Yesterday, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) issued Meta Platforms Ireland Limited with a EUR 1.2 billion (approximately 1.3 billion U.S. dollar) fine for breaches of the GDPR with respect to EU-U.S. personal data transfers associated with its Facebook service. Meta Ireland has also been ordered to suspend all Facebook-related personal data transfers from the EU to the U.S., and to bring the processing of any previously transferred data into compliance.
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On 4 May 2023, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) delivered its highly anticipated judgement in Österreichische Post (Case C-300/21) on a crucial issue: the extent to which data subjects affected by a breach of the GDPR have a right to compensation for non-material damage under Article 82 GDPR.
The underlying case arose from a data subject in Austria seeking 1,000 EUR ($1,009) in compensation for alleged non-material damages arising from Österreichische Post’s processing of his personal data for the purposes of political advertising. The individual had not consented to the processing and claimed that he felt offended by the fact that an affinity to a certain political party was attributed to him, alongside feelings of great upset, loss of confidence and exposure caused by the retention of his data on these supposed political opinions.
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On 11 May 2023, the European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committees voted by a large majority to adopt a compromise position on the draft text of the proposed AI Act. The AI Act is a landmark legislative proposal set to be one of the first and most significant set of rules on artificial intelligence. This compromise text approved by the Committees makes some key changes to the European Commission’s initial draft of the AI Act, outlined below.
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On February 24, 2023, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released the much-awaited Measures for the Standard Contract for Outbound Transfer of Personal Information (China SCC Measures) together with the issuance of finalized version of the standard contract for outbound transfer of personal information (China SCC), which will officially come into effect on June 1, 2023. For outbound transfers of personal information which have already been carried out before that date, the China SCC Measures require that the rectification shall be completed within six months from its effective date, i.e, before December 1, 2023.
As one of the three “legitimate grounds” for outbound personal information transfer of personal information under the Personal Information Protection Law of China (PIPL), the China SCC shares quite a number of similarities with the EU Standard Contractual Clauses (EU SCCs) under the GDPR, such as the protection of the data subject’s third-party beneficiary rights, the establishment of a “long-arm” jurisdiction for the exporting country through the execution of SCC-based contractual and other mandatory security requirements for the exported personal information. However, the China SCC Measures still vary significantly from the concept of SCCs under the GDPR. Rather than the four-module approach (controller – controller, controller – processor, processor – processor and processor – controller) under the EU SCCs, the China SCC adopts a one-size-fits-all approach towards exporting personal information by the personal information processor (PIP, a concept similar to the “data controller” under the GDPR) to the overseas recipient. There is no differentiation according to the role of the overseas recipient as a controller, processor or sub-processor. This article offers some key highlights of the newly released China SCC Measures.
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In a recent judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) has confirmed that Data Protection Officers (DPOs) can maintain other tasks and duties within their role, provided they do not result in a conflict of interest. The CJEU also held that the GDPR allows for EU member states to legislate to give greater protection to DPOs against dismissal than those set out in the GDPR.
Background to Ruling
In October 2020, the Federal Labour Court of Germany, Bundesarbeitsgericht, requested a preliminary ruling from the CJEU relating to proceedings between X-FAB Dresden GmbH & Co. KG (X-FAB) and its former DPO (“FC”) to clarify under what circumstances an organisation may be allowed to lawfully dismiss its appointed DPO. FC had been DPO for X-FAB and several related companies within its group and had held the role of chair of the works council and vice-chair of the central works council for a few group companies, alongside the DPO position for those companies. FC had been dismissed by X-FAB in December 2017 at the request of the state officer for data protection and freedom of information of Thüringen, Germany. Subsequently, on the coming into force of the GDPR in May 2018, X-FAB had repeated this dismissal as a precautionary measure. FC sought a declaration by the German courts that he retain the DPO position. X-Fab argued FC’s dismissal was justified, stating “a risk of a conflict of interests” in performing both functions, i.e., as both DPO and chair/vice-chair of the works council, on the grounds of incompatibility between the roles. The courts at both first instance and appeal upheld FC’s claim.
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Our latest briefing dives into the public launch of the NIST’s long-awaited AI Risk Management Framework, the EEOC’s new plan to tackle AI-based discrimination in recruitment and hiring, and the New York Department of Financial Services’ endeavor to better understand the potential benefits and risks of AI and machine learning in the life insurance industry.
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