ICYMI October/November 2017

October 26, 2017

 Data Protection Bill

The Data Protection Bill was introduced in
the House of Lords on 13 September. With the long title ‘A Bill to make
provision for the regulation of the processing of information relating to
individuals; to make provision in connection with the Information
Commissioner’s functions under certain regulations relating to information; to
make provision for a direct marketing code of conduct; and for connected purposes.’,
the Bill is also said to help prepare the UK for a future outside the EU.

Brexit Negotiating Position

The EU team negotiating the UK’s
withdrawal has published a brief (4-page) position paper outlining the
principles underlying their thinking on what to do about data protection and
confidential information.

Guidelines for Online Platforms on Illegal

On 28 September, the EU Commission
published a ‘Communication’ setting out guidelines and principles for online
platforms dealing with illegal content inciting hatred, violence and terrorism.
The Communication has the subtitle ‘Tackling Illegal Content Online Towards an
enhanced responsibility of online platforms’. See the article from Nick Aries
on p 33 for more on this.

EDPS on ePrivacy Regulation

The European Data Protection Supervisor has
published recommendations on specific aspects of the proposed ePrivacy
Regulation. Building on his earlier Opinion,
Giovanni Buttarelli’s latest recommendations ‘focus on the need to ensure legal
certainty and a high level of protection of the fundamental rights to privacy
and data protection’.

Tax Moves on Apple and Amazon Deals

The EU Commission has taken further steps
against Member States in relation to so-called sweetheart deals affecting
Amazon and Apple. The Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the European
Court of Justice for failing to recover from Apple illegal State aid worth up
to €13 billion, as required by a Commission decision. It has also commenced
proceedings against Luxembourg, stating that the Luxembourg taxation policy, as
exploited by Amazon, was too lax and amounted to an abuse of competition. The
Commission’s conclusion is that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon
of around €250 million. This is illegal under EU State aid rules because it
allowed Amazon to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Luxembourg
must now recover the illegal aid.

Bulk Communications Data Reference

On 8 September, the President of the
Investigatory Powers Tribunal asked the Grand Chamber of the CJEU to clarify
whether the acquisition and use of Bulk Communications Data (BCD) by security
agencies is outside the scope of EU law. The reference was made in the course
of considering Privacy International’s ongoing challenge to the use of such

Electronic Evidence and Cross-border Access

The EU Commission has launched a
consultation exercise
, which is open until 27 October, seeking views on
ways to improve cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal matters.
The stated objective is to gather input from a broad range of interested
stakeholders, including public authorities, judges, prosecutors, EU
institutions and agencies, international organisations, private companies,
professional and business associations, civil society, academics and the
general public. The aim is to collect information, views and experiences on
current practices on obtaining cross-border electronic evidence in Member
States as well as on practical and legal problems arising both at national and
EU level from any gaps and weaknesses in existing regulations.