Posts Under: europe

Civil Society Groups are Moving the Goalposts on EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) issued a press release today on a letter and brief the two organizations sent to European Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Vera Jourova arguing for invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.  The letter and brief can be found here.  On substance of the criticism, these groups continue to sell the U.S. surveillance framework short, failing to recognize extensive transparency and safeguards that underlie the U.S. framework.  That aside, invalidation on these terms is not appropriate because the European Commission’s reasoned and detailed adequacy decision was based on information about U.S. surveillance practices and laws that the Commission had when the decision was released on July 12, 2016. After reviewing the commitments self-certifying organizations would make under the privacy shield and the enforcement mechanisms available under U.S. law, the Commission said, “the United States ensures an a ...

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France’s Extraterritorial Interpretation of the Right to be Forgotten Goes to the European Court of Justice

Does the EU’s right to be forgotten extend to the whole world?  The French data protection authority, CNIL, says yes and wants search engines to delist search results which contain information that violates the European Union’s right to be forgotten – not just for French users, not just for European users, but for all users everywhere. Google is prepared to remove offending search results for European users, but balks at removing material globally just because European courts find that it violates European privacy rules. 

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Promoting the FinTech Revolution

As FinTech has expanded, so has the desire to ensure that the field remains competitive, innovative, and responsive to consumer demands. In our response questionnaire to the European Commission’s Public Consultation on FinTech, we highlight the potential of FinTech for consumers and businesses, and note where current law works to assure innovation and consumer protection. Where new measures might be needed, a harm-based approach to regulation would be optimal both from the perspective of protecting consumers and from the perspective of encouraging adoption of this technology with all of the attendant potential benefits for consumers. Instead of focusing regulation on the technology used to conduct activity, regulators should focus on the activity itself. In doing so, regulators will remain technologically neutral.

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Chinese Proposed Cross-Border Data Flow Rules Contradict an Emerging International Default Norm for Cross-Border Data Flows

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) recently issued draft “Security Assessment Measures for the Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information and Important Data.” The draft comes in the context of the Chinese Cybersecurity Law, which is scheduled to be implemented on June 1, 2017.  The National Security Law of China likely also influenced this draft. 

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Trade Agreements and Data Protection: Changing GATS Article XIV is Not the Way to Go

In a March 30, 2017 opinion piece, “Don’t trade away data protection,” two leading Members of the European Parliament, Viviane Reding and Jan-Phillip Albrecht, suggest “strengthening data protection safeguards in the General Exception (known as GATS XIV) and E-Commerce chapters, and removing necessity and consistency tests.”  The idea behind the proposal is to make absolutely certain that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and perhaps other parts of the EU privacy acquis could not be successfully challenged as inconsistent with an affirmative cross-border data flow obligation.  This is a topic SIIA will comment on again in the coming months, likely in a longer form Issue Brief.  This blog discusses the proposal to remove the necessity test.

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What Internet Platforms are Doing About “Fake News” and Why it Matters

At last week’s RightsCon in Brussels, much of the talk was about “fake news” and what to do about it.  I was on one of several panels devoted to the topic and found the conversation enlightening.  Here’s what I said and some of my reactions from the panel. The panel’s title was “Resisting Content Regulation in the Post-Truth World: How to Fix Fake News and the Algorithmic Curation of Social Media.”  So, unsurprisingly, the panelists largely agreed that the government should stay out of the way. I met no resistance when I said that freedom of expression means that governments should not determine what is or and what is not fake news; that’s a path to censorship, and we don’t want to go there. I also got buy-in from my second big point, which was that Internet platforms are playing and ought to play a crucial role in controlling the spread of fake news. This role has two distinct components.  Platforms ha ...

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Europe Does Better on the Right To Be Forgotten

In a significant ruling, earlier this month, the European Court of Justice ruled that an individual’s privacy interest in limiting the disclosure of personal information does not generally override the interest in public disclosure about company officials. The ruling protects the public interest in transparency about governance of public companies; preserves the capacity of stock holders to assess companies accurately and protect their legal rights with respect to them; and reaffirms the legitimacy of data processor access to personal information in public data bases about companies.

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Member Q&A: How Incisive Media Drove Audience Engagement From 10% to 60%

In speaking last week with Michelle Godwin, head of enterprise sales for London-based Incisive Media, the biggest takeaway is their commitment to face-face communication—both in holding on-site product how-tos, and especially in challenging sales people to schedule five face-to-face meetings a week.

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