On April 14, 2021, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced a $3 million settlement with insurance company National Securities Corp. (NSC), relating to violations of three different requirements of the NYDFS cybersecurity regulation during the period 2018 to 2020.… Continue Reading
In a joint investigation report, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, together with the commissioners of BC, Alberta, and Quebec concluded that Clearview AI violated Canadians’ privacy rights under federal and provincial privacy laws by scraping billons of images of people available online to be continually used in what amounted to a virtual “police lineup.” They found Clearview collected highly sensitive information without the knowledge or consent of individuals, and did so for an inappropriate purpose.
Several key considerations informed the commissioners’ views.
Online data is protected
Heavy reliance on social media, and on the readily available personal information … Continue Reading
There has been a big bang in the data protection world in Berlin as the first and most spectacular GDPR fine in Germany has just been declared invalid.
The Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection for Freedom of Information (Berliner Beauftragte für den Datenschutz und Informationsfreiheit, “Berlin DPA”) issued a EUR 14.5 million fine against a German real estate company, die Deutsche Wohnen SE (“Deutsche Wohnen”). The Regional Court (Landgericht) of Berlin has now declared this fine invalid and closed the proceedings. The Berlin DPA will ask the public prosecutor’s office to appeal the Court’s … Continue Reading
On 29 January 2021, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) announced that certain sections of the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2020 (the PDPA Amendments) will take effect from 1 February 2021 – please see PDPC’s announcement; the gazetted Commencement Notification. This legal update provides a high-level summary of the PDPA Amendments that have taken effect.
The changes introduced by the PDPA Amendments to the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (the PDPA) are the most significant since the PDPA first came into force on 1 July 2014. Please see our earlier blog post, … Continue Reading
A German state data protection authority has issued a fine of EUR 10.4m against a mid-size online retailer who allegedly violated the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by monitoring their employees using CCTV.
The State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (Landesbeauftragte für Datenschutz und Informationsfreiheit) of Lower Saxony (the State Commissioner) imposed the fine on the electronics retailer “notebooksbilliger.de AG” (the Retailer) at the end of 2020.
The Retailer used CCTV in its premises to prevent and investigate criminal offences and to track the flow of goods in the warehouses over a period of at least … Continue Reading
The end of the Brexit implementation period on 31 December 2020 has brought with it significant changes to the data protection landscape for UK-based businesses. Amid headlines about data transfer issues and a potential adequacy decision for the UK in the coming months, businesses also need to be aware of significant changes to the way in which cross-border personal data breaches with a UK angle will need to be notified to data protection authorities (DPAs) in future.
The GDPR established a “one-stop-shop” principle, allowing companies to notify cross-border personal data breaches to a lead supervisory authority (LSA) in the EU … Continue Reading
On December 18, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) jointly announced a 53-page proposed rule that would require banks to notify their regulators within 36 hours of a “computer-security incident” that rises to the level of a “notification incident.” The proposed rule would also affect companies that provide certain services to those banks, including data processing. Those service providers would be required to notify “at least two individuals at affected banking organization customers immediately after the bank service provider experiences a computer-security incident that … Continue Reading
In December 2019, the German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (“Federal DPA”) levied a € 9.55m fine against 1&1 Telecom (“1&1”), a German telecom company. On 11 November 2020, the Regional Court (Landgericht) of Bonn (the “Court”) slashed the fine to just € 900,000, on the basis that it was disproportionate. The Court considered that too much emphasis had been given to the turnover of 1&1 at a group level in calculating the fine, calling the calculation model used by the German authorities into question.
The Federal … Continue Reading
On 6 October 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) published two decisions that further define the permitted scope of governmental access to personal data.
These decisions are relevant in two key areas:
- Complying with the Schrems II judgement: The judgment provides some guidance on how organisations should undertake the “case-by-case assessments” of third countries to which they are transferring personal data using the European Commission approved Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs); and
- Brexit: The judgement also gives some clues as to the standard to which the UK will be held as it
Following the Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Personal Data Protection Commission of Singapore (PDPC) public consultation in May this year (Public Consultation), the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Bill (Bill) was introduced and had its first reading in Parliament on 5 October 2020.
The Bill introduces five key changes to the Personal Data Protection Act 2012:
- Increased financial penalties: Up to 10% of annual turnover in Singapore (if the organisation’s annual turnover in Singapore exceeds SGD 10 million), or S$ 1 million, whichever is higher.
- Mandatory data breach notification: Organisations must notify the PDPC of any
On 1 October 2020, the State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (Landesbeauftragte für Datenschutz und Informationsfreiheit) of Hamburg (the DPA) imposed a fine of EUR 35.3 million under the GDPR against the German subsidiary of the fashion retailer H&M.
The German subsidiary operates a central service centre in Nuremberg. The DPA found that the company had collected extensive records relating to the private lives of several hundred employees, which included health data and sensitive data. Apparently some of the records went back as far as 2014.
The DPA also expressed concerns over personal data collected in relation … Continue Reading
On September 15, 2020, the New York Attorney General (NYAG) announced a proposed settlement with Dunkin’ Brands, relating to brute force and credential stuffing attacks against members’ online accounts (including stored value cards). Dunkin’ does not admit or deny any of the NYAG’s allegations in the complaint. (New York v. Dunkin’ Brands, No. 451787/2019 (N.Y. Sup. Sept. 5, 2020).
