EDPB Adopts Updated Consent Guidance

On May 4, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted new guidelines (the guidelines) regarding the use of consent as a legal basis for processing personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).[1] The guidelines update and replace the Article 29 Working Party’s April 2018 guidance on the same topic.

The guidelines remain largely unchanged from the earlier version but do provide helpful clarifications on two points: a) the validity of consent when interacting with so-called “cookie walls”; and b) “scrolling” as a means of indicating consent. Continue Reading

EDPB Publishes Guidelines on COVID-19 Related Data Usage

On April 21, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published two sets of guidelines addressing data processing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines address the use of location data and contact tracing tools to combat the spread of COVID-19 and the use of health data for the purposes of scientific research into COVID-19 (together, the guidelines).

Since March 2020, the EDPB and the European Commission (EC) have been active in addressing the use of data to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The EC released its recommendation regarding contact tracing apps and the use of mobility data on April 8, while the EDPB issued a letter on April 14 addressing the same issue. The EC then published specific guidance regarding the use of COVID-19 mobile apps. In these most recent guidelines, the EDBP further elaborates on the signposts provided in its earlier letter and provides specific guidance on the deployment of contact tracing apps as well as the re-use of information for scientific research purposes. Continue Reading

The European Commission Publishes Guidance on COVID-19 Mobile Apps

On April 16, 2020, the European Commission (EC) published guidance (guidance) regarding mobile applications developed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19 mobile apps). As previously mentioned in our blog posts, the guidance follows the EC recommendation last week on the same topic, and takes into account a prior consultation with the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).

The guidance expands on the legal bases for data processing identified in the EC’s consultation with the EDPB and highlights key data protection requirements for certain COVID-19 mobile apps. Continue Reading

The EDPB Responds to the European Commission’s Recommendation on COVID-19 Mobile Apps

On April 14, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (the EDPB) published a letter in response to the European Commission’s call for consultation (the letter) regarding its recommendation on the use of mobile applications and location data to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

As previously reported in our blog post, the European Commission’s recommendation sets out a “toolbox” of measures to be implemented across EU member states to address the use of technology in combating the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its letter, the EDPB sets forth data privacy and information security measures that app developers should consider when developing mobile applications to inform individuals or monitor infected persons (COVID-19 mobile apps). Continue Reading

European Commission Calls for a Common Approach to COVID-19 Apps and Anonymized Data Use

On April 8, 2020, the European Commission (the Commission) released its recommendation for a pan-EU approach on the use of technology and data to combat the COVID-19 pandemic (the Recommendation).

The Commission calls for the creation of a “toolbox” consisting of practical measures taken at the EU level to address the use of mobile applications to inform individuals or monitor infected persons (COVID-19 mobile apps) and address the use of anonymized population data to analyze the evolution of the pandemic in the EU. While the Recommendation does not specify the measures to be included in the toolbox, it provides a roadmap to promote the harmonization of these measures across all EU member states. Continue Reading

Non-EEA Based Vendors Caught by GDPR’s Long-Arm Provisions

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not just impact companies located in the European Economic Area (EEA). It has a “long-arm” provision which may subject foreign companies to its jurisdiction. There is a fair amount of uncertainty regarding how this provision may be applied. The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has recently issued updated guidelines that shed some light on how national Supervisory Authorities are expected to interpret the extra-territorial reach of the GDPR (guidelines).[1] This article focuses on one aspect of the guidelines that may negatively affect vendors located outside the EEA. Continue Reading


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