On December 1, 2021, in a much-noted decision, the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden (AC Wiesbaden) handed down a preliminary injunction dealing with international data transfers (case 6 L 738/21.WI, available in German here). In the specific case, there was no data transfer mechanism in place and thus the court ordered the defendant to stop using a cookie consent management platform. Contrary to some reports, the court did not rule that U.S.-based consent management solutions or cookies cannot be used anymore. The injunction can still be appealed and could also be lifted in the main proceedings.
Continue Reading German court prohibits U.S. data transfers in “Cookiebot” decision: Why this decision is special and should alert, but not upset your organization

In one of the most highly anticipated judgments in recent years, the UK Supreme Court has unanimously rejected a class-action style compensation claim under the Data Protection Act 1998. The Supreme Court decision was handed down as a result of a claim raised against Google LLC (Google) by Richard Lloyd on behalf of four million data subjects.
Continue Reading Lloyd v. Google: Supreme Court rejects compensation claim

On 7 September 2021, the High Court granted a defendant’s application for summary judgment in a claim for compensation brought by three data subjects resulting from a data breach suffered by the defendant, on the basis that the breach was ‘trivial’ (here).

The case

The case related to a single email (with attachments) sent by the defendant, a firm of solicitors. The defendant, who represents a school to whom the claimants, a set of parents, owed outstanding school fees, had been instructed to write to the claimants with a demand for payment. The email consisted of a letter and a copy of the statement of account.

Due to one letter difference in one of the email addresses, the correspondence was sent to an unintended recipient. The unintended recipient responded promptly, indicating that they thought the email was not intended for them. The defendant then responded promptly, asking the unintended recipient to delete the email, which they agreed to do. The recipient was unknown to the claimants personally.

The email contained the claimants’ names, address and the amount of school fees owed, as well as reference to proposed legal action, but it did not contain any financial information in the form of bank or card details, or information about the income or financial position of the claimants.

The claim brought by the claimants was for, amongst other things, compensation for non-material damage (i.e., distress) under article 82 of the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) and section 169 of the Data Protection Act 2018. This was based on (i) the claimants having suffered “lost sleep”, (ii) the breach having “made them feel ill” and (iii) extensive time having been spent by the claimants dealing with the issue.Continue Reading ‘Trivial’ data breach claim dismissed by High Court

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on 6 October 2021 in Top System SA v. Belgian State (Case C‑13/20) EU:C:2021:811 that, under article 5(1) of the Software Directive (Council Directive 91/250/EEC) (the Directive), lawful purchasers of software are permitted to decompile programs (in whole or in part) in order to correct errors affecting the

AI is a hot topic, particularly in the area of patent law and inventorship.

On Tuesday 21 September 2021, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be listed as an inventor on a patent application (Thaler v Comptroller General of Patents Trade Marks and Designs [2021] EWCA Civ 1374).

Background

The present case related to two patent applications submitted to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) by Dr Stephen Thaler. Both applications listed the inventor as ‘DABUS’, an AI machine built for the purpose of inventing, which had successfully come up with two patentable inventions. The UK IPO had refused to process either application (considering them withdrawn) as they failed to comply with the requirement to list an inventor and Dr Thaler was not entitled to apply for the patents. According to the Patents Act 1977, an inventor must be a ‘person’.

At the Court of First Instance, Mr. Justice Marcus Smith had upheld the IPO’s decision.Continue Reading UK Court of Appeal rules AI is not an inventor

On September 17, 2021, the Illinois Court of Appeals for the First District ruled that some BIPA claims are subject to a five year statute of limitations, while others must be brought within one year. In Tims v. Black Horse Carriers, Inc., 2021 IL App (1st) 200563, the appellate court accepted a certified question

The Summer 2021 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:

  1. Update on international data transfers
  2. State Labour Court of Baden-Württemberg: No claim for damages for transferring personal data to the United States on

The Spring 2021 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:

  1. New cookie rules in Germany will apply as of December 1, 2021
  2. German data protection authorities conduct coordinated audits on international data transfers

In Bellingham, Alex v. Reed, Michael [2021] SGHC 125 (Alex v. Reed) The Singapore High Court considered the loss or damage needed for a private action to be brought against an organisation for a breach of the PDPA. In particular, the court found that a mere loss of control over personal data, or emotional distress