Federal Trade Commission Announces Settlements in Privacy Shield Enforcement Actions

The Federal Trade Commission sent an important message to companies participating in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield when earlier this year, the agