UK’s Age Appropriate Design Code Pending

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that by November 23, 2019, it will present its Age Appropriate Design Code of Practice to the UK Parliament for approval. Unless Parliament objects, this mandatory code will be issued and in force (albeit with a transition period) as early as January 2020.

The final code has been hotly anticipated since the call for input on the issue of age appropriate design in June 2018. Since then, the ICO has worked with a large number of stakeholders to understand the key challenges when designing child-accessible services. In that context, it published its draft iteration of the code for consultation earlier this year (the Draft Code). This Draft Code sets out 16 standards (the Standards) which must be followed when designing online services accessible to children under 18. In an August update, the ICO recognized that the code will cause shifts in the design processes for online services which make use of children’s data, such as the tech, e-gaming and interactive entertainment industries. In light of this the ICO, as well as providing clearer guidelines in the code itself, will provide additional guidance for designers and engineers. The ICO adds, however, that non-compliance is not an option, stressing that “[t]here is no room for companies who decide children’s privacy is a problem that’s simply too hard to solve.” Continue Reading

Proposed CCPA Regulations: Clarity or Confusion?

On October 10, 2019, the California Attorney General’s office issued the proposed text of its California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations (the Regulations). The Regulations propose detailed rules regarding required notices for consumers, business practices for handling consumer requests, verification of requests, special rules regarding minors, and non-discrimination. Accompanying the Regulations are the Attorney General’s Initial Statement of Reasons, which provide the justifications for each requirement. Continue Reading

ECJ: Cookies Require Active Opt-In Consent

On October 1, 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered its judgment in Planet49 (C-673/17), holding that (1) website operators must obtain active opt-in consent to store or access cookies, (2) users must be informed about the retention period and the third party receiving the data, and (3) consent must be obtained regardless of whether the cookies contain personal data.

This ruling will likely prompt regulators to scrutinize cookie policies and consent mechanisms. Therefore, website operators and all parties involved in the adtech sphere should consider reviewing their notice and consent strategy for cookies to ensure that users receive sufficient information prior to consenting, and that cookies are not installed on an opt-out basis. Continue Reading

Greece Publishes Draft Legislation for Implementing GDPR

On August 12, 2019, the Greek Ministry of Justice published the long-awaited, draft legislation for implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Greece and Slovenia are the only two European Union (EU) countries that have not yet implemented the GDPR.

As an EU regulation, the GDPR has legally taken effect in every EU country, including Greece. In fact, the Greek Supervisory Authority recently imposed a 150,000EUR fine on a company for GDPR violations. However, the GDPR allows EU countries to adopt certain derogations, specifications, and exceptions through their implementing legislation. The draft, inter alia, does this through the following provisions:

  1. Age of Consent

The draft requires that a minor over 15 years old (and up to 18 years old) must consent to the processing of his/her personal data for the processing to be lawful. When a minor is under 15 years old, the minor’s legal guardian must consent.

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Website Operator Jointly Liable for Data Collection and Transmission Through Facebook “Like” Button

On July 29, 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its decision in FashionID (Case C-40/17), determining that website operators are jointly liable with plugin providers for data collection and transmission through social media buttons and other embedded plugins. Although the ECJ found the operator and plugin provider to be jointly liable, the court placed the burden on the website operator to provide notice and, where necessary, obtain consent for the joint activity. Further, the court found the plugin provider to be independently responsible for any subsequent use of the data. The decision will likely prompt regulators to closely scrutinize the use of third-party plugins. Continue Reading

The ICO Issues Its Cookies Guidance: Clarified Stance and Enforcement Priorities

On July 5, 2019, the UK’s Data Protection Authority (ICO) issued its “Guidance on the use of cookies and similar technologies” (the Guidance) along with a brief explanatory blog post. At the same time the ICO updated its own website cookie notice and consent, leading by example. The ICO’s blog post makes clear that cookie compliance will increasingly be a regulatory priority, and that companies should start working towards compliance now. Continue Reading

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