Catch up on our Tech Law Talks podcast series for practical observations on technology and data legal trends, from product and technology development to operational and compliance issues that practitioners encounter every day.

What’s new in data protection in the EU

It has been a busy few weeks in the EU for all things data protection, particularly data transfers. Cynthia O’Donoghue and Andy Splittgerber walk us through the new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) for international transfers and for controllers to processors, the newly issued EDPB Supplementary Measures Recommendations, and the UK adequacy decision. (18 mins)

M365 in 5: Compliance and governance in M365

E-Discovery consultant Lighthouse returns to our M365 in 5 series for a discussion about the importance of compliance and governance in M365 and collaboration among stakeholders to balance risk and business needs. Reed Smith’s Anthony Diana and Therese Craparo join Lighthouse’s John Holliday to discuss implementing controls and managing data to mitigate risk. (8 mins)

Continue Reading Tune in for the latest updates on our Tech Law Talks podcast

On the 28th June 2021, the European Commission (Commission) adopted two adequacy decisions for the UK; one covering the GDPR and the other the Law Enforcement Directive (LED). Such decisions demonstrate that the Commission believes the UK ensures an ‘essentially equivalent’ level of protection to that within the EU. The implication of these decisions is that personal data can now flow freely from the EU to the UK, effective immediately.

Background

On the 19th February, the Commission published two draft adequacy decisions and launched the procedure for their adoption, which we previously wrote about here. Since then, the Commission has carefully assessed the UK’s laws and practices on personal data protection, including access to data by public authorities in the UK. The European Data Protection Board gave its opinion on the draft decisions in support of the Commission’s findings, which we also blogged about here, before finally receiving the ‘green light’ from the EU Member states’ representatives.

The Commission’s 93-page GDPR decision assesses the legal framework for the UK in detail even referencing laws such as the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights, and states ‘As the UK GDPR is based on EU legislation, the data protection rules in the United Kingdom in many aspects closely mirror the corresponding rules applicable within the European Union.’ They conclude  that ‘the Commission considers that the UK GDPR and the DPA 2018 ensure a level of protection for personal data transferred from the European Union that is essentially equivalent to the one guaranteed by Regulation (EU) 2016/679.’

Continue Reading UK adequacy decision for European data transfers

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25 May 2018. It became one of the leading pieces of legislation in the world to offer the highest levels of protection to the personal data of individuals. Many countries followed suit to raise the bar in how organisations handle personal data. The trend

On 14th May 2021, the Irish High Court (High Court) dismissed a legal challenge brought against the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) concerning its inquiry and a preliminary draft decision to suspend the EU-U.S. data transfers of personal data of an applicant organisation.

Background

These proceedings follow on from Schrems II decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in July 2020, which upheld the use of Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs’) for data transfers to third countries. The decision clarified the obligation of the controllers and processors to evaluate their ability to comply with the SCCs in the light of local laws applicable to them before relying on the SCCs and to take supplementary measures to eliminate any risk of non-compliance.

The DPC initiated its ‘own-volition’ inquiry into the applicant organisation’s EU-U.S. data transfers and adopted the preliminary draft decision, suspending personal data flows to the US due to lack of adequate level of protection for personal data transferred to the US and failure to implement supplementary measures by the applicant organisation. The DPC allocated a period of 21-days to the applicant organisation to make submissions to the DPC measures it plans to take to make data transfers possible. The applicant organisation filed judicial review proceedings on a number of grounds. The court rejected the submission by the DPC that the PDD and its procedures were not amenable to judicial review and reviewed each of the grounds that were raised.
Continue Reading DPC’s authority to inquire into the EU-U.S. data transfers confirmed by the Irish High Court

Catch up on our Tech Law Talks podcast series for practical observations on technology and data legal trends. We cover product and technology development to operational and compliance issues that technology practitioners encounter every day.

On this channel, we host regular discussions about the legal and business issues around data protection, privacy and security; data

What is new?

During the ICO’s Data Protection Practitioners’ Conference 2021 today, the ICO revealed that it is working on new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) to facilitate transfers of personal data outside the UK. The ICO’s consultation on the new UK SCCs will take place this summer. This is a separate process to the new SCCs that are currently being finalised by the European Commission. These new EU SCCs will not be valid for use for restricted transfers of data outside the UK.

Why is this change taking place?

From 31 December 2020 organisations in the UK have been relying on existing SCCs (Decisions 2001/497/EC and 2010/87/EU) for transfers of data outside the UK except where such territories are recognised as adequate (e.g. countries in the EU, the EEA, and those that obtained the EU Commission’s adequacy decision). However, the existing SCCs will be repealed when the new EU SCCs come into play. Therefore, the ICO is taking measures to put in place new international transfer mechanisms for restricted transfers outside the UK.

Continue Reading ICO announces it is working on bespoke UK set of Standard Contractual Clauses

On the 14th of April 2021, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted two opinions on the European Commission’s draft adequacy decision for the transfers of personal data from the EU to the UK.

The EDPB assessed the alignment of the UK Data Protection Act to the GDPR and to the Law Enforcement Directive, and noted ‘strong alignment’ on key areas between the EU and UK data protection regimes such as lawful and fair processing for legitimate purposes, purpose limitation, data quality and proportionality, data retention, transparency and special categories of data, to name a few.

Continue Reading European Data Protection Board opines on UK draft adequacy decision

The European Commission published a draft decision on UK adequacy for transfers of personal data from the EU to the UK, which you can read here. This EC conducted an assessment of the UK’s GDPR framework under the UK Data Protection Act 2018, including data protection rules applicable to UK law enforcement and national security and surveillance. It concludes that the UK ensures an ‘essentially equivalent’ level of protection to that within the EU, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED), meaning data transfers can flow from the EU to the UK without further safeguards.

Continue Reading Data flows to the UK from the EU won’t hit a dam