The roller coaster of developments affecting the Safe Harbor framework shows no signs of slowing down. It has taken a couple of years since Edward Snowden’s revelations for the train to reach to its highest point, but once the European Court of Justice ruled on the Schrems case, we knew it would be a bumpy ride. In the past weeks, most of the attention has focused on the EU data protection authorities, which are now more emboldened than ever and keen to capitalize on the ECJ’s decision to tighten the regime affecting international dataflows. The European Commission’s communication of 6 November to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, coupled with its practical guidance, represents yet another turn in this uncertain journey. At the same time, the Commission’s intervention is helpful in terms of the decision-making process that many organisations—for which transatlantic transfers are vital—are trying to grapple with.
On November 6, 2015, the European Commission issued its widely anticipated Communication to the European Parliament and Council about the effect of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s Schrems decision, which invalidated the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework. The Commission expresses a commitment to negotiate with the U.S. Government a new framework for cross-border transfers of personal data. The Commission also emphasizes that the Communication does not have binding legal effect, but concludes that companies should rely on “alternative tools” for authorizing data flows to third countries like the United States.
The US privacy framework is under attack from officials in the EU following revelations about NSA surveillance. Yesterday, US Department of Commerce General Counsel Cameron Kerry delivered his valedictory address before his departure from his position next week, and focused both on the progress made by the Obama Administration in privacy and offered the strongest […]
According to reports by the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, the German data protection commissioners have sent a letter to the German chancellor Angela Merkel, asking her to push the European Union to suspend the U.S. – EU Safe Harbor regime because of the recently disclosed NSA activities. This letter dates from July 23 and is signed […]
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is considering a critical case regarding the “right to be forgotten” and the application of EU data protection law to Internet intermediaries. The case involves a Spanish individual who is seeking to require Google to delete references to newspaper articles mentioning his prior involvement in debt collection proceedings from its search results. The ECJ’s adviser, Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen, recently issued a non-binding opinion stating that although EU law should apply to Google, the company should not be deemed a “data controller” for its search engine activities. The opinion also warned that the “right to be forgotten” can adversely affect freedom of expression.
The European Union’s Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (“WP29″), which consists of the 27 data protection authorities of the EU Member States, has published the “Opinion 03/2013 on purpose limitation” (Working Paper WP203), adopted on 2 April 2013 (the “Opinion”). The WP29 analyzes and interprets the elements of this principle, and gives numerous examples with […]
The legislative process for the European Commission’s (EC’s) proposed Data Protection Regulation is heating up. The European Parliament’s lead committee on the EU’s draft Data Protection Regulation has received more than 3,000 proposed amendments to the reform measure. As a result, the committee has moved its vote on the Regulation from April to the end of May. Some of the 3,000 amendments were submitted last week by Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI), which has adopted an opinion generally supporting the proposed Regulation. Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC and EU Justice Commissioner, said that JURI’s adoption of the proposed Regulation brings the EU “another step towards the swift adoption of modern data protection reform in Europe.” In an unrelated announcement, the French Minister of Justice stated that France “actively supports” the proposed Regulation, including its provision on the right to be forgotten. The Minister said that France will be vigilant that the Regulation will “not introduce a step backwards” from current French law.
Hogan Lovells today announced the formation of the Coalition for Privacy and Free Trade. The formation of the new coalition follows the announcement by President Obama that the United States and the European Union soon will commence negotiations for a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (formally, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)), and Japan’s announcement of its […]
The German publication, Zeitschrift fur Datenschutz, has just published a piece authored by Christopher Wolf, director of the global Privacy and Information Management practice, entitled “A Critical Time for the EU Data Protection Regulation.” The article highlights issues that have been raised about the proposed Regulation, described as “real and substantial.” The point of the piece is […]
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union William E. Kennard spoke yesterday at Forum Europe’s 3rd Annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference and called for a finding by the EU that the privacy protections in the United States are “adequate,” thus allowing cross-border transfers of personal data without separate legal mechanisms. Canada, Uruguay and Israel are among the […]
Last month, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) issued a ruling on the scope of EU member states’ jurisdiction over internet services. In Football Dataco Ltd v. Sportradar GmbH, the ECJ considered a jurisdictional issue related to the Database Directive, but its opinion could have broader implications for how the EU considers […]
At a meeting of civil society in Uruguay today, Article 29 Working Party Chair Jacob Konstamm decried the “fierce lobbying” by the US government and IT companies on the pending EU Regulation and spoke directly to the issue of the explicit consent requirement in the proposed Regulation; the definition of personal data; and the issue of purpose limitation.
