EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Introduction

Throughout 2022, cybersecurity lawyers have kept their eyes firmly fixed on two pieces of EU cybersecurity legislation: the NIS2 Directive (“NIS2”) and the Cyber Resilience Act (the “CRA”). With NIS2 having been formally enacted by the EU and the draft text of the CRA being published by the European Commission in September 2022, businesses should take time in 2023 to digest the implications of NIS2 and the CRA on their cybersecurity compliance programmes, both in terms of organisational measures and product compliance.

Continue Reading 2023 – A Year for Reflection on EU Cybersecurity

International transfers of personal data under the UK GDPR are set to continue to be a key topic in 2023, in particular, regarding new UK adequacy regulations, transatlantic data flows, and updated guidance regarding the UK’s International Data Transfer Agreement (IDTA).

While 2022 saw the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and ICO comment on imminent updates on these issues, very little has actually materialised, leaving businesses and commentators alike hopeful that 2023 will be a year of increased certainty when undertaking restricted international transfers subject to the UK GDPR.

Continue Reading UK GDPR: What Will 2023 Hold for International Data Transfers?

The UK Government’s vision for a post-Brexit data protection regime includes controversial changes to the remit and workings of the Information Commissioner’s Office.  In a Privacy Laws & Business article on possible ICO reform, Edward Machin considers what its proposed structure, duties and powers means for the independence of the regulator and its standing on

As 2022 draws to a close, the international data transfer landscape from Europe continues to be dynamic, with anticipated updates including a further milestone on the Transatlantic Data Privacy Framework (“Framework”) for EU to U.S. data transfers, a new set of model clauses for data transfers to non-EU data importers who are already within the scope of the GDPR, and continued developments in cookie monitoring and enforcement.

Continue Reading What Do EU Data Transfers Have In Common with the Holidays? It’s All About the Clauses

As smartphone capabilities and the ubiquity of their usage increases, an increasing number of functions that were previously performed by standalone devices have now moved into the app ecosystem – but doing so raises the risks of personal data misuse, and consequently regulatory scrutiny under data privacy laws. Recent advice and comments provided by EU data protection regulators regarding Qatar FIFA World Cup apps highlight this risk.

Continue Reading EU Regulators’ Comments on World Cup Apps Highlight Data Protection Risks

On 17 June 2022, the UK government released its much anticipated response to the consultation on the reform of the UK data protection regime. As part of the UK’s post-Brexit national data strategy, the consultation gathered responses on proposals aimed at reforming the UK’s data protection regime to boost the UK economy. In its response, the UK government has signalled which of the proposals it will be proceeding with and are likely to appear in an upcoming Data Reform Bill.

Overall, these reforms do not overhaul the existing UK data protection compliance regime, which is derived from EU legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation and ePrivacy Directive. Instead, the proposals are incremental and largely modify obligations that organizations will be familiar with under the existing regime. As expected, these reforms are largely business-focused, with an overall aim of reducing compliance burdens faced by businesses of all sizes and facilitating the use (and re-use) of data for research.

Continue Reading UK Government Publishes Its Response on the Reform of the UK Data Protection Regime

On Friday 25 March President Biden and the President of the European Commission jointly announced that they had reached an agreement in principle on a revised trans-Atlantic data flow mechanism.  The timing could not have been better, as I was moderating a panel on “International Data Transfers in 2022 and Beyond” at the Privacy + Security Forum Spring Forum on the same day.

The panel was made up of William Malcolm, Director of Privacy at Google, Vivienne Artz, OBE Chair of the International Regulatory Strategy Group Data Committee, and Joe Jones, Deputy Director International Data Transfers Data Policy Directorate at the UK’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport.  Our plan was to facilitate a discussion focused on recent enforcement actions and statements by data protection authorities in the EU and UK that had highlighted the increasingly complex challenges organizations face in complying with GDPR when transferring personal data out of Europe.  Instead we had a very engaging hour discussing how important data transfers are in a digital economy, noting that at the EU-US summit the discussion of data was second only to discussions of the situation in Ukraine; and that although the EU-US announcement had set Twitter feeds alight, it provided no information as to what the actual agreement was or how it would avoid falling foul of being challenged as Schrems III, IV or V. Finally, we brainstormed some ideas as to the direction or detail that could be contained in the new EU-US agreement and which could really drive change in the regulation of international data flows.

It was clear to all that following the CJEU’s ruling in Schrems II, which invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield and made use of Standard Contractual Clauses more challenging for business, commercial organizations find themselves in the situation in which data transfers are becoming an impediment to business when really they should be the soil of the digital society in which services and societal benefits can grow globally.

Continue Reading International Data Transfers in 2022 and Beyond

A recent decision by the Austrian Supervisory Authority (“SA”) casts a spotlight on the complexities of data transfers and cookie use, and highlights a shift in regulatory focus onto these topics in the year ahead. Regulators around Europe are increasingly beginning to weigh in on such transfers, and the outcomes of their deliberations will shape the data transfer compliance landscape in the months to come. These decisions present complex questions about the future of data transfers in the EU and UK.

Continue Reading Increased EU Scrutiny of US Data Transfers Through Cookie Use

Preeminent privacy scholar and George Washington University Law School professor, Daniel Solove joined Ropes & Gray’s virtual conference on “The Future of Global Data Protection,” for a wide-ranging discussion with Edward McNicholas, co-leader of the Ropes & Gray data, privacy & cybersecurity practice, in which the pair explored:

  • The state of complexity and inconsistency in the international privacy law landscape
  • The inherent flaws in the models on which privacy laws are currently based
  • The risks of moving toward a regulatory model
  • Theories of harm in data breach cases
  • The role of the courts in adjudicating privacy laws

Please see below for an overview of some of these topics, or to access a recording of the session please visit our blog: RopesDataPhiles.

Continue Reading How Data Breaches Are Shaping the Global Data Protection Debate

There were 887 million reasons why one GDPR story was dominating the press on Friday. But sneaking under the radar was a decision from the English High Court that I reckon should be more interesting to businesses in the UK.

In a nutshell, the High Court rejected a £5,000 claim for distress-related damages brought by an individual whose personal data were involved in a cyber-attack suffered by DSG, a British retailer that operates the Currys PC Worlds and Dixons Travel brands. The claim relied on breach of confidence, misuse of private information, breach of the DPA 1998 and common law negligence, and the judgment is short and easy to digest, so it’s well worth a read.
Continue Reading De-stressing Distress Disputes