Tag Archives: European Commission

One year to go – European Commission issues statement on benefits of GDPR

“A year from now, the European Union will start benefiting from the new data protection standards.” This week, the European Commission’s most senior voices gave an official statement promoting the benefits of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Andrus Ansip (Vice-President) and Věra Jourová (Commissioner) of the European Commission aimed their statement at all … Continue Reading

European Commission Fines Facebook US$122 Million for Providing Inaccurate Information in WhatsApp Merger Review

The European Commission has imposed a fine of EUR110 million (US$122 million) on Facebook for providing misleading or incorrect information to the European Commission when it filed the acquisition of WhatsApp for merger approval in 2014. In the notification, Facebook stated that it would be unable to establish a reliable automated matching between Facebook users’ … Continue Reading

EU data protection authorities approve Google’s Cloud commitments for international data transfers

Google has announced that the EU data protection authorities have reviewed and confirmed its Google Cloud services’ contractual commitments as fully compliant with the EU requirements for transferring personal data to third countries outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). Model contract clauses The review was carried out in line with Working Paper 226 (‘WP 226’). … Continue Reading

“Battle-ready” Privacy Shield gets muted welcome from EU data protection authorities

On 26 July, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) released a statement outlining its opinion on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which was adopted by the European Commission earlier this month. After praising the improvements implemented by the Commission and U.S. authorities since its last critical opinion, the WP29 outlined some remaining concerns, including … Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes Communication on Cybersecurity

On 5 July, the European Commission (“EC”) published a communication outlining measures to improve resilience to cyber incidents, improve cooperation and information sharing, and promote innovation and competition in the European cybersecurity industry.   The communication highlights the EC’s intention to take cooperation, knowledge, and capacity to the next level, particularly through the imminent introduction … Continue Reading

EU-U.S. Data Privacy Shield adopted by European Commission

Following a positive vote from the Article 31 Committee on 8 July, the EU-US Privacy Shield was formally adopted on 12 July and will enter immediately into force in the EU. In the U.S. the Privacy Shield will be published in the Federal Register, becoming effective on 1 August and will be operated by the … Continue Reading

Draft Privacy Guidelines for Mobile Health App Developers Published

Mobile health or ‘mHealth’ applications commonly raise complex privacy issues as a result of processing large amounts of sensitive personal data. Following the publication of its Green Paper on the topic in 2014, the European Commission has recently published a draft code of conduct on privacy for mobile health applications (‘the code’). The code provides … Continue Reading

European Commission moves to restrict geoblocking

On 25 May 2016 the European Commission published draft legislation aimed at restricting the use of geoblocking and similar practices by websites selling to into the European Union. The European Commission has published a draft regulation aimed at restricting traders from blocking access to websites by customers from other European countries, preventing geographic discrimination through use … Continue Reading

The European Cloud Initiative: Will Data Protection Requirements Cause Stormy Weather?

The European Commission (EC) recently proposed the European Cloud Initiative (ECI): a plan to create a world-class data infrastructure to store, manage, transport and process data at high speeds. The primary aims are to support establishment of the ‘Digital Single Market’ in Europe, improve Europe’s position in data-driven innovation, and improve competitiveness and inspire cohesion … Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes Proposal for Signing the EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement

The EU-U.S. data protection Umbrella Agreement consists of a framework of principles and safeguards for trans-Atlantic transfers of personal data (such as criminal records, names and addresses) in relation to the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences, including terrorism. The agreement seeks to satisfy two core objectives: first, to ensure a high level … Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes E-commerce Geo-Blocking Inquiry Findings

The European Commission (the executive of the EU) recently published the initial findings of its e-commerce inquiry, an investigative process conducted to determine whether and to what extent competition is being restricted or distorted in the sector. The inquiry focused on geo-blocking, a commercial practice whereby online providers block user access to the purchasing of … Continue Reading

European Commission Launches Public Consultation on Revision of ePrivacy Directive

Pursuant to its Digital Single Market strategy and adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation on the revision of Directive 2002/58/EC, better known as the ePrivacy Directive. Its intention is to bring the existing legal framework up to date “with the challenges of the digital … Continue Reading

Privacy Shield does not achieve adequacy of protection under current regime, say EU Data Protection Authorities