In a recently-issued opinion, the Article 29 Working Party is pushing for a definition of personal data that would cover data that permits individuals to be “singled out and treated differently.” The Working Party also supports stringent consent conditions, and criticizes delegated acts of the Commission.
In a just-published article for the American Bar Association Antitrust magazine entitled “So Close Yet So Far, The EU and US Visions of a New Privacy Framework.” available through a link in this blog entry, Hogan Lovells Privacy partners Winston Maxwell (Paris) and Chris Wolf (Washington) compare and contrast the pending proposals on both sides of the Atlantic for improvements to the privacy frameworks.
On June 22, 2012, Harriet Pearson, who becomes a Hogan Lovells privacy partner on August 1 and Chris Wolf, co-director of the firm’s Privacy and Information Management Practice, presented at the University of Maine Center for Law and Innovation Program on “Privacy in Practice.” This blog entry containes the videos of their presentations, Harriet’s on Global Data Management Concerns for All Enterprises, Everywhere and Chris’ on the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation.
For over a year companies have been trying to determine how to achieve compliance with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) amended Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (the “cookies law”), which implemented 2009 amendments to the EU’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive of 2002. Last week, the ICO made it clear that reliance on implied consent would be an acceptable form of consent.
Are BCRs the key to global interoperability? Some think so at the IAPP London conference. This post discusses opinions from conference presenters — will BCRs will become more and more popular as corporations implement new accountability measures, or will they fade under the weight of continued bureaucracy?
CNIL, Falque-Pierrotin, ‘data protection’, privacy, Europe, EU, regulation, BCR, accountability, sanctions, interoperability
Chris Wolf, Hogan Lovells Privacy and Information Management Practice Director, has a column in Slate, the daily Web magazine addressing the tension between privacy laws and other societal interests, and the potential for inflexible application of privacy laws in the EU. His discussion is in the context of the prosecution of two reporters for invading the privacy of a former Nazi commando who had been in hiding for decades. A link to the column is included in this blog entry.
This blog entry reports on an industry push against “digital protectionism” that can result from overly-restrictive privacy rules, on a speech by a senior US government official promoting enforceable industry codes of conduct, and the APEC cross-border recognition agreement.
The German data protection authorities on September 26, 2011 adopted an “Orientation guide – cloud computing.” The guide sets out mandatory and recommended content for any agreement between German users of cloud computing services and cloud computing serving providers. It highlights the customer’s responsibility for full compliance with German data protection requirements for the cloud. Based on this orientation guide, customers and providers will have to review existing agreements in the German market.
Winston Maxwell, a partner in Hogan Lovells’ Paris Office prepared this entry. On July 13, 2010 the EU’s Article 29 Data Protection Working Party adopted a report (http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/privacy/docs/wpdocs/2010/wp172_en.pdf ) describing how ISPs and telecom carriers retain traffic data for law enforcement purposes in Europe. The European Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32006L0024:EN:HTML) was supposed to harmonize national […]
On 16 February 2010, the Article 29 Working Party adopted an opinion on the concepts of data “controller and “processor”, which are crucial for determining who is responsible for compliance with EU data protection rules. The opinion provides a comprehensive analysis as well as practical examples and rules of thumb on how to approach the concepts pragmatically.
On February 5th, the European Commission decided to modify the standard contractual clauses for transfers of personal data, repealing the original decision (Decision 2002/87/EU) that introduced these clauses back in 2002. The European Commission considered it necessary to adjust the existing standard contractual clauses to meet the growing challenges of global outsourcing.