Following numerous privacy complaints, the State Office for Data Protection Supervision (BayLDA) recently conducted a random audit on 40 companies and found widespread problems with their cookie disclosures. The purpose of the audit was to determine whether website users were able to obtain transparent information regarding the use and tracking of their information by third-party

The online world is increasingly shaped by forces beyond our control.  Algorithmic processing agents are used by a wide range of web publishers, online retailers and social media companies to determine the kinds of stories that are feature to online readers, the advertisements that are targeted to online shoppers, and the search results they see,

Just as many US businesses were scrambling to meet GDPR compliance, California quickly passed a broad new privacy act, giving businesses another privacy compliance headache. We’ve previously blogged on the dramatic history behind the eleventh-hour passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), so we won’t rehash that story here.  Instead, the focus of this post will be on the overlap between the CCPA and the GDPR. 
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What happened?

Today the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect, ending the data protection landscape as we know it. This comprehensive privacy law applies directly to the 28 EU countries and companies established in or doing business in those countries. Unlike its predecessor, the GDPR applies to companies established outside of the EU that offer goods or services to individuals in the EU or monitor the behavior of individuals in the EU, such as through the use of cookies. The GDPR imposes a number new of requirements on companies and raises the stakes by imposing potential maximum fines up to 4% of worldwide revenue.
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The ACC Foundation will be hosting a webcast on April 18, 2018 at 12:00 EDT to discuss the preliminary results of the Foundation’s State of Cybersecurity Report.  This is the second Report of its kind that the ACC Foundation has published.  You can sign up for the webcast here.

The Report surveyed 600 in-house

With the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to go into effect on May 25, 2018, many questions remain as to what entities that control and process data from EU citizens must do to comply. One such issue is the ongoing effort by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to ensure that the WHOIS service (an online database of identity and contact information for registrants of web domains) complies with GDPR.
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The lawsuit by Austrian lawyer and serial plaintiff, Max Schrems, against Facebook suffered a setback in a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last week. Schrems sought to bring class action-type claims on behalf of 25,000 participants worldwide in his home country of Austria, alleging that Facebook violated European Union privacy law when it assisted the United States National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program. Specifically, Schrems alleged that there is no adequate level of protection of European citizens’ Facebook data when it is transferred to the United States, because it could be accessed by US authorities without individualized suspicion. According to Schrems, Facebook’s collaboration with US authorities violated the Austrian data protection law of 2000, the Irish Data Protection Act of 1998, and Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament.
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Among the more significant changes under the GDPR are new limitations on the use of consent to permit the processing of personal data. Recent WP29 guidelines on consent expand on previous opinions (for example Opinion 15/2011 regarding the definition of consent or Opinion 06/2014 regarding the legitimate interests of data controllers) and confirm that the use of consent must pass a very high bar to be effective under the GDPR.

Consent is one of six lawful bases to process personal data under the GDPR.  Article 4(11) of the GDPR defines consent as: “any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.”
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With the May 2018 deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) inching closer, U.S. multinational companies have been eagerly awaiting guidance from the Article 29 Working Party on key provisions, such as the use of algorithms to make processing decisions, the new 72-hour response period for data breaches, the meaning of consent under the GDPR, and the appointment of a Data Protection Officer. Over the next few weeks, we will be providing our analysis of recent WP29 guidance.

Today, we begin with new guidelines addressing the use of algorithmic processing engines – what the GDPR calls “automated decision-making.” According to the Guidelines, profiling is an automated form of processing, carried out on personal data, the objective of which is to evaluate personal aspects about a natural person.
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