The role of COVID-19 contact tracing apps in the exit strategy of the current lockdown that is gripping much of the world is increasingly becoming a focus of attention. While that role is being hotly debated, it is very likely that those apps in combination with other measures will be deployed across many countries. Until now and despite the calls by influential bodies such as the European Data Protection Supervisor for a coordinated approach to the development of single COVID-19 mobile app involving the World Health Organization, different countries have adopted their own strategies.
Following on from the Article 29 Working Party’s Opinion in June, the European Data Protection Supervisor has now published his own recommendations for the proposed General Data Protection Regulation. Unsurprisingly, given that the EDPS is a member of the Working Party, the views expressed are in line with that Opinion. At this point you may be tempted to stop reading, but wait, there is more. In addition to expressing his vision of the GDPR (more on which below) and producing his own recommendations for every single article of the GDPR, the EDPS has demonstrated his commitment to practicality by making this all available as a mobile app. The app allows you to select which of the drafts you wish to see side by side, scroll rapidly through the contents to select a particular article, or search on the whole text so you can see at a glance what each version says, for example, about pseudonymisation or profiling. Whilst the app may have limited appeal, and is unlikely to keep small children entertained on long car journeys, it will be a thing of joy for its target audience.
In a recent client alert, Hogan Lovells partners from the firm’s London and Washington, D.C. offices highlighted key takeaways for businesses following the European Data Protection Supervisor’s Workshop on Privacy, Consumers, Competition, and Big Data. The workshop, hosted by EDPS in the European Parliament in Brussels on 2 June 2014, discussed the technological advances and market for ‘big data’ analytics and the policy implications for the fields of data protection, competition and consumer protection of the rapidly expanding digital economy in the EU and in other regions, particularly the in US. Around 70 experts attended, including representatives from the European regulators and the US Federal Trade Commission.
Jan Philipp Albrecht, the rapporteur to the European Parliament for the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation, has set forth a draft calendar that indicates how long debate over the Regulation may last. It is anticipated that by summer 2013 the Regulation should be ready for trilogue with the Council and Commission, and that the Regulation shall be put to a vote in the plenary session of the European Parliament in early 2014.