Tag Archives: Privacy

EU-US Safe Harbour arrangement invalid

The recent judgement of the European Court of Justice that the safe harbour arrangement between the EU and the US is invalid is like to have significant commercial and political impact on data flows between the EU and the US.

It also mandates a closer look at the substantive and procedural law in the US, as well as some EU member states, to ensure the effective protection of EU citizens’ respect for their private life and their right to the protection of the personal data.

Google search engine de-optimised?

The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued an enforcement notice which requires Google Inc to remove links to eight websites from the search results displayed in response to a query for the name of an unnamed individual.

This follows a decision from the European Court of Justice that EU citizens have the right to request internet search engines to remove search results in response to a query for their name if those results are outdated or irrelevant.

Google Inc must delist the relevant links within 35 days of the date of the enforcement notice.

Google’s appealing cookies

In March 2015, the Court of Appeal affirmed that three individuals resident in England could bring claims in England against US-based Google Inc for misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), arising from Google cookies tracking their on-line behaviour without their knowledge or consent.

Google sought permission to appeal on three grounds and the Supreme Court granted permission to appeal on two of them but not the third.

Data Protection Directive applies to domestic CCTV overlooking public footpath

CCTV installed on a family home for crime prevention purposes, which also monitors a public space, may or may not be lawful. The European Court of Justice said that it does not amount to processing of personal data in the course of a “purely personal or household activity”, which would have been legitimate. It mentioned various conditions and exemptions, which might have permitted the recording to lawfully take place, but did not explore these in any detail.

It is an interesting ruling and likely to have significant implications on the way in which CCTV can be used at home, if the CCTV even partially records a public space. The UK Information Commissioner has stated in its code of practice on CCTV and other surveillance technologies that it will review its position on the use of domestic CCTV following the ECJ’s judgment, and that this may lead to it updating its code or issuing supplementary guidance.

The ruling also gives a clue as to the way other recording devices may be treated if used in public spaces (for example, drones, body-worn video and wearable computing such as watches and glasses).