Data brokers are organisations that obtain data from a variety of sources and then sell or license it to third parties. Many trade in personal data, which is purchased by their customers for several purposes, most commonly to support marketing campaigns. The UK data protection regulator has for some time been actively enforcing against organisations who buy individuals’ personal data for direct marketing purposes without first conducting appropriate due diligence to ensure that those individuals have adequately consented to receiving marketing communications. However, in a recently issued monetary penalty notice, the ICO indicated that it may be shifting its enforcement strategy. This post discusses the latest developments.
The 2016 holiday gift guides have heavily featured consumer drones; as such, it is not unfeasible that you or someone you know will receive a drone in the coming weeks. In anticipation of that happy event, on 21 December the UK Department for Transport gave its own gift: a consultation paper on ensuring the safe use of drones, to help the UK to tap into this growing market.
In yet another key case dealing with the balance between citizens’ privacy and the ability of the state to intrude into it, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled on the compatibility with European Union law of legislation that authorises the retention of communications data, which includes personal data. The reference from the UK Court of Appeal resulted from a challenge to the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 brought by individuals that include Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party and represented by Liberty. Interveners include the Law Society of England and Wales, the Open Rights Group, and Privacy International. The CJEU considered the compatibility of such legislation with the e-Privacy Directive, Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union—which protect private and family life and personal data respectively—and its previous decision in C-293/12 Digital Rights Ireland—which invalidated the Data Retention Directive.
In a case with major significance for foreign online businesses that do business in Russia, on Thursday, 10 November the Moscow City Court sustained a lower court ruling that granted the request of the Russian Data Protection Authority to block access to social network LinkedIn within Russian territory. Although the data localization requirement took effect in September 2015, this is the first case of Russia blocking access to a foreign online business due to non-compliance with the Russian data localization requirement. There had been some doubt regarding how rigorously the data localization requirement would be applied, and this case indicates that at least in some circumstances, Roskomnadzor will aggressively push for websites to be blocked. Similar online services should examine their compliance with the data localization requirements in light of this decision.
The Article 29 Working Party has issued a revealing statement about the so-called EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement, which is aimed at creating a high-level data protection framework in the context of transatlantic cooperation on criminal law enforcement. As a sign of support for the deal, the Working Party welcomes the initiative to set up a general data protection framework in relation to law enforcement cooperation. In a fairly positive tone, the Working Party states that the Umbrella Agreement “considerably strengthens the safeguards in existing law enforcement bilateral treaties with the US, some of which were concluded before the development of the EU data protection framework.” This statement by the Working Party follows its recent announcement that it had created a working group for enforcement actions on organisations targeting several member states, which is yet another sign of the growing international ambitions of the EU data protection authorities.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that dynamic IP addresses are capable of constituting personal data under certain circumstances, ending years of speculation about whether such essential building blocks of the Internet qualified for protection under the EU Data Protection Directive. In Patrick Breyer v Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Breyer challenged the collection and use of dynamic IP addresses from websites run by the German Federal Government. The CJEU decided that in circumstances where a third party holds information which might likely be used to identify the user of a website when put together with the dynamic IP addresses held by the provider of that website, those IP addresses constitute personal data. In this blog post, we explore the decision in Breyer, which may impact the laws and concept of personal data of Member States beyond Germany.
Part 3 of Future-Proofing Privacy: The Concept of Personal Data Revisited. Along with the concept of personal data, as opposed to anonymous data, the Regulation introduces a third category, that of pseudonymous data. Pseudonymous data is information that no longer allows the identification of an individual without additional information and is kept separate from it. At the moment the standards according to which data is considered as anonymous or pseudonymous are established by the DPAs at a national level. Once the Regulation comes into force, the requirements and the applicable regime will become more uniform and this will provide greater legal certainty. Genetic data and biometric data are also both defined for the first time.
As reported in The New York Times, Hogan Lovells represented a diverse group of 15 major technology companies, such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Snapchat, and Cisco in filing last week an amicus brief in In re Search of an Apple iPhone.
On 26 January, Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data published his annual report on 2015 complaints and enforcement activity under the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance. The report reveals that 871,000 Hong Kong individuals were affected by data breaches in 2015, compared with 47,000 in 2014. The report is noteworthy that the number of reported breaches continues to increase at a rapid pace notwithstanding the fact that Hong Kong’s data breach notification regime is at the moment a voluntary one. The report is also notable for setting out the Commissioner’s statement of priorities for 2016.
