Archives: Cookies, Tracking & Online Behavioral Advertising

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Updated draft of ePrivacy Regulation – Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU aims for final text by the end of the year

The Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU (Finnish Presidency) released an updated draft of the Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications (ePrivacy Regulation) on October 30, 2019 (available here). The Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society (WP TELE) will discuss the new draft at its meeting on November 7, 2019. Amendments put … Continue Reading

Compliant use of cookies in the EU is still a secret recipe: ECJ decides on Planet49, but does not provide clarity

In its judgment of 1 October 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided on cookie consent requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679/EU (GDPR) and the Cookie Directive 2002/58/EC (Cookie Directive) (Case C-673/17, Planet49 GmbH v. Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände – Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V. (the Judgment)). The ECJ set clear requirements on what cookie … Continue Reading

Update on ePrivacy Regulation: “Current draft does not guarantee high level of protection and cannot be supported”, German government states

In its response dated 3 July 2019 (Response; file no. 19/11351, available in German here) to an inquiry by members of the German parliament (Inquiry), the German government took stand on the current draft Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications (ePrivacy Regulation), and particularly on “tracking”. The German government summarises its assessment of the ePrivacy … Continue Reading

Check your compliance to the updated ICO guidance on cookies

On July 3, 2019 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published an updated guidance on the use of cookies. Although the guidance confirms requirements of which most data practitioners already comply, it outlines steps for non-compliant companies. Now that the ICO has confirmed its regulatory expectations and detailed immediate enforcement, companies need to take action to … Continue Reading

Advocate General’s opinion on social networks’ obligations on (worldwide) deletion of illegal content

“The internet’s not written in pencil, it’s written in ink.” Advocate General (AG) Szpunar commenced his opinion dated 4 June 2019 in Case C-18/18 (Opinion, available here) with the above quote from the movie The Social Network. In the Opinion the AG analysed the substantive scope of injunctions, in particular if social network providers “may … Continue Reading

ICO investigates adtech awareness through fact finding forum

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently published a summary report of its fact finding forum on data protection issues arising from advertising technology (adtech). Adtech is a term commonly used to refer to all technologies, software and services used for delivering and targeting online advertisements. The ICO compiled responses from over 2,300 participants in an … Continue Reading

Planet49: Advocate General’s opinion on cookies and consent bundling

On 21 March 2019, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar (“AG”) delivered an opinion on cookie consent, information obligations regarding cookies and consent bundling (Case C-673/17, Planet49 GmbH v. Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände – Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V.). In the case at issue, users entering into a promotional lottery were confronted with two checkboxes: A checkbox obtaining … Continue Reading

UK regulator to focus on ad-tech

On 6 March 2019, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will host a fact-finding forum in central London. The aim of this forum is to facilitate a dialogue between ad-tech stakeholders. The ICO wants to understand the complexities of ad-tech practices. Why ad-tech? ‘Ad-tech’ is the product of technology’s transformation of the advertising industry. It uses … Continue Reading

German supervisory authority audited 40 websites on the use of tracking tools – and none of them was compliant

The Bavarian Data Protection Authority (‘Bavarian DPA’) audited major Bavarian websites for their use of tracking tools on Safer Internet Day. It calls its findings “desolate”. None of the tracking tools were implemented in a compliant manner. Audit by the Bavarian DPA Tracking and the requirements for using cookies have been a highly debated topic … Continue Reading

First sanction decision rendered by the CNIL under the GDPR: GDPR awareness 2.0 has begun

In an interview dated February 2018,[1] Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, at the Head of the French data protection authority (CNIL), stated that the CNIL would adopt a flexible and pragmatic approach from May 2018 onwards when controlling compliance with data protection requirements. The first decision of sanction rendered by the CNIL on Monday January 21, 2019, which … Continue Reading

ICO warns that the Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under the GDPR

It has been reported that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued the US-based Washington Post newspaper with a warning about how it obtains consent for cookies from website visitors. According to a report in The Register, the ICO stated that the Washington Post’s online subscription options do not allow users to opt out of … Continue Reading

German State Media Authorities issue new guidance paper on marking adverts on social media

Recently, the German media regulators, the State Media Authorities (Landesmedienanstalten), issued a joint guidance paper on marking adverts on social media, which is available in German language here (Leitfaden der Medienanstalten, Werbekennzeichnung bei Social Media-Angeboten; “Guidance Paper”). The Guidance Paper replaces the State Media Authorities’ earlier FAQs. It is intended to help organisations and individuals … Continue Reading

Update on Facebook fan pages: What should organisations do after the release of Facebook’s co-controller agreement?

After another statement by the German Data Protection Authorities (German DPAs) of 5 September 2018 (Statement, available in English here), stating that the operation of a fan page as offered by Facebook was illegal, Facebook reacted “overnight” and released a co-controller agreement, the “Page Insights Controller Addendum” (Insights Addendum, available here). In a press release … Continue Reading

Proposed amendments to the ePrivacy Regulation

On 10 July 2018, the Council of the European Union has published a draft of revisions to the proposed ePrivacy Regulation (ePR). The ePR is likely to come into force in 2019. The ePR will repeal and replace the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive 2002/58/EC. The ePR will align Europe’s ePrivacy regime more closely with … Continue Reading

How big is the risk to operate Facebook fan pages in Germany?

On 5 June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its long-awaited Facebook fan page judgement (Case C-210/16), holding that the operator of a fan page on Facebook is jointly responsible with Facebook for processing the data of visitors to the page. Only a day later, the Conference of German … Continue Reading

German authorities: tracking and profiling cookies require opt-in consent

On 26 April 2018, the Conference of German Data Protection Authorities (German DPAs) released a highly criticised position paper on the applicability of the German Telemedia Act (TMA) after 25 May 2018 (Position Paper, available in German here). The Position Paper clearly states that tracking and profiling cookies now require informed prior opt-in consent. Position … Continue Reading

Territorial applicability of the GDPR

The GDPR is just around the corner and will be effective in less than three months – on 25 May 2018. Organizations are therefore in the midst of preparations to comply with the new Regulation in order to avoid the potentially high fines. Non-EU organizations have to assess whether the GDPR is applicable to them … Continue Reading

Sears Petitions to Change Its 8-Year-Old FTC Privacy Settlement Order

On October 30, 2017, Sears Holding Management Corporation (“Sears”) petitioned the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to reopen and modify the settlement to which they agreed in 2009.  At that time, Sears agreed to a consent order to resolve the FTC’s complaint that Sears allegedly did not adequately disclose the scope of its collection of “online … Continue Reading

EDPS releases recommendations on ePrivacy Regulation – Still a long way to go

We are only eight months away from the new EU data protection regime entering into force. In addition to the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which includes the general data protection provisions, the ePrivacy Regulation shall provide specific rules for electronic communications. However, the legislative process of the ePrivacy Regulation is still in its early … Continue Reading

Better Business Bureau Enforces IBA Self-Regulatory Principles

The Better Business Bureau’s Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program has cracked down on two digital advertising companies for allegedly violating the industry’s self-regulatory principles concerning interest-based advertising. In the case of Exponential Interactive, the accountability program decision reminds third-party advertisers, as defined in the Digital Advertising Alliance Self-Regulatory Principles, that they are obliged to provide … Continue Reading

Get your update on IT & Privacy Law (Germany)

The Summer 2017 Edition of the quarterly IT & Privacy Newsletter by Reed Smith Germany has just been released. We cover the German GDPR Implementation Act, new case law on processing on the basis of legitimate interests, marketing consent, and provider liability, as well as the paper on Google Analytics by the Hamburg data protection … Continue Reading

EU Commission publishes its proposals for new e-Privacy Regulation

On 10 January, the EU Commission proposed a new Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications (“proposed Regulation”) to replace Directive 2002/58 (known as the “ePrivacy Directive”). The proposed Regulation The proposed Regulation aims to align the rules that apply to electronic communications services with the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).… Continue Reading

Facebook Implements Additional Measures to Prevent Discriminatory Practices in Targeted Advertisements

Responding to news reports that journalists were able to purchase advertising on Facebook targeted to ethnic groups, Facebook announced several new changes to the company’s advertising products. The move highlights heightened scrutiny of advertising practices surrounding the increasing use of big data in many aspects of marketing and advertising. Facebook’s response grew out of a … Continue Reading

New Privacy Rules for Internet Service Providers

On October 27, 2016, the FCC adopted a new set of privacy and data security regulations applicable to “broadband service providers and other telecommunications carriers.” The rules place new restrictions on internet service providers’ (“ISPs”) ability to use and share their customers’ data. The Commission established two data classifications: (1) sensitive information, and (2) non-sensitive … Continue Reading
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