Record fine for Uber

28. September 2018

Due to an initially concealed data breach in 2016, the U.S. company Uber has to pay a fine of €126 million, as the Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced in a statement.

On November 21, 2017, Uber announced that a hacker attack would take place in 2016, in which the hackers would capture approximately 50 million customer data as well as seven million data from Uber drivers. The company paid the hackers blackmail money instead of reporting the data breach (we reported).

Now a settlement was reached between Uber and the relevant US authorities. The settlement includes the highest fine ever imposed, $148 million (€126 million), flanked by further obligations to improve data security.

Category: Data breach · USA
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India publishes draft of a data protection bill

14. September 2018

After the Hon’ble Supreme Court declared in its landmark decision that privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right”, the Sikrishna Committee drafted a Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018.

In contrast to the terms “data subjects” and “controllers” chosen in the GDPR, the Indian draft designates the individuals whose personal data is processed “data principals” and the organisations responsible for the processing “data fiduciaries”.

With the new data protection bill, data principals have a variety of rights such as rights to access, rectification or the right to be forgotten. In order to ensure data compliance, the concept of an annual data audit, which will be carried out by organisations through independent data auditors, was also introduced. In addition to data fiduciaries who are based in India, the regulations also apply to those who systematically offer goods and services to data principals in India, or those whose work involves profiling of Indian data principals.

The new data protection bill also introduces the figure of the Data Protection Officer (DPO) for India. Organisations must appoint a DPO if they are “significant data fiduciaries”, i.e. if they are involved in high-risk processing activities, or if they are not present in India but covered by the bill. Those organisations shall appoint a DPO who is based in India. In contrast to the GDPR there is however no requirement of the independence of the DPO.

For cross-border data transfers, it is required that at least one copy of personal data is stored on servers or data centres located in India. Data classified as “critical personal data” may only be processed in a server or data centre located in India.

According to the Sikrishna Committee, the draft could be seen as a template for developing countries all over the world.

Category: India · Personal Data
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Belgium publishes new data protection law

12. September 2018

On September 5 2018, the new data protection law (“Law of 30 July”) was published in the Belgian Official Gazette (“Belgisch Staatsblad”) and entered into force with this publication.

After the “Law of 3 December 2017”, which replaced the Belgian Privacy Commission with the Belgian Data Protection Authority (“Gegevensbeschermingsautoriteit”), the Law of 30 July is the second law that implements the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The laws regulate various essential areas of data protection. New regulations are for instance, the reducing of the age of consent from 16 (as regulated in GDPR) to 13 years old for information society services or the requirement to list persons who have access to genetic, biometric and health-related data. Therewith, Belgium has also made use of the possibility to deviate from the GDPR in different scopes.

With the law of 30 July, Belgium has thus completed the incorporation of the GDPR into national law. The Law is available in French and Dutch.

Category: Belgium · GDPR
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EU Commission: Draft for adoption of adequacy decision for Japan

6. September 2018

The EU Commission has drafted the adequacy decision for Japan including next steps Japan has to undertake in order to ensure protection for the transfer of personal data from the EU to Japan. This includes additional safeguards Japan should apply, as well as commitments regarding access to personal data by Japanese public authorities.

Japan has committed to implement several safeguards that are necessary for the protection of the transfer of personal data before the actual adoption of the adequacy decision. These include,

  • a set of rules providing additional safeguards for transferred personal data of EU individuals (addressing inter alia the topics protection of sensitive data and the further transfer of personal data from Japan to another third country),
  • safeguards concerning the access to personal data by Japanese public authorities for criminal law enforcement and national security purposes,
  • a complaint-handling mechanism for Europeans regarding the access of Japanese authorities to their personal data.

The Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, said: “We are creating the world’s largest area of safe data flows. Personal data will be able to travel safely between the EU and Japan to the benefit of both our citizens and our economies. Our partnership will promote global standards for data protection and set an example for future partnerships in this key area.”

The next step in the adoption procedure of the adequacy decision is the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which will be asked for his opinion.

Category: EU · EU Commission · General
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Facebook sues BlackBerry for patent infringement, claiming it stole Voice-Messaging Tech

5. September 2018

On Tuesday, September 5th, Facebook Inc. filed a lawsuit against BlackBerry Ltd., accusing the ladder of patent infringement, the news agency Bloomberg reports.

The complaint of the social media company contains the allegations that BlackBerry has been stealing its voice messaging technology. Furthermore, the accusation includes technology that improves how a mobile device delivers graphics, video and audio and another that centralizes tracking and analysis of GPS data.

According to Facebook a total of six patents are targeted, for which the company intends to claim unspecified damages in San Francisco federal court.

The lawsuit, in turn, follows BlackBerrys’ lawsuit in march, accusing the company of infringement on its mobile messaging tech for its own messenger, as well as its Instagram photo sharing app and WhatsApp messaging service.

Category: General · Instagram · USA
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Singapore: Collecting NRIC numbers will be prohibited for organisations

From September 2019, there will be stricter rules for the protection of personal data in Singapore hence the collection, use and disclosure of NRIC numbers of individuals and making copies of their NRIC cards will be illegal for organisations.

In the past years, it was not unusual for shopping malls and other places to collect the NRIC number of a customer for instance when registering for memberships.

From the unique section of numbers and letters of the Singapore National Registration Identification Card (“NRIC”) an individual can be precisely identified. Therefore, the NRIC number is considered personal data. Besides the number, the physical NRIC card contains the individual’s full name, photograph, thumbprint and residential address.

