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International

17 October 2017

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Extraterritorial Search Warrant Dispute

On October 16, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the U.S. government’s request for review of a lower court decision that rejected the government’s construction of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and embraced a more restrictive view that Microsoft had advanced, backed by much of the tech industry and many privacy groups. (more…)

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16 October 2017

Proposed Changes to Singapore’s Data Protection Act

On July 27, 2017, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) initiated a public consultation to consider several significant proposed changes to Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA). Citing technological advances and global developments, the PDPC proposed changes that would have the effect of (1) broadening the circumstances under which organizations could collect, use and disclose personal data without consent and (2) imposing a mandatory data breach notification requirement in certain situations.

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11 October 2017

Schrems Judgment in the Irish Commercial Court Raises Concerns over the “Model Contracts” for Transfer of Personal Data Out of Europe

An Irish High Court ruling may have a significant impact on one of the main mechanisms that global companies use to transfer personal data out of the European Economic Area (“EEA”).  The Irish High Court ruled on 3 October 2017 that the Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) used by companies to transfer data from the EEA to US, also frequently referred to as “Model Contracts,” must be the subject of review by the Court of Justice of the European Union. (more…)

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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…)

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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:

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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