power to impose administrative fines of up to €20,000,000 EUR or 4 percent of an undertaking’s worldwide annual revenues for certain infringements of the EU GDPR.
On February 26, 2019, the Technology Policy Institute’s Two Think Minimum podcast featured Sidley Partner and founder of the Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, Alan Raul, alongside former FTC Acting Chairman and Commissioner of the FTC Maureen Ohlhausen. The topic of the day was the future of privacy legislation in 2019. Topics ranged from politics, U.S. State trends, activity in Europe, FTC enforcement powers and more.
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…)
In December 2018, the European Commission published its report on the second annual review of the EU-US Privacy Shield (the “Report”). The Report concluded that the Privacy Shield “continues to ensure an adequate level of protection” for personal data transferred from the EU to the US. However, the Commission did identify a number of recommendations from the first annual review which still required implementation including the appointment by the US of a permanent ombudsperson to oversee complaints. To date, the U.S. has only appointed an interim ombudsperson (Manisha Singh). In the first annual review, the Commission did not set a deadline for the appointment. However, the latest review required an appointee to be identified by 28 February 2019 failing which the Commission will “consider taking appropriate measures.”
On January 25, 2019, the European Commission published a statement to mark Data Protection Day (January 28, 2019) which, this year, comes eight months after the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) on May 25, 2018.
The statement indicates that the European Commission considers the GDPR to have had a positive effect, in particular because European citizens are now more conscious of the importance of data protection and of their rights. The European Commission also notes that the Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”) are enforcing the new rules and better coordinating their actions in the European Data Protection Board. (more…)