Apart from the prohibition of collecting, using and disclosing of NRIC numbers it will also be generally forbidden to collect, use or disclose individual’s birth certificate numbers, foreign identification numbers and work permit numbers. Exemptions are regulated in the new PDPC guidance (issued 31 August 2018) and will only apply where it is required by law or when it is necessary to verify an individual’s identity ”to a high degree of fidelity” (e.g. transactions involving healthcare).

If an organisation already collected those data they should proof whether they need to retain the numbers or not. In case they need to keep the data they have to ensure that there is adequate protection or they should anonymise the NRIC. The new regulation does not apply to the government or public agencies or organisations acting on its behalf, but organisations can be fined up to $ 1 million for disobeying the act.

Turkey – Starting dates for registration obligation for processing data has been announced

3. September 2018

The data protection authority in turkey has announced in his decision 2018/88 starting dates to register as a data controller on VERBIS prior to processing personal data, the online registration system VERBIS can be found on the homepage of the Turkish data protection authority. 

Earliest starting date for the registration process will be the 1st of October 2018.

 

Following start dates have been announced

a) 1st of October 2018 – 30th of September 2019, for data controllers that employ more than 50 employees and whose annual financial statement exceeds TRY 25 million

b) 1st of October 2018 – 30th of September 2019, for data controllers established outside of Turkey

c) 1st of January 2019 – 31st of March2019, for data controllers that employ less than 50 employees, whose financial statement does not exceed TRY 25 million, but whose core business includes the processing of sensitive data

d) 1st of April – 30th June, for public institutions and organizations that act as data controllers

 

Data controllers should take the necessary action and register with VERBIS during the applicable period.

EU Commission: Using Personal Data In Political Campaigns

29. August 2018

Following the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, the EU Commission intends to prohibit the misuse of Collection data of voters in order to influence elections. As the Irish Times reports, the EU Commission is drafting an amendment to existing party funding rules prohibiting parties profiting from data collections of the kind as alleged against Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica has been accused of obtaining information of millions Facebook users without the data subjects’ consent by using a personality-analysis app during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

It is expected that sanctions will have the extent of approximately 5 percent of the annual budget of a political party. An official said “it is meant to ensure that something like Cambridge Analytica can never happen in the EU”.

Considering the upcoming election of the European Parliament in May 2019, various measures are to be recommended or imposed by the EU Commission that shall be followed by the member states in order to prevent misuse of voters’ personal data or the online manipulation of voters. While it is intended to recommend the governments to watch over and clamp down on groups sending personalized political messages to users of social media without their consent, the member states shall also be stricter about the transparency requirements of political advertisement on national level by amending national law.

Last month, Vera Jourova, EU justice commissioner, said: “voters and citizens should always understand – when something is an online campaign – who runs the campaign, who pays for it and what they want to achieve.”

However, she also made clear that the EU will respect free expression and that the EU is not going to regulate online activities of political parties. “The internet is a zone for free expression. Everybody can be a journalist or an influencer, and these are the things that we don’t want to touch”, she stated.

Luxembourg publishes two new Data Protection Laws

24. August 2018

On August 1st, 2018 the Luxembourg government adopted two new data protection laws implementing certain parts of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 – the “GDPR”) and repeals the former data protection law of 2002. Draft Bill Number 7184 and 7168 were adopted and complement the GDPR, which has been in force since 25 May 2018 throughout the European Union.

The newly implemented laws don’t add any further restrictions to the processing of personal data, but rather serve as implementing provisions required under GDPR.

The new Luxembourg Data Protection Law defines the organisation, missions and competence of the Luxembourg data protection authority (Commission nationale pour la protection des données – CNPD) and provides specific requirements or exceptions. The CNPD has been granted broad investigation powers. The CNPD receives for example the right to obtain access from any controller or processor to all personal data and information necessary to verify compliance under GDPR. The CNPD is also in charge to issue warning, orders and fines to any controller or processor who is not compliant under the provisions of the GDPR.

The second new law, the Luxembourg Law on Criminal Data Processing specifically relates to the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data in criminal matters and national security.

The two laws should be read together, as they jointly extend the competences of the CNPD.

Starting with the new implementations, Luxembourg companies are discharged of the administrative burden of an active notification of personal data processing to the CNPD prior to processing personal data. However, companies should be ready to be controlled by the local regulator and therefore they are obliged to keep a record of the processing of personal data that is carried out under their responsibility.

The final versions were published on August 16th, 2018 in the Official Gazette of Luxembourg.

Database operators in Sweden exempt from GDPR

With the GDPR coming into effect, enterprises in Sweden will also be subject to complying with the European principles and adhering to the GDPR.

However, new amendments and changes to the country’s constitution will be required to harmonise existing laws.

Due to the fact that Sweden emphasizes freedom of press and speech, it will initially make exemptions in cases where elements don’t comply with its Freedom of the Press Act of 1766.

As a consequence, current laws give database operators a broad freedom to gather and release personal data enabling them to collect and distribute personal information from a broad range of sources, including the national tax office.

The database operators and online publishers Eniro, Ratsit and Hitta are some of the companies that will be exempt until an expert group has drafted new and stricter legislation regarding the processing of personal data by these.

It is expected that the relevant laws will be amended in the first half of 2019.

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