On 13 April, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (‘WP29’) published its opinion on whether the proposed Privacy Shield programme, which is intended to replace the now-invalid Safe Harbor pact for facilitating trans-Atlantic data flows, achieved an adequate level of protection. The WP29 acknowledged that many of the shortcomings of Safe Harbor have been … Continue Reading

European Commission targets cross-border parcel delivery as part of its Digital Single Market Strategy

On 22 December 2015, the European Commission announced its next steps towards completing the single market for cross-border parcel delivery. The Commission’s aim is to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight of the parcel market over the coming year, thereby providing consumers and businesses with better access to digital goods and services across Europe. Cross-border … Continue Reading

Update on the European digital single market

In May 2015 the European Commission (EC) announced its strategy for a European ‘digital single market’ (DSM) that mirrors the possibilities of the physical single market. It can be difficult to keep up with the Commission’s ever-evolving plans, so Reed Smith released a Client Alert to review some of the more controversial aspects, including the … Continue Reading

Privacy in financial markets, not to be ignored

The Article 29 Working Party published a letter it sent to the European Commission urging it to consider the data protection and privacy issues when adopting the secondary regulations (‘Regulations’) necessary to implement two European Union financial services laws. These Regulations are required as part of the implementation of the EU Markets in Financial Instruments … Continue Reading

‘Reform EU cloud protection rules or risk missing out on billions of euros’ worth of revenue’

The European Union economy stands to miss out on the benefits of cloud technology, as legislative measures across the individual Member States act to prevent businesses from using cloud services on an EU-wide level. The use of off-premise cloud technologies offers both economic and productivity benefits to start-ups and larger enterprises, but according to Pearse … Continue Reading

Tech giants caught between EU disagreements on scope of Proposed Network and Information Security Directive

U.S. tech giants, like Google and Facebook, found themselves caught between the European Parliament and the European Commission as disagreements continue as to whether Internet service providers should be included within the definition of ‘market operators’ in the Proposed Directive on Network and Information Security (IP/13/94) (the ‘Directive’). Currently, the EU Commission would like to … Continue Reading

Search engine providers face tougher fines under proposed EU tiered fine system

A leaked draft proposal posted by StateWatch and created by the European Commission reports that most Member States appear to be in favour of introducing a three-tiered fine system for non-compliance with EU data protection rules. Under the proposal, which was revised as a result of the 21 April 2015 meeting, all Member States are … Continue Reading

European Commission Releases Digital Single Market Strategy

This post was also written by Samantha Daly. On May 6th, The European Commission released it’s much anticipated white paper on its “digital single market’ (DSM) strategy to provide better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe, create the right conditions for advanced digital networks and innovative services to flourish, … Continue Reading

Trade Secrets Directive to be published this summer

Passage of the draft Directive on Trade Secrets (the ‘Directive’), proposed in November 2013, looks imminent. We’re expecting that the final Directive will be published this summer, giving each of the 28 EU Member States two years in which to enact national implementing legislation. The new Directive aims to harmonise the differing national laws protecting … Continue Reading

European Commission Releases Cloud Computing Service Level Agreements

Back in 2012, the European Commission (‘Commission’) adopted the Cloud Computing Strategy to promote the adoption of cloud computing and ultimately boost productivity. In June 2014, the Cloud Select Industry Group – Subgroup on Service Legal Agreements published Standardisation Guidelines for Cloud Service Level Agreements (‘Guidelines’) as part of this strategy. To achieve standardisation of … Continue Reading

European Commission releases communication on building a data-driven economy, calling for a rapid conclusion to data-protection reform

In July, the European Commission (‘Commission’) published a communication titled “Towards a thriving data-driven economy” (‘Communication’), setting out the conditions that it believes are needed to establish a single market for big data and cloud computing. The Communication recognizes that the current legal environment is overly complex, creating “entry barriers to SMEs and [stifling] innovation.” … Continue Reading

Report Released on Coordinating Standards for Cloud Computing in Europe

The European Commission has announced that the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has finally released a report titled ‘Cloud Standards Coordination’. This report marks an important step in materialising the European Cloud Computing Strategy ‘Unleashing Potential in the Cloud,’ first published in 2012. The European Commission tasked ETSI to ‘cut through the jungle of standards’ … Continue Reading
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