Legislation & Regulation

By Fiona Maclean & Calum Docherty

The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) – the group that represents the data protection authorities of all EU Member States – has published guidance and FAQs on a number of issues under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data Protection Officers (DPOs) (Guidance & FAQs)

DPOs are the cornerstone of the GDPR’s accountability regime. The GDPR requires that organisations must appoint a DPO when they engage in large-scale processing of personal data, large-scale regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects, or where obliged to by local law. The WP29 guidance elaborates on what these criteria mean in practice, clarifying when a DPO should be appointed. The guidance also confirms that the DPO can be an external party and is not personally responsible in the case of noncompliance with the GDPR.

By Ulrich Wuermeling

An internal Commission draft of a new ePrivacy Regulation (Draft) has been leaked to the public. The Commission plans to propose it in early 2017, but the content of the Draft does not seem near a final proposal. It is either older or still needs some time to be finalized. The Draft reveals the Commission’s priorities of extending the scope of the Regulation, reducing the number of consent notices for first party cookies, increasing privacy and confidentiality of user data and applying higher fines.

If the approach proposed by the Draft were to pass, the commercial rules for the Internet could change substantially in the EU. The ability of internet service providers to monetize services with marketing would be hampered and the users would have to pick up the bill. The economic impact analysis of the Draft simply ignores these consequences by stating that website publishers would have “small” adoption costs and not mentioning any economic impact for users. Furthermore, the Regulation would in parts isolate the EU market from global innovations by fostering data localization. The approach might shield EU based companies from unwanted competition, but would ultimately slow down the development of the digital market in the EU.

By Ksenia Koroleva

On July 6, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Federal Law No 374-FZ. This law is also known as the “Yarovaya” law (named after a Russian senator who was the main driving force for the law to come into existence).

The Yarovaya law introduces amendments to certain Russian federal laws. The majority of the amendments came into effect on July 20, 2016, however, some of the requirements relating to storage of metadata, as described below, will only come into force starting from July 1, 2018. A draft law which aims to postpone the effective date of such requirements due to their technical complexity from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2023 is currently being considered by the Russian State Duma.

The Yarovaya law, which is political and primarily aimed at combating terrorism, contains new rules on data retention which need to be taken into account by telecom companies and other persons operating or assisting in the operation of communications services.

By Gail Crawford and Ulrich Wuermeling

As the whole world now knows, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) in its historic referendum on 23rd June by a vote of 51.9 percent in favour of “leave” to 48.1 in favour of “remain”. This blog focusses on how that decision will impact both UK and global organisations’ compliance with data protection law.

The referendum does not start the exit process. To formally start the exit process, the UK has to serve notice under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union which triggers a period for negotiation of the terms of the UK’s exit; with exit taking effect once those negotiations have concluded, or after two years (if sooner), irrespective of what terms have (or have not) been agreed. The two year cut-off period can only be extended with unanimous consent from all EU member states.

By Serrin Turner

Typically, the process for amending the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure is a sleepy affair. Proposed amendments wend their way through a series of judicial committees and, if approved by the Supreme Court, take effect automatically by the end of the year. Theoretically, Congress may choose to intervene and block the change – but it does so rarely. This year, however, a proposed amendment has caught the congressional eye.

Over the past several days, legislators in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have introduced legislation to block a proposed change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which regulates the issuance of search warrants in federal criminal investigations. Law enforcement already uses Rule 41 routinely to obtain warrants to search computers recovered from physical premises or otherwise taken into law enforcement custody. The proposed amendment addresses a different scenario: when law enforcement has identified a computer being used to perpetrate a crime but cannot determine where it is located. With the proliferation of anonymizing technologies used by hackers and other criminals operating on the Internet, this fact pattern is increasingly common. The rule change under consideration would enable law enforcement to obtain a warrant in such circumstances to search the target computer “remotely” – that is, by hacking into it.

By Gail Crawford and Lore Leitner

Today, after more than four years of debate, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, or the Regulation) enters into force. The GDPR will introduce a rigorous, far-reaching privacy framework for businesses that operate, target customers or monitor individuals in the EU. The Regulation sets out a suite of new obligations and substantial fines for noncompliance. Businesses need to act now to ensure that they are ready for when the Regulation becomes enforceable after the

By Mikhail Turetsky, Ksenia Koroleva and Lore Leitner

On July 13, 2015, the Russian President signed Federal Law No. 264-FZ (the Law), which introduced a range of amendments into Russian legislation (the Amendments). In particular, the principle of the “right to be forgotten”, a concept not previously recognized under Russian law came into effect on January 1, 2016.

Amendments

The Law introduced the right for individuals to request that search engine operators delete links to certain information relating to the individuals from searches run on the individuals’ names or surnames. The Law applies only to individuals and does not mention legal entities.

By Ulrich Wuermeling, Jennifer Archie & Lore Leitner

On March 17, 2016, the Civil Liberties Committee convened to discuss whether the Privacy Shield framework that will replace Safe Harbor provides adequate protection to the data of EU citizens. A number of experts were questioned including: the US lead negotiator, the EU Data Protection Supervisor, members of the Article 29 Working Party and Max Schrems, whose court case against Facebook led to Safe Harbor’s downfall.

The meeting of the Civil Liberties Committee follows on from the European Commission’s publication last month of the legal texts that will form the basis of the EU-US Privacy Shield and a Communication summarizing the action taken to rebuild trust in the data flows from the EU to the US. The European Commission also made public a draft “adequacy decision” establishing that the safeguards provided under the Privacy Shield are equivalent to the EU data protection standards. The documents provide a better idea of the substance and structure of the Privacy Shield, announced by the European Commission on February 2, 2016 and confirm the US commitment to ensuring that there will be no indiscriminate mass surveillance by its national security authorities.

Focus areas of the Privacy Shield

From the material made public, the new framework focuses on four areas:

By Ulrich Wuermeling

A political compromise has been reached on the new European Data Protection Regulation. On December 15, 2015, the negotiators in the so-called “informal trilogue” between the Council, the Parliament and the European Commission closed the final issues. Meanwhile, the Luxembourg Presidency informed the LIBE-Committee of the Parliament as well as the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Member States about the outcome. The LIBE-Committee will review the final changes on December 17, 2015, but the aim is not

By Ulrich Wuermeling

Almost four years after the European Commission introduced their draft for a new European Data Protection Regulation, negotiators of the European Parliament and Council are close to agreeing on a compromise text, set for December 15, 2015. If the final negotiations in the so-called “informal trilogue” are successful, the legislative process can be formally finalized at the beginning of next year and the Regulation will become applicable two years later. During that period, businesses established in the