According to the NYAG’s 2019 complaint, Dunkin’ had been the subject of hacker attacks attempting to breach its members’ online accounts and steal money from the stored value cards that members registered to those accounts. The … Continue Reading
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has today published its decision in the landmark case, known as Schrems II. While Privacy Shield has been completely invalidated, the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) remain valid, but the court has emphasised obligations on the parties to the SCCs and Data Protection Authorities which have the potential to restrict when they can be used.
Here is a very short first summary:
- Privacy Shield is invalid. This is on the basis that the access and use of EU personal data by US authorities are not restricted in a way
The deadline for data controllers to register with the Data Protection Authority’s publicly accessible data controller registry, known as VERBİS, has been extended. In its June 23, 2020 decision, the Authority extends the VERBİS registration deadline until September 30, 2020 for the following data controllers:
Turkish data controllers employing more than 50 people annually or whose annual total financial statement exceeds TL 25 million (approx. USD 3.7 million), and
Data controllers not located in Turkey.
With the exception of some exempt classes, all data controllers (individuals as well as legal entities) must register with VERBİS prior to processing any personal … Continue Reading
In a judgment which will be warmly welcomed by employers (and their insurers) in the UK, the UK Supreme Court today overruled the Court of Appeal in holding that that Morrisons supermarkets is not vicariously liable for a data breach maliciously caused by a former employee.
The Supreme Court concluded that the Court of Appeal had misunderstood the principles governing vicarious liability in their previous judgments in the case.… Continue Reading
Quebec’s minister of justice announced her intention to introduce a bill aimed at modernizing the privacy regime provided by the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector.… Continue Reading
Happy Data Privacy Day! Data Privacy Day represents a timely opportunity to highlight anticipated significant developments in Canadian privacy law in 2020 that we are monitoring following two major developments from the Government of Canada.… Continue Reading
On September 23, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) announced, following consultation with stakeholders, that it will maintain the position set out in its 2009 guidelines that an organization’s transfer of personal information to a third party for processing, including a transfer across the Canadian border, is a “use” of that personal information, and not a disclosure that requires separate consent.
This announcement brings at least temporary clarity to an issue that resulted in a tumultuous summer for organizations and the OPC alike as everyone grappled with the potential consequences of the OPC’s June … Continue Reading
The GDPR has significantly altered the landscape of data protection. Its broad scope and potentially severe penalties have forced those who hold and process data to take note of its provisions. In certain instances, that will include many in the international arbitration community, such as arbitral institutions. In parallel, cyber attacks and instances of hacking in the arbitration context have brought cyber security issues to the fore.
As a result, data protection and cyber security are now hot topics in international arbitration. A majority of respondents in the 2018 Queen Mary International Arbitration Survey listed “security of electronic communications and … Continue Reading
On Friday, July 12, 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that Federal Trade Commission and Facebook reached a settlement to resolve Facebook’s privacy issues surrounding the Cambridge Analytica disclosure discovered last year. The settlement imposes a US$5 billion dollars on the tech giant, which represents roughly 9% of Facebook’s total yearly revenue and is the largest civil and privacy fine ever imposed by the FTC. The fine largely surpasses the FTC’s previous imposed fine in a privacy action, when the FTC fined Google US$22.5 million to settle claims it misrepresented privacy assurances to Safari users.… Continue Reading
Following the now famous €50m fine imposed on Google LLC in January 2019, the French Data Protection Authority (the CNIL) published a decision taken on 28 May 2019 imposing a fine of €400,000 on SERGIC, a company specialised in real estate development, purchase, sale, rental and property management.… Continue Reading
On June 13, 2019 Measures for Personal Data Cross-Border Transfer Security Assessments (Draft for Comment) (Measures) were issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China, along with an invitation for submissions to be made as part of a public consultation. The Measures lay down stricter requirements in relation to cross-border transfers of personal data with the intention to better safeguard internet users’ rights, public interests and national security.
The Measures set out a number of general requirements and implementing provisions for aspects of a network operator’s assessment obligation, assessment standards and reporting procedures. They also introduce specific requirements for contracts … Continue Reading
In the absence of federal action, states have been actively passing new and expanded requirements for privacy and cybersecurity (see some examples here and here). While laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are getting all the attention, many states are actively amending their breach notification laws. Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington have all amended their breach notification laws to either expand their definitions of personal information, or to include new reporting requirements.
Below is a roundup of recent and significant changes.… Continue Reading
Cookies Are One Piece of a Larger Puzzle
There has been an odd preoccupation with cookies for some time now—to the exclusion of other forms of browser tracking, some of which are much more flexible and more robust in their data collection capabilities than cookies. Despite this fact, these other, non-cookie tracking technologies are often not referenced in privacy policies and cookie policies, even though they are used to “store information” and / or “gain access to information stored in the terminal equipment” for purposes of the ePrivacy Directive and will presumably qualify as personal information under the CCPA as … Continue Reading