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Following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, the EU Trade Secrets Directive (2016/943)on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure will enter in to force on the 5 July 2016. Member States will have two years from this

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Under Section 26 of the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003, an appeal before the courts is provided for against a decision of the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to a complaint under Section 10(1)(a) of the Acts. The scope and applicable review standard for such an appeal was one of two key issues which came before the Supreme Court in the recent case of Nowak v. The Data Protection Commissioner (Judgment of O’Donnell J delivered on 28th April 2016).


Continue Reading Nowak v. The Data Protection Commissioner: Data subjects’ right of appeal and testing the boundaries of “personal data”

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The European Council was yesterday due to adopt the directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (“Trade Secrets Directive“), following a vote by the European Parliament on 15 April 2016.  This was following a long legislative process which began with a draft directive in 2013.

Continue Reading Can you keep a (trade) secret?

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On 16 March 2016, the Advocate General (AG) delivered an Opinion, in McFadden v Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH Case-484/14, that a business offering free WiFi access to the public cannot be held liable for copyright infringement committed by a user of that WiFI. The decision confirms the applicability of the E-Commerce Directive, and the “mere conduit” defence, to free WiFi providers.


Continue Reading WiFi providers not liable for copyright infringement by users

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On 7 December 2015, the EU Council reached an informal agreement with the EU Parliament on the draft Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive.The draft Directive sets out cybersecurity obligations for operators of essential services in the healthcare, banking, energy and transport sectors, and also digital service providers (including e-commerce platforms, search engines, social networks, internet payment gateways, and cloud services). These operators will be required to take measures to manage cyber risks and report major security incidents.


Continue Reading Agreement reached on first EU-wide cybersecurity legislation

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In the wake of its recent win against "screenscraper" website eDreams, Ryanair has claimed another victory following a referral from the Dutch Supreme Court to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the Database Directive (96/9/EC).

In brief, the CJEU held that owners of publically available databases, which do not fall under the protection of the Database Directive, are free to restrict the use of the data through contractual terms on their website. The decision in Case C – 30/14 Ryanair v PR Aviation BV marks the CJEU’s first copyright judgment of the year.


Continue Reading Ryanair in another victory against the screenscrapers

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Apple Pay: an Introduction

One of the most exciting elements of the Apple iPhone 6 launch in September was the announcement by Apple of the Apple Pay feature. Apple Pay is a near field communication (NFC) based mobile payment system that comes pre-installed on the iPhone 6. NFC technology involves a short-range, low power wireless link evolved from radio-frequency identification technology that can transfer small amounts of data between two devices held a few centimetres from each other. It is the same technology that is behind the ‘tap and pay’ debit cards that have been rolled out by Irish banks in the last number of years.

While Apple Pay was launched with the iPhone 6 in the US, it has not yet been rolled out in Europe with rumours predicting an Apple Pay European launch in 2015.

It is clear that Apple Pay has the potential to be a ground breaking technology that may change the way that consumers use their phones and, indeed, how consumers pay for goods and services.


Continue Reading Apple Pay – Challenges and Solutions

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The EU’s Article 29 Working Party has adopted an Opinion on Anonymisation Techniques (Opinion 05/2014).  The Opinion analyses the effectiveness and limits of existing anonymisation techniques, and provides recommendations for use of these techniques in light of the residual risk of identification inherent in each of them.


Continue Reading Working party publishes Opinion on Data Anonymisation Techniques

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The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that the Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC (Directive) is invalid.

The Irish High Court (in Digital Rights Ireland Ltd v Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources & Ors C-293/12) and the Austrian Constitutional Court (in Kärntner Landesregierung, Michael Seitlinger, Christof Tschohl and others, C 594/12), asked the CJEU to examine the validity of the Directive.


Continue Reading CJEU rules that the Data Retention Directive is invalid