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The Conseil d’État, France’s highest administrative court, recently ruled that personal data collected via a platform managed by Doctolib, and hosted by an EU subsidiary of a US-based company (subject to US surveillance laws), was in line with the GDPR. The ruling is an important follow-up to Schrems II.

Continue Reading French court ruling considers lawfulness of using EU subsidiary of US cloud service provider post-Schrems II

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The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) recently responded to questions submitted by the EU Commission seeking clarification on the consistent application of the GDPR to health research. The responses cover 21 questions and provide clarity on issues such as: the legal basis for processing health data; processing of special categories of data on a large scale; and further processing of previously collected health data. While it is clear that many questions remain unanswered, further responses are expected in forthcoming guidance currently being prepared by the EDPB.

Continue Reading EDPB responds to questions on processing health data

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The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has published its Annual Report for 2020. The Report looks back on the span of regulatory work completed by the DPC over the past year, and reveals some interesting trends and statistics. It discusses the complaints and breach notifications received; case-studies; the 83 domestic and cross-border inquiries it has open; and the fines, reprimands, and compliance orders it has issued for infringements of the GDPR and Law Enforcement Directive (LED). This briefing note considers some of the key highlights of the Report.

Continue Reading DPC publishes Annual Report for 2020

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The EU Commission looks set to adopt two adequacy decisions in favour of the UK, which will allow businesses to continue to freely transfer personal data from the EU/EEA to the UK.  On 19 February 2021, the EU Commission published two draft adequacy decisions permitting transfers of personal data to the UK under the GDPR,

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On 10 February 2021, the EU Member States agreed on the EU Council’s negotiating mandate for the draft ePrivacy Regulation. The new Regulation will repeal and replace the existing ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC. The text approved by the EU Member States allows the EU Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the final text of the ePrivacy Regulation.

Key Highlights

The EU Council’s Press Release sets out the key highlights of the draft ePrivacy Regulation, which include:

  • The rules will apply when end-users are in the EU. This also covers cases where the processing takes place outside the EU or the service provider is established or located outside the EU.
  • The Regulation will cover electronic communications content and metadata (such as information on location, time and recipient of a communication).


Continue Reading EU Council agrees its position on draft ePrivacy Regulation

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The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has imposed a €70,000 fine on University College Dublin (UCD) for failure to implement appropriate security measures; storing data longer than necessary, and delaying in notifying the DPC of a data breach. This is the sixth GDPR fine imposed by the DPC.  Previous GDPR fines included 3 fines on Tusla (the Child and Family Agency) amounting to a total of €200,000; a €450,000 fine on Twitter, and a €65,000 fine on the HSE. These fines similarly concerned failure to implement appropriate security measures to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of personal data; delaying in notifying the  DPC of the data breach; and failing to adequately document the breach.

Continue Reading DPC fines UCD €70,000 for GDPR breach

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On 15 December 2020, the Minister for Health announced Ireland’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy. The first vaccine was approved for use on 21 December 2020, with the first dose administered in Ireland on 29 December 2020. A second vaccine was approved for use on 6 January 2021 and the approval of additional vaccines is anticipated

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The Government has published its legislation programme for Spring 2021. The programme contains 32 bills for publication and prioritisation by the Government.

Key Bills of relevance to the data protection, commercial and technology sector include:

Bills expected to undergo pre-legislative scrutiny  

  • Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill – This Bill will provide for the establishment of a Media Commission (including an Online Safety Commissioner), the dissolution of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, a regulatory framework to tackle the spread of harmful online content, and implementation of the revised Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive 2018/1808. The heads of Bill were published on 9 January 2020, and 8 December 2020. Member States were due to implement the revised AVMS Directive in national law by 19 September 2020, so Ireland has missed this deadline.
  • Hate Crime Bill– This Bill will repeal the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989, to provide for new and aggravated offences, including an offence of incitement. The Heads of Bill are in preparation.


Continue Reading Government publishes Spring Legislative Programme

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The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) recently published new Guidelines to help businesses comply with their obligation to adopt a Data Protection by Design and by Default (DPbDD) approach when processing personal data.

Article 25 GDPR requires controllers to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures and safeguards that provide effective implementation of the data protection principles, and protect data subjects’ rights, by design and by default.  Article 25 prescribes both design and default elements that should be taken into account.

A controller must adopt a DPbDD approach at all stages of developing processing activities, including tenders, outsourcing, development, support, maintenance, testing, storage, deletion, etc.  The importance of complying with the DPbDD obligation is underlined by the fact that it is a factor for competent supervisory authorities to consider when  determining whether to impose an administrative fine and the level of that fine (Article 83(2)(d)).


Continue Reading EDPB publish new guidelines on data protection by design and by default