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:
We set out below our summaries and key takeaways from both decisions which help to highlight the latest approach of both the courts and European data protection regulators in relation to cookie consent.
*Jan Yves Remy is a former Sidley Austin Associate and now serves as the Deputy Director at Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. As with all posts, this article is for your informational purposes only; Sidley Austin does not have offices in or practice law in Barbados.
Today, more than 120 countries have privacy and data protection laws or regulations in place. Many of the new or modernized laws tend to be based on comprehensive legislation, rather than sectoral rules, as data needs to move across industry groups and borders. With its new data protection bill, Barbados is planning to join the ranks; this is a significant move, and it is one fueled at least in part by the entry into force of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) on May 25, 2018. The GDPR was designed to harmonize data protection laws across Europe and to protect EU residents’ data privacy rights; and, its coming triggered significant privacy and data protection compliance activities amongst organizations doing business in the EU and working with the personal data of EU residents.
This article first appeared on Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence.
The summer of 2018 may be regarded as a pivotal time in the history of data privacy laws. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was signed into law in June 2018 (and comes into effect on January 1, 2020), and a draft of India’s Personal Data Protection Bill (India DP Bill) was released in July 2018 (and is now under review by India’s government).
These developments, and more generally, the recent proliferation of data privacy laws around the world (notably, in Australia, China, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Singapore) represent a compliance challenge for many multinational organizations.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has recently issued a draft version of its statutory code of practice for sharing of personal data between controllers under the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA”) (the “Draft Code”) which provides a number of practical recommendations which controllers should take into account when sharing personal data.
The High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (“AI HLEG”), an independent expert group set up by the European Commission in June 2018 as part of its AI strategy, has published its final Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) (the “Guidelines”).
These Guidelines form part of a wider focus by the Commission on AI, with President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen commenting most recently on July 16, in her proposed political guidelines, that: “In my first 100 days in office, I will put forward legislation for a coordinated European approach on the human and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence…”.
Just a day after the ICO provided notice of its intention to fine British Airways £183m ($228m) over a separate breach (please see our blog post here), on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, the ICO released another statement of its intention to fine Marriott International, Inc. (“Marriott”) over £99m ($123m) in relation to a security incident affecting the Starwood reservation database which Marriott had acquired in 2016 and discovered in November 2018. The statement came in response to Marriott’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that the ICO intended to fine it for breaches of the GDPR.
On 3 July 2019, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published new guidance on cookies and similar technologies (“Guidance”) in conjunction with a new blog post: “Cookies – what does ‘good’ look like?” which aims to provide “myth-busting” advice on common cookies uncertainties. You can find a full copy of the new guidance here and a link to the ICO’s blog post here. With its new Guidance, the ICO has formally recognised the stricter standards of consent and transparency now in force under the GDPR.
Today we saw the ICO issue a notice of its intention to fine British Airways £183.39m for infringements of the GDPR – a record fine and the largest seen in the UK and the EU. The proposed fine relates to a cyber incident which BA notified to the ICO (as BA’s lead data protection authority, DPA) in September 2018. The incident involved the theft from the BA website and mobile app of personal data relating to customers over a two-week period. In terms of next steps, BA now has an opportunity to make representations to the ICO as to the proposed findings and sanction.