It’s close to 7pm on a Friday evening and my team are trying their best to manage our clients’ stress and frantic desperation. Jokes about how much they love Max Schrems are shared by email. In the meantime, we are diligently working our way through endless charts of dataflows and attempting to cover every single […]
The need for proper and legitimate powers to enable intelligence and law enforcement agencies to do their job and to keep everyone safe requires little justification. However, in our data-rich and uber-connected way of life, those powers necessarily involve a substantial degree of intrusion into our digital comings and goings, and that makes things complicated. In a show of political awareness and legislative dexterity, in November 2015, the UK government presented its draft Investigatory Powers Bill—an attempt to strike a balance between intelligence and law enforcement needs with the protection of ordinary citizens’ privacy. The Bill seeks to adopt a comprehensive and sophisticated framework of modern law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers. It is currently being scrutinized by a parliamentary committee and subject to public consultation.
On November 5, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau announced a $595,000 settlement agreement with Cox Communications, Inc. to resolve an investigation into whether the company failed to properly protect its customers’ personal information when electronic data systems were breached in August 2014. According to the FCC, Cox exposed the personal information of numerous customers and failed to report the breaches through the Commission’s established breach-reporting portal.
In our previous post we outlined the key issues regarding mHealth devices and services from a privacy law perspective. Now, we go further into the details and discuss the scope of the personal data involved, especially relating to sensitive health data. We introduce the relevant statutory requirements in the EU and the legal opinions of the Article 29 Working Party and the European Data Protection Supervisor as well as having a look at the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation. Against this legal background, one core question we will examine is whether information collected and processed by lifestyle apps and devices must be classified as health data and fall under the strict requirements of European data protection laws.
Along with the concept of personal data, as opposed to anonymous data, the Regulation introduces a third category, that of pseudonymous data. Pseudonymous data is information that no longer allows the identification of an individual without additional information and is kept separate from it. In exchange for the lower level of privacy intrusion, the applicable requirements are less stringent. This entry is an excerpt from Hogan Lovells’ “Future-proofing privacy: A guide to preparing for the EU Data Protection Regulation.”
In a recent client alert, partner Natalia Gulyaeva and associate Maria Sedykh from the Hogan Lovells Moscow Office joined associate Bret Cohen from the Hogan Lovells Washington, D.C. office to highlight key insights from the fifth annual conference on “Personal Data Protection” hosted by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Data Protection Authority.
In June 2013, the French National Commission on Information Technology and Liberties announced that, following a question of Member of European Parliament Françoise Castex, it was going to investigate IP Tracking practices that e-commerce sites allegedly used to illegitimately increase their prices. This investigation was carried out in close connection with the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control. In January 2013, MEP Françoise Castex had already alerted the European Commission about this alleged unfair commercial practice. The Commission concluded that national authorities in charge of protecting personal data were competent as the IP address is personal data.
On Tuesday, October 30, the California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that her office has begun “formally notifying” mobile device application (“app”) operators that they are out of compliance with the notice provisions of the California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 (“CalOPPA”). The letters are a reminder that app developers and their partners should review their app data privacy and security practices and ensure that any apps collecting PII comply with the CalOPPA requirements, as well as other applicable Federal and state laws.
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.
The Hong Kong Personal Data (Privacy) Amendment Ordinance was passed on 27 June 2012. This ends a nearly three year process initially spurred by the need to bring the existing legislation in line with technological and other advancements that occurred since it was enacted in 1996.
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.
Hong Kong Data protection is currently a hot topic in Hong Kong. This is largely due to the furor caused by the discovery of the large scale sale of personal data by Hong Kong’s Octopus Rewards Limited (a company owned by Octopus Holdings Limited) over a number of years. We reported previously that the Hong […]
The UK’s data protection authority, the ICO, has issued a code of practice for online privacy. Although only advisory in nature, the code contains excellent information on what are viewed as “best practices” in the protection of personal privacy online. It should be of particular interest to businesses engaged in behavioural advertising, online sales and cloud computing. This blog entry summarizes and links to the code.
This post was provided by Julia Peng of Hogan Lovells’ Beijing office. On 19 October 2010, the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) State Administration of Industry and Commerce ("SAIC") issued the Second Revision of the PRC Consumer Protection Law (Draft for Comments) (the "Draft Consumer Law"). A significant addition to the Draft Consumer Law is […]
This post was provided by Gabriela Kennedy and Olivia Lennox-King Stewart of Hogan Lovells’ Hong Kong office. The Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (the "CMAB") published a Consultation Document on the Review of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (the "Consultation Document") on 28 August 2009, inviting comments on the proposed amendments. The consultation period closed […]