Archives: In the Courts

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Courts continue to consider intersection of Fourth Amendment and technology: without a warrant, retrieval of car’s electronic data unconstitutional, but surveillance on hunting property permissible

The Fourth Amendment has received significant attention in recent court rulings involving surveillance, electronic data retrieval, and other types of technology. Two rulings issued on October 21, 2019 demonstrate how difficult it can be to anticipate the outcome of Fourth Amendment disputes relating to technology. In one, the Georgia Supreme Court found the warrantless search … 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

Forget-me-not: Google v. CNIL defines territorial scope of the right to be forgotten

Today, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its decision in Google v. CNIL, dealing with the remit of the ‘right to be forgotten’ (RTBF). In short, the ECJ held that the operator of a search engine is not required to carry out de-referencing on all domain extensions of its search engine when dealing … Continue Reading

Face-off: UK High Court backs use of automated facial recognition technology

In July 2019, the UK privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued a warning about the privacy implications of automated facial recognition technology (AFR). The ICO was concerned that AFR “represent[s] the widespread processing of biometric data of thousands of people as they go about their daily lives.” The UK High Court recently handed … Continue Reading

Get your Update on IT & Data Protection Law in our Newsletter (Summer 2019 Edition)

The Summer 2019 Edition of the quarterly IT & Data Protection Newsletter by Reed Smith Germany has just been released: English version German version In this edition we cover the following topics: ECJ and GDPR: Another decision hitting social media activities by companies EDPB does not opt for changes to EU standard contractual clauses EU … Continue Reading

German court ruling: no claims for damages under Article 82 GDPR for minor GDPR violations

In its recent decision of 11 June 2019 (docket no.: 4 U 760/19, available here), the Dresden Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht Dresden – Court of Appeals) had to decide on claims for damages under Article 82 GDPR with regard to minor violations of the GDPR. Background The defendant, the provider of a social network, had … Continue Reading

Get your Update on IT & Data Protection Law in our Newsletter (Spring 2019 Edition)

The Spring 2019 Edition of the quarterly IT & Data Protection Newsletter by Reed Smith Germany has just been released. We provide updates on cookies and tracking tools, Facebook fan pages, fines under GDPR, influencer marketing, email encryption, platform provider obligations, framing, the new German Trade Secrets Act, and more. The newsletter also includes multiple … 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

Pennsylvania Superior Court holds county where reputational harm occurs is proper venue for Internet defamation suits, confirming 50-year-old inquiry applies to website-based claims

Addressing an issue of first impression, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled last week that a venue analysis dating to 1967 focusing on the location of dissemination of allegedly defamatory newspapers applied to online defamation suits as well.  As a result, the proper venue for Pennsylvania defamation suits based on website content is any county where … Continue Reading

UK High Court says no…administrators are not controllers

The recent case of Green v. Group Ltd and others [2019] EWHC 954 (Ch) dealing with Cambridge Analytica’s insolvency has clarified the approach that administrators should take when subject access requests are made to the companies over which they are appointed. A failed administration… In the aftermath of the notorious data analytics activities of Cambridge … Continue Reading

Massachusetts High Court issues rulings defining contours of constitutional protection for cell phone location data

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued two rulings last week addressing law enforcement access to and use of cell phone location data. In the first, the court found that pinging a cell phone’s real-time location constitutes a search in the constitutional sense. In the second, the court held that warrantless location tracking was an … Continue Reading

How (not) to restrict GDPR access requests in employment proceedings – German court establishes high threshold

Procedural laws and principles contain a clear concept regarding which party must present and prove what information in court proceedings. Claimants in employment proceedings currently try to use the right to access of data subjects under Article 15 GDPR to shake this concept up. Judgment of the Higher Labour Court of Baden-Württemberg On 20 December … 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

Must online traders provide consumers with a contact telephone number? Advocate General says no…t necessarily

In a recent request for a preliminary ruling in a case concerning Amazon, the Advocate General Pitruzzella (AG) has given his opinion that the Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU) (CRD) requires traders to offer their consumers a choice of means of communication, but this is not confined to the trader’s telephone number. The CRD includes the … Continue Reading

Get your update on IT & Data Protection Law in our Newsletter (Winter 2019 edition)

The Winter 2019 edition of the quarterly IT & Data Protection Newsletter by Reed Smith Germany has just been released. We provide updates on Facebook Custom Audiences, social plug-ins, influencer advertising, withdrawal right information, the EU copyright law reform and more. The newsletter also includes multiple recommended reads on the GDPR. We hope you enjoy … Continue Reading

Misappropriation of trade secrets in Germany – the recent Supreme Court decision

Germany is a leading jurisdiction for patent litigation, yet it is still not popular for those bringing trade secrets disputes. Frankfurt partner Dr Anette Gärtner has published a case comment, “German Federal Supreme Court: Hohlfasermembranspinnanlage II — Enforcement of Claims for Misuse of Trade Secrets”, looking at the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the misappropriation … Continue Reading

Recent rulings indicate Fifth Amendment may join Fourth Amendment as critical consideration in courts’ efforts to apply constitutional protections to smartphones and other new technology

The Fourth Amendment right of the people “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects” has been center stage in debates over technology that scarcely could have been imagined at the time it was written. See, e.g., Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018); United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. 400 … Continue Reading

Social plug-ins – Advocate General issues opinion on joint controllership case

On 19 December 2018, the Advocate General (AG) delivered an opinion in a case concerning Fashion ID and Facebook, which considered the parties’ status as joint controllers, under the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (DP Directive), when a social plug-in had been embedded. Fashion ID’s website inserted Facebook’s ‘Like’ button as a plug-in, allowing personal data, … 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

Get your update on IT & Data Protection Law in our Newsletter (Fall 2018 edition)

The Fall 2018 edition of the quarterly IT & Data Protection Newsletter by Reed Smith Germany has just been released. We provide updates on Facebook fan pages, the right to be forgotten, cease and desists by competitors under GDPR, spamming and customer satisfaction surveys, the German Network Enforcement Act, and more. The newsletter also includes … Continue Reading

Florida Appeals Court rules Fifth Amendment bars compelled production of iPhone passcode, iTunes password

On October 24, 2018, the Florida Court of Appeal for the Fourth District ruled that the state could not compel the production of a defendant’s iPhone passcode and iTunes password because doing so would violate the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination. The ruling in G.A.Q.L. v. State of Florida is encouraging for privacy advocates but … Continue Reading
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