Privacy Law Blog

Category Archives: European Union

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European Data Protection Supervisor Weighs in on the Cloud Debate by Issuing an Opinion

It has been reported that Google will give EU businesses the opportunity to store personal data exclusively on servers in the EU. This appears to have been prompted by compliance difficulties with the current EU data protection Directive when cloud computing service providers store personal data on servers or in data centres based outside the … Continue Reading

European Data Protection Authorities Publish Guidelines Clarifying Exemptions to Cookie Consent Requirement

  On June 7, 2012, the Article 29 Working Party, an independent advisory body composed of representatives from the national data protection authorities of the EU Member States, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission, issued Opinion 04/2012 regarding which types of cookies are exempted from the informed user-consent requirement under Directive 2002/58 … Continue Reading

Is data breach notification compulsory under French law?

On May 28th, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (“CNIL”), the French  authority responsible for data privacy, published guidance on breach notification law affecting electronic communications service providers.   The guidance was issued with reference to European Directive 2002/58/EC, the e-Privacy Directive, which imposes specific breach notification requirements on electronic communication service providers. French legislator recently amended … Continue Reading

EC Proposal For New Data Protection Regulation

The European Commission (the “EC”) has announced its anticipated comprehensive reform of EU data protection rules, intended to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe’s digital economy. The proposal is intended to update and modernize the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive. If approved, unlike the current rules which give each of the 27 … Continue Reading

EU Article 29 Working Party Clarifies Definitions of “Data Controller” and “Data Processor”

On February 16, 2010, the EU Article 29 Working Party published Opinion 1/2010, in which it clarified the definitions of "data controller" and "data processor" as those designations are used within the European Data Protection Directive. The Working Party's opinion is welcome guidance, as such designations are often difficult to apply in practice, especially given the increasing complexity of globalization, organizational differentiation, and information and communication technologies. … Continue Reading

EU Article 29 Working Party Elevates Israel to Rank of Select Few Countries That Are Deemed to Possess “Adequate” Data Protection Laws

On January 5, 2010, the EU Article 29 Data Protection Working Party published an opinion finding that Israel provides an "adequate" level of data protection under the EU Data Protection Directive. Should the European Commission ("EC") adopt the Article 29 Working Party’s recommendation (and there is no reason to think that it would not), Israel … Continue Reading

FTC Continues Safe Harbor Enforcement Streak With Six New Proposed Settlements

On October 6, 2009, in one fell swoop, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced proposed settlements of charges against six companies for violations under the US/EU Safe Harbor Program. Specifically, these companies (World Innovators, Inc.; ExpatEdge Partners LLC; Onyx Graphics, Inc.; Directors Desk LLC; Collectify LLC; and Progressive Gaitways LLC) were alleged to have continued … Continue Reading

French Data Protection Authority Releases New Opinion on Compliance with U.S. Discovery Procedures

On August 19, 2009, the French Data Protection Agency (also known as the “CNIL”) released a new opinion (the “Opinion”) on the transfer of personal data from France to a jurisdiction outside of Europe. The Opinion is noteworthy for describing how personal data can be transferred from France to the United States pursuant to U.S. … Continue Reading

A New Solution for Global Outsourcing? The EU Commission Considers New SCCs For Cross-Border Data Transfers

The European Commission is considering modifying the standard contractual clauses (hereafter “SCCs”) established on December 27, 2001 and used by data controllers to transfer personal data to data processors located outside the EU. The new SCCs may introduce more flexibility in processing services and better reflect new business practices. Although the European Commission has not yet … Continue Reading

New Report Finds Much Room For Improvement in EU Data Protection Law

On May 12, 2009, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) released a much anticipated report authored by the RAND Corporation assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) (the "Directive), the main source of privacy legislation in Europe. While the report highlighted a number of the Directive’s positive attributes, it … Continue Reading

Oh, behave: EU cracks down on behavioral targeting in the U.K.

The European Commission announced this week that it might sue the United Kingdom if that country fails to limit the tracking and collection of users’ Internet browsing habits and personal information without prior consent. The United Kingdom until now has adopted a self-regulatory approach similar to that followed by the Federal Trade Commission (we reported … Continue Reading

EU High Court Strikes Down UK DNA Database on Privacy Grounds

In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)—Europe’s highest court to take up cases affecting the privacy rights of EU citizens—ruled that some aspects of the UK’s DNA database violated EU law.  Specifically, on December 4, the ECHR issued its decision, S. and Marper v. The United Kingdom (Applications 30562/04, 30566/04), holding … Continue Reading

Privacy Issues When “Computing in the Cloud”

When a company is considering using cloud computing in its IT infrastructure, there are some privacy issues that need to be addressed. While the value of cloud computing certainly holds much promise, companies wishing to make the leap into the cloud would be well advised to consider the potential privacy issues.  Cloud computing, in its … Continue Reading

EU Publishes New Guidance on Binding Corporate Rules

Binding corporate rules (“BCRs”) may now be easier to implement due to much needed guidance issued last month by the European Union’s Article 29 Working Party, the group responsible for the oversight of the EU’s data protection regime. The guidance consists of three documents, which clarify the requirements for establishing BCRs. These documents are: (1) a checklist … Continue Reading

EU Data Protection Watchdog Supports Data Breach Notification Law

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has come out in favor of the EU enacting data security breach notification laws. The EDPS is an independent supervisory authority devoted to protecting personal data and privacy and promoting good data protection practices within the EU, both by monitoring the EU administration’s own data processing, as well as … Continue Reading

European Commission Data Protection Working Party Issues Opinion on Search Engine Data Protection

The European Commission Article 29 Data Protection Working Party ("Working Party") recently released its opinion on data protection issues related to search engines. The opinion specifically addresses the applicability of the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) and the Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC) to the processing of personal data by search engines. … Continue Reading

First Subsidiary of a U.S. Based Multinational Company Fined for Data Protection Violations in France

Last month the French subsidiary of the U.S. based company, Tyco Healthcare, became the first local branch of a U.S. company to be fined for data protection violations. France’s data protection agency, La Commission Nationale de L’informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) levied a fine of 30,000 euro (or about $40,350) against the company after it … Continue Reading

EU Working Party Adopts Model Application Form for Binding Corporate Rules

On January 10, 2007 the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party announced the adoption of a new Model Application for the submission of a company’s Binding Corporate Rules to any European Union Data Protection Authority (DPA). The EU’s approval of the Model Application is long-awaited and a welcome addition to help make Binding Corporate Rules a … Continue Reading