European Data Protection Board

Organisations should expect increased scrutiny and enforcement activity around the role of data protection officers in the coming year.

By Gail E. Crawford, Fiona M. Maclean, Ben Leigh, and Amy Smyth

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has announced that its coordinated enforcement action for 2023 will focus on the designation and position of data protection officers (DPOs). Each year, the EDPB’s Coordinated Enforcement Framework (CEF) designates a topic EU data protection authorities (DPAs) should focus on. Although participation for any given year is voluntary, the EDPB has stated that this CEF will involve 26 DPAs across the European Economic Area, including the European Data Protection Supervisor.

The EDPB takes a strict approach in its recent guidance on international data transfers following Schrems II, posing a difficult challenge for businesses.

By Gail Crawford, Ian Felstead, Fiona Maclean, Serrin Turner, Tim Wybitul, Victoria Wan and Amy Smyth

On 10 November, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) released its much anticipated draft guidance on international personal data transfers (the Guidance) in the wake of the CJEU Schrems II decision. The EDPB simultaneously issued updated recommendations on the European Essential Guarantees for surveillance measures, which are referred to in the Guidance. The Guidance sets out the EDPB’s proposed step-by-step process for data controllers or data processors that export personal data outlining how to assess their data transfers and implement General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)-compliant mechanisms to protect data flows. One day later, the European Commission released draft updated Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) for the transfer of personal data. The draft updated SCCS are explicitly designed to address Schrems II requirements, and cross-refer extensively to the Guidance in the draft implementing decision. —

As contactless transactions boom, EU regulators publish draft guidelines on the interplay between the GDPR and PSD2.

By Fiona M. Maclean, Christian F. McDermott, Calum Docherty, and Amy Smyth

Last year, more than half of all payments in the UK were made by card and contactless methods, while cash made up less than a quarter of all payments for the first time, according to the trade association UK Finance. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a cashless society, as governments across Europe encourage citizens and businesses to adopt cashless solutions. At the start of the lockdown, in the spring, ATM transaction volumes in the UK fell 62% year on year, while the daily cash transaction volumes dropped by as much as 90% in Spain, according to the Financial Times.

The Council decision contains useful considerations and clarifications on the “one-stop shop” mechanism, transparency obligations, and consent for targeted advertising.

By Myria Saarinen and Camille Dorval

On 19 June 2020, France’s Highest Administrative Court (Council) handed down its decision on the appeal filed by Google LLC (Google) against the French Data Protection Authority’s (CNIL’s) decision of 21 January 2019, which imposed a fine of €50M to Google for failure to comply with the obligations of transparency and to lawfully process personal data on the basis of a valid consent, with respect to the operating system for Android mobile terminals.

By Gail Crawford, Ulrich Wuermeling, Calum Docherty

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR or Regulation) will become applicable in one year, as of May 25, 2018. A lot has happened since we set out the key provisions of the Regulation last year. As companies implement compliance programmes in efforts to protect data subjects and avoid hefty enforcement penalties, each EU Member State government has to pass implementation laws. Furthermore, regulators are slowly providing guidance on how to apply and interpret the GDPR.

What is happening in the EU Member States?LockRecord_384x144

The GDPR was drafted to “harmonise the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons in respect of processing activities and to ensure the free flow of personal data between Member States” (Recital 3). Yet the GDPR itself provides a lot of leeway for Member States in its implementation, including room for derogations from at least 50 articles. This “margin of manoeuvre” (Recital 10) creates a degree of uncertainty for data controllers and data processors, and there are some areas where companies (especially those processing sensitive personal data, where Member States have the most flexibility) will need to wait and respond to what Member State governments are proposing.