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Data Protection Leader

Volume: 6 Issue: 2
(February 2009)


The European Commission has disbanded a Data Protection Expert Group (GEX PD) of five experts, appointed for one year on 11 November to advise on the amendment of the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), after one meeting on 4 December and before its second scheduled meeting on 19 February. "We couldn't wait any longer for the group's analysis", said a spokesperson for European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barot. "We had to accelerate the consultation process, because our mandate runs out at the end of this year". / read more

The Irish Department of Justice confirmed that the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009 - to be published next month - will transpose the Data Retention Directive (2006/24) into law, following a European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgment on 10 February stating that the Directive was correctly adopted under Article 95 of the EC Treaty. The ECJ took the view that the Directive was correctly adopted under Article 95, which relates to the establishment and functioning of the internal market, rather than Title VI of the EU Treaty, relating to police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. / read more

The Spanish data protection agency (AEPD) fined an individual 1,500 for filming a group of teenagers bullying a mentally disabled person and posting the video on YouTube, stating this was a 'serious violation' of the Spanish data protection act (LOPD). / read more


The recently launched Personal Information Promise initiative has become one of the hottest topics in data protection circles in the UK. Opinions about this initiative range from 'you'd be mad to sign up to it' to 'it's about time that good data protection practice gets some official recognition!'. Arguments about the potential risks of not living up to the Promise, the reputational effect and the practicalities involved in becoming a signatory organisation flow in both directions and like with so many other heated debates, neither side seems to be able to convince the other to change their mind. / read more

In 2005, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party adopted an approach that allowed companies to fast-track approval of Binding Corporate Rules by seeking a 'lead regulator' - a point of contact for approval in one country that will also assist companies in gaining approval throughout the European Union (EU). Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel for Google, argues that the concept of adopting a lead regulator could assist companies in compliance with numerous data protection regimes in the EU by offering companies a single set of rules to focus on. He argues that as such a system is successfully used by the banking and pharmaceutical industries, it could also prove effective for data protection. / read more

The Coroners and Justice Bill, introduced in the House of Commons recently, outlines proposals aimed at amending the Data Protection Act 1998 to strengthen the inspection powers of the Information Commissioner's Office and facilitate the sharing of personal information. Brian Davidson and Sian Rudgard, of Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, examine the content and potential implications of the Bill. / read more

US companies often encounter issues when trying to extract data from a UK or EU affiliate to assist with an investigation by US law enforcement authorities. Melanie Ryan and Kevin Smith, of Fulbright & Jaworski International LLP, examine the extra-territorial reach of US laws that may require data to be transferred, the application of the data protection principles in such cases, and methods of structuring agreements for the transfer of such data. / read more

Within days of taking office, President Obama's Administration issued its Technology agenda - emphasising the importance of technology in advancing competition - and its Homeland Security agenda - which includes policy objectives to protect information networks in the US. David Fagan and Lisa Bress, Associates at Covington & Burling LLP, examine the challenges facing the Administration as regards the US's short-term data protection legal framework. / read more

Four of eight principles drawn up by a panel of German data protection experts on how social networks should protect user privacy were recently adopted at the Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, in their Privacy Protection in Social Network Services resolution. Dr. Jan-Peter Ohrtmann and Bastian Cremer, of Bird & Bird, examine the original eight principles agreed by the Düsseldorfer Kreis. / read more

About Data Protection Leader:

The monthly law publication which covers all aspects of data protection and data privacy. Topics covered include data transfers and outsourcing, data localisation and retention, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the e-Privacy Directive, data security, marketing and behavioural advertising, consent, employee monitoring, privacy compliance, risk management, DPO responsibilities, accountability, Privacy by Design, acquisition and mergers, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and Big Data / read more

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