Cynthia O'Donoghue

Cynthia O'Donoghue

Reed Smith

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Latest Publications


European Commission Publishes E-commerce Geo-Blocking Inquiry Findings

The European Commission (the executive of the EU) recently published the initial findings of its e-commerce inquiry, an investigative process conducted to determine whether and to what extent competition is being restricted...more

4/25/2016 - Competition Digital Single Market E-Commerce EU European Commission Exclusive Territory Geo-Blocking License Agreements

European Commission Launches Public Consultation on Revision of ePrivacy Directive

Pursuant to its Digital Single Market strategy and adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation on the revision of Directive 2002/58/EC, better...more

4/21/2016 - Consultation Periods Digital Single Market EU EU Data Protection Laws EU Directive European Commission General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Member State Privacy Laws

The Data Protection Directive Is Dead! Long Live the General Data Protection Regulation!

After four years of protracted discussions and negotiations, the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) gained final approval from the European Parliament 14 April. It will enter into force 20 days after publication...more

4/21/2016 - Binding Corporate Rules Consent Data Controller Data Processors Data Protection Authority EU EU Data Protection Laws Extraterritoriality Rules Fines General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) International Data Transfers Personal Data

South Korea Sharpens the Teeth of Its Privacy Law

The Act on the Promotion of Information Communication Network Utilization and Information Protection (“PICNUIA”) has been amended to include potential punitive damages for South Korean businesses that provide services over...more

4/20/2016 - Amended Legislation Consent Corporate Counsel Damages Data Breach Data Protection International Data Transfers Internet Mobile Apps Personal Data Sanctions South Korea

Information Commissioner’s Office issues updated guidance on Direct Marketing

At the end of March, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued updated guidance on the law in relation to Direct Marketing. The ICO notes in its accompanying blog post that the law applies “equally to any and all...more

4/5/2016 - Consent Data Protection Authority EU Fines General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Guidance Update ICO Marketing Telemarketing Third-Party Service Provider UK

New Decree defines the scope of Kazakhstan’s state electronic database

At the end of February, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan enacted Decree No. 117, providing that the types of personal data to be stored in the state’s electronic database are...more

3/30/2016 - Data Processors Data Protection Databases Kazakhstan Penalties Personal Data Personally Identifiable Information

Update on the UK’s Information Commissioner, IP Addresses and Russia’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Laws

With the Privacy Shield, the Umbrella Agreement and the GDPR capturing significant attention, it would be easy to overlook some of the other important developments that have taken place in the data protection sphere. We have...more

3/26/2016 - Data Localisation Law Data Protection EU Data Protection Laws European Court of Justice (ECJ) Germany Google ICO Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Personal Data Right to Be Forgotten Russia UK

Mobile apps and data protection, the ICO revisits

Given the widespread popularity and quotidian usage of mobile apps, the issue of privacy should not be forgotten. Last year the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) conducted a thorough privacy review of 21 popular mobile...more

3/22/2016 - App Developers Data Breach Data Privacy Data Protection Data Security Fines ICO Mobile Apps Personal Data UK

Privacy Shield Details Have Been Revealed: Here’s What Companies Need to Know

The European Commission has published its draft adequacy decision on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the proposed data transfer framework that would replace the defunct Safe Harbor program. The draft adequacy decision formally...more

3/22/2016 - Data Protection Authority Department of Transportation (DOT) EU EU-US Privacy Shield European Commission FTC International Data Transfers Notice Requirements Opt-Outs Personal Data U.S. Commerce Department US-EU Safe Harbor Framework

Passage of the U.S. Redress Act Raises Confidence in Privacy Protection for Transatlantic Data Flows

The U.S. Judicial Redress Act has been signed into law by President Obama. The move marks an important step in data transfer relations between the EU and the United States, gives the green light to the EU-U.S. law enforcement...more

3/3/2016 - EU EU Data Protection Laws EU-US Privacy Shield European Commission European Court of Justice (ECJ) International Data Transfers Judicial Redress Act Law Enforcement Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner Umbrella Agreement

The battle between children’s right to privacy vs. publisher’s freedom of expression

In the battle between protecting children’s right to privacy and allowing publishers to exercise their freedom of expression, recent case law has seen children’s rights triumph....more

2/17/2016 - Best Interest Standard Corporate Counsel Freedom of Expression Injunctive Relief Minor Children Photographs Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Right to Privacy UK UK Data Protection Act

The CNIL sets expectations as to the ‘EU-U.S. Privacy Shield’ and starts implementing enforcement measures in case of Safe Harbor...

Further to the EU Commission press release on the “EU-U.S. Privacy Shield” and the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) statement illustrating that more discussions on the new arrangement are to come, the French CNIL (a) issued a...more

2/12/2016 - Article 29 Working Party (WP29) Binding Corporate Rules CNIL Enforcement Actions EU EU-US Privacy Shield Facebook France International Data Transfers Standard Contractual Clauses US-EU Safe Harbor Framework

Article 29 Working Party updates its Opinion on applicable law

The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) has updated its Opinion on applicable law and has introduced a new ‘inextricable link’ test representing a new element to the existing ‘in the context of the activities of an establishment’...more

2/12/2016 - Article 29 Working Party (WP29) Data Processors EU EU Data Protection Laws European Court of Justice (ECJ) Google Personal Data Spain

EU Data Protection Regulators All Set to Scrutinise ‘EU-U.S. Privacy Shield’ and Transfer Mechanisms to the U.S. Generally

On 3 February, the Article 29 Working Party (‘WP29’), a group comprising representatives of the EU Member States’ Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”), issued a statement cautiously welcoming the agreement on an “EU-U.S....more

2/8/2016 - Article 29 Working Party (WP29) Binding Corporate Rules Data Protection Authority EU EU-US Privacy Shield European Court of Justice (ECJ) International Data Transfers Popular Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner Standard Contractual Clauses US-EU Safe Harbor Framework

Happy Data Protection Day! ICO and Senate Committee’s spotlight on data protection

In preparation for European Data Protection Day on 28 January, the ICO commissioned a survey on attitudes towards data protection. The YouGov poll revealed growing public concern over data privacy and security. Of more...more

1/29/2016 - Data Security EU EU Data Protection Laws General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ICO Judicial Redress Act Personal Data Senate Judiciary Committee Surveys US-EU Safe Harbor Framework

If Safe Harbor is dead in the water, what does that mean for you?

The invalidation of the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor framework in October 2015 has created uncertainty for businesses that were reliant on the regime to transfer data to the United States, and has caused political shockwaves on both...more

1/25/2016 - Article 29 Working Party (WP29) EU Data Protection Laws European Court of Justice (ECJ) International Data Transfers Judicial Redress Act Popular Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner Standard Contractual Clauses US-EU Safe Harbor Framework

Russia ramps up compliance checks under its Data Localisation Law

Russia’s data protection authority, the Roskomnadzor, has recently announced its intention to increase the number of data localisation audits it carries out in 2016. It has pledged to conduct around 1,000 data localisation...more

1/8/2016 - Audits Compliance Data Collection Data Localisation Law Data Protection Authority Personal Data Russia

Progress made on the Trade Secrets Directive

On 15 December 2015, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) came to a preliminary agreement over new rules against the theft or misuse of trade secrets. The rules, which are set out in the draft Trade Secrets Directive,...more

1/7/2016 - EU Freedom of Expression Limitation Periods Member State Trade Secrets

European Institutions give the GDPR a warm welcome

In December, we reported that the European Parliament and Council had reached agreement on the text of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As 2015 drew to a close, the agreement was welcomed and approved by various...more

1/6/2016 - Article 29 Working Party (WP29) EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ICO

Intrusive Surveillance Technologies next on the agenda for the EDPS

In an Opinion and press release issued 15 December 2015, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, urged caution over the trade and use of covert monitoring technologies. The Opinion focussed on...more

1/6/2016 - Digital Single Market EU EU Data Protection Laws General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Human Rights Surveillance Technology

Full steam ahead for the EU’s new Trade Mark Directive

On 15 January 2016, Europe’s new Trade Mark Directive (2015/2436) will come into force, with the aim of harmonising trade mark laws across the EU. The news follows the publication of the new Directive in the Official Journal...more

1/6/2016 - Community Trademark Counterfeiting EU Trade Mark Directive Trademark Registration Trademarks

European Commission targets cross-border parcel delivery as part of its Digital Single Market Strategy

On 22 December 2015, the European Commission announced its next steps towards completing the single market for cross-border parcel delivery. The Commission’s aim is to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight of...more

1/5/2016 - Cross-Border Transactions E-Commerce Internet Retailers Pricing Shipping

The UK’s data protection regulator cracks the enforcement whip

As 2015 draws to a close, the UK’s Data Protection Regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’), is making sure it ends the year with a bang. The past few months have seen a significant increase in enforcement...more

12/21/2015 - Consent Data-Sharing Enforcement Actions ICO Marketing Third-Party UK

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