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Data Protection Leader

Volume: 8 Issue: 7
(July 2011)


The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in Sweden issued, on 4 July, draft 'Recommendations on the use of cookies and comparable technology,' to help companies comply with the cookie requirements of the newly amended Electronic Communications Act (2003:389). The Recommendations state, in particular, that visitors to a website must 'grant their consent to cookies in ways that fit the circumstances, such as using appropriate browser settings.' / read more

A French Parliamentary Commission of the General Assembly released its findings in the 'Protection of Individual Rights in the Digital Revolution' Report on 4 July 2011. The Commission made a number of recommendations regarding a reform of the EU data protection legislative framework - among those, it found that existing law already covers the right to be forgotten (individuals' right to withdraw consent and request the deletion of their personal data) and there is no need for 'as a distinct concept'. / read more

Peruvian President Alan Garcia signed the Personal Data Protection Law (Law No. 29733) on 2 July, making Peru the latest Latin American country to enact legislation equivalent to the EU standards for data protection. / read more


Irrespective of whether one agrees or disagrees with the Article 29 Working Party's Opinion on the definition of consent, the Working Party should at least be praised for taking a clear-cut line on this issue. Never before has the group of EU data protection authorities carried out such a detailed assessment of one of the legal grounds for the use of personal information. If there was ever any doubt as to where the regulators stood in terms of the conditions for obtaining individuals' consent that is no longer the case. Whether their assessment is entirely correct is a different matter and deserving of debate. / read more

On 14 June 2011, the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament adopted the Bill implementing the EU Citizens Rights Directive, but only after introducing its own 'cookie' amendment. The amended Bill is now before the Senate, and if passed, is expected to come into force in January 2012. The Bill addresses issues that have been much debated but the rules on cookies are attracting the most discussion. Gerrit-Jan Zwenne and Frank Simons, of Bird & Bird in the Hague, examine the discussions taking place. / read more

The deadline has come and gone for European Union (EU) Member States to start requiring companies to obtain individuals' consent prior for placing cookies on computers, mobile devices and other hardware. In its wake, industry players continue to struggle to understand what this cookie consent requirement means. US companies should consider basic compliance steps if they offer websites, mobile applications or other online offerings to EU individuals, as EU regulators have long sought to hold such US companies responsible. / read more

The Hungarian Parliament adopted a new Constitution on 18 April 2011, which expressly addresses data protection and privacy. The new Constitution, due to enter into force on 1 January 2012, prescribes that everyone has the right to privacy and access to data of public interest. It also anticipates major changes in the regulatory aspects of data protection as it provides that a new and independent Data Protection Authority will be responsible for data protection-related regulatory issues. / read more

The Spanish Data Protection Agency has a new penalty regime after reform to the country's Data Protection Act came into force on 6 March 2011. This was passed after the legislator realised that the previous sanctions were too extreme for minor infringements, and caused significant damage to a multitude of entities that, in some cases, were just small companies unable to pay such sanctions. Noemi Alonso Calvo, data protection Lawyer in Spain, examines the new regime and elaborates on its requirements. / read more

Courts in the United States are being asked to weigh in on whether an expectation of privacy protects a person's social media postings, such as on a Facebook page, from required disclosures during the discovery phase of civil litigation. So far, it seems that only one court has limited a party's access to an opposing party's Facebook page. Two weeks afterwards, another court in a nearby jurisdiction rejected that view and instead, followed a line of cases - albeit the very small line of cases -finding that social media postings are not 'private' when it comes to litigation, regardless of the privacy settings that the person may have used to limit the information to 'friends' only. Melinda Levitt, Partner at Foley & Lardner in the US, examines the two cases. / read more

Is statistical data anonymous or personal data? This question was recently debated by the High Court in Department of Health v Information Commissioner & The Pro Life Alliance, where it was held that statistics published in a truly anonymised form do not constitute personal data - and therefore are not exempt under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act. Victoria Hordern, Senior Associate at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, examines this decision and others in the UK arising from freedom of information legislation, which impact on the concept of identifiability within the definition of personal data under data protection law. / read more

The rise of smartphones, wifi hotspots, and high-speed data networks has spurred new technology-based business models and the exponential growth of consumer information online. Chief among new technologies, the use of mobile applications - 'apps' - has exploded in the past few years. From near-constant posts on Facebook to attacking the green pigs on Angry Birds, consumers have opened their hearts and wallets to mobile apps. John J. Heitmann and Christopher M. Loeffler, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, discuss that while the upside is great, companies and developers considering a mobile app should also be mindful of the legal and business pitfalls of mobile apps and implement a process to sidestep common challenges. / 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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