Not many people will remember this but in 2008, Richard Thomas, the former UK Information Commissioner caused a fairly dramatic stir in the privacy world – at least among policy makers and fellow regulators – by unashamedly proclaiming that European data protection law was outdated and ineffective to address the technological and privacy challenges of the 21st century. At first, this was regarded by some as an embarrassing admission that could not possibly be right. But only two years later, the European Commission started a process of wholesale legislative reform that culminated with the adoption of the EU General Data Protection Regulation in April 2016. We all know by now that the GDPR is the result of many political and regulatory compromises caused by the precarious balance created by the various forces at play – the unstoppable development of technology, the increasing value of data, the urgent need to protect people’s digital lives, and the prosperity of Europe and the rest of the work.
Earlier this week, Bret Cohen and Sian Rudgard from the Hogan Lovells Privacy & Cybersecurity practice were interviewed as follows by Varonis’ The Inside Out Security Blog about data security requirements in the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
It has been a year since Russia’s data localization requirement came into force in September 2015, requiring companies to store within Russia databases containing personal data they collect from Russian citizens. Exactly one year later, the Russian Data Protection Authority, Roskomnadzor, issued a news release on the first year of enforcement.
In the update, Roskomnadzor stated that an absolute majority of the inspected companies comply with the data localization requirement and that noncompliance is low.
The Philippines’ first comprehensive data protection law, the Data Privacy Act of 2012, took effect on 8 September 2012. The Act mandated the creation of a National Privacy Commission to implement, enforce and monitor compliance with the Act, with one of its duties to promulgate rules and regulations to effectively implement the provisions of the Act. It was not until March 2016 that the NPC was officially formed, and soon after issued draft implementing rules and regulations of the Act. Following a period of public consultation, the implementing rules and regulations were finalised and formally promulgated on 24 August 2016 and will come into effect today, 9 September 2016.
Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s webinar “Privacy Shield: What You Need to Know,” in which we explored how companies demonstrate compliance with the Privacy Shield principles, what it takes to move from Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield, and more. A copy of the slide deck and recorded webinar are now available on our blog.
In less than one week, on August 1, U.S. companies may begin to submit self-certifications to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework at www.privacyshield.gov. Those companies that previously certified to the predecessor Safe Harbor framework are in a particularly good position to certify to the Privacy Shield, which built upon Safe Harbor’s core principles by adding meaningful substantive and procedural privacy protections for EU individuals.
With the recent approval of the EU-US Privacy Shield framework and the ability to start filing online registrations on 1 August, many companies have questions about the advantages and disadvantages of Privacy Shield as compared to other cross-border transfer mechanisms to cover trans-Atlantic data flows.
To answer your questions, we publish here International Data Transfers – Considering your options, a high-level analysis of the EU cross-border transfer options for companies—including the EU Standard Contractual Clauses, Intra-Group Agreements and other ad-hoc contracts, Binding Corporate Rules, Privacy Shield, and Consent—and the pros and cons of choosing each one.
On 6th July, the UK Government published two independent reviews concerning data security and data sharing in the health and care system in England. At the same time the UK Government launched a public consultation on proposals resulting from these reviews. The public consultation will be of interest to organisations that regularly interact with the public health sector in the UK and in particular to those organisations that rely on access to health data from the NHS for research purposes.
With attention to connected car cybersecuity issues increasing globally, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security is leading the EU’s first bloc-wide initiative to identify cybersecurity rules of the road for connected cars. On July 13, ENISA announced a study aimed at creating a comprehensive list of cybersecurity policies, tools, standards, and measures to enhance security in next-generation automobiles.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today unanimously reversed a lower court’s denial of Microsoft’s motion to quash a warrant seeking the content of emails for a customer of its Outlook.com email service. The decision is surprising in that that U.S. courts, including the Second Circuit, have traditionally enforced government process seeking documents or data stored abroad from entities that have control over the information under the test of “control, not location.” This case could have a significant impact on cloud providers’ decisions to store information abroad. It also serves, in the midst of debates about the newly enacted Privacy Shield and the recent challenge to Standard Contractual Clauses now before the Court of Justice of the European Union, as a counterbalance to arguments that some make about the U.S. legal system not respecting personal privacy.
On 12 July 2016, the European Commission issued its much awaited “adequacy decision” concerning the Privacy Shield framework for the transfer of personal data from the EU to the U.S. This adequacy decision is based on the latest version of the Privacy Shield, which was further negotiated and revised following the Article 29 Working Party’s April 2016 concerns with the terms of the original Privacy Shield framework. Many of our clients have questions about Privacy Shield—what it is, when it will be available for use, and how it differs from other data transfer mechanisms, among others. We have prepared blog post to answer these questions about the updated version of Privacy Shield and its implications for companies engaging in trans-Atlantic data flows.
The free flow of data is essential to an ever-growing segment of the global economy. Yet some policymakers and advocates, citing privacy concerns, have called for shutting off the faucet and restricting data flow, to the detriment of European consumers and European businesses, both small and large. After much debate, a major European court opinion, and at least one act of Congress to address the issue, a solution is at hand that will enhance real, enforceable privacy protections on both sides of the Atlantic.
At the Plenary Session held on July 6th, 2016 in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted a position agreed with by the Council on a Directive on common rules of security of network and information systems across the EU on its second reading.
Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law “On introducing amendments to the Federal law ‘on fighting terrorism’ and other legislative acts of the Russian Federation related to establishment of additional measures against terrorism and ensuring public security.” Specifically, the Law introduces amendments to the Russian Law on Communications and the Russian Law On Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information.
The people of the UK have spoken and our collective choice is to leave the European Union. Some are dreading the likely tsunami of economic hardship. Others are excited about what may lie ahead. Most of us are shocked. But as numbing as the verdict of the UK electorate may be, there are crucial political, legal and economic decisions to be made. The ‘To Do’ list of the UK government will be overwhelming, not least because of the dramatic implications that each of the items on the list will have for the future of the country and indeed the world. Steering the economy will be a number one priority and with that, the direction of travel of the digital economy – which, at the end of the day, is one of the pillars of prosperity in the UK and everywhere else.
We last reported on Russia’s data localization law earlier this year when the Russian data protection authority, Roskomnadzor, released its inspection plan for 2016. Since then, Roskomnadzor has been conducting compliance inspections both according to the plan and in individual cases when it has reason to do so. The results of those inspections and recent […]
Part 12 of Future-Proofing Privacy: Security is a Critical Piece. Security is a critical piece of the data protection jigsaw. Lack of consumer confidence has been identified as a key risk for the development of the digital single market, and a series of high profile breaches has exacerbated the situation. So it was inevitable that data protection reform would need to demonstrate that regulators were serious about data security and the Regulation does this by introducing three critical changes: obligations to have appropriate security in place will apply directly to data processors for the first time; there will be mandatory reporting of data breaches to data protection authorities; and there will also be mandatory reporting of data breaches to data subjects in certain situations.
The European Commission has actively promoted the importance of mHealth following their 2014 consultation. One of the initiatives to emerge from the Commission has been the Privacy Code of Conduct for mHealth apps. The Code was drafted by a working group set up in January this year and the final draft was published on 7th June and submitted to the Article 29 Working Party for their consideration and approval. If and when it receives the Working Party’s approval it could then be relied upon by app developers wishing to demonstrate a good standard of data protection compliance. The Code is an example of the type of initiative that is increasingly likely to develop under the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation.
Part 11 of Future-Proofing Privacy: Data Protection in the Workplace. Modern technology offers advanced technical options to monitor employee performance and conduct. Even standard IT applications may be used to control or record personnel behaviour in the workplace. Where previously the degree of employee supervision was limited by what the technology could do, rapid technological advancements mean that data protection laws are now the principal limitation in the EU. The Regulation is due to play a major role in this respect. As a consequence, employee data privacy has been one of the most hotly debated aspects of the Regulation. This area of data privacy will remain less harmonised than other fields of data protection.
Part 10 of Future-Proofing Privacy: Enforcement and the Risk of Non-Compliance. One of the major purposes of the Regulation is to ensure a consistent application of data protection law throughout the EU, not only to provide a high level of data protection but also to guarantee legal certainty for businesses when handling personal data. This has presented legislators with one of their biggest challenges: how to maintain the existing network of independent national DPAs, whilst ensuring that they promote a consistent interpretation of the Regulation and minimising the number of different DPAs which a controller has to deal with. It remains to be seen whether they have devised a workable solution.
Part 9 of Future-Proofing Privacy: Future-Proofing Privacy: International Data Transfers 2.0. The Data Protection Directive and the Regulation both impose restrictions on the transfer of personal data by EU based businesses (whether those businesses are data controllers or data processors) to destinations outside the EEA. These restrictions, however, have not been uniformly implemented by EU Member States. In some Member States additional requirements apply, such as prior notification to or approval by the local DPA, particularly where companies wish to rely on EU Model Clauses or BCRs. This approach is essentially set to continue
with some variations.
Part 8 of Future-Proofing Privacy: Data Processors’ New Obligations. The Regulation will impose a number of compliance obligations and possible sanctions directly on service providers. This is a significant change as currently service providers do not have any direct obligations to comply with EU data protection law (their obligations derive from their contracts with controllers). Future proof deals being negotiated now. Controllers and processors should carefully document the responsibilities of the parties and specifically take into account the forthcoming changes when deciding on providing consent for subprocessors, pricing, security standards and risk allocation.
Part 7 of Future-Proofing Privacy: The New Accountability Regime. Accountability is about demonstrating compliance and being transparent about such compliance. The Data Protection Directive already includes a number of obligations and recommendations for data controllers which echo the accountability principle, but new obligations in the Regulation formalise the requirement. Compliance with the accountability provisions of the Regulation will entail conducting audits, implementing internal and external policies and processes, privacy impact assessments and security measures and appointing a DPO.
One of Harry Houdini’s most difficult tricks consisted of escaping from a nail-fastened and rope-bound wooden crate with manacles on his hands and feet, while submerged in New York’s East River. That feat is starting to look straightforward when compared to the prospect of lawfully exporting personal data out of the European Union. The restrictions on transfers of data to jurisdictions that do not provide an adequate level of protection have been in place for more than 20 years. And while these restrictions have not prevented the development of the digital economy, judging by this issue’s current direction of travel, we could be facing a situation from which not even the great Houdini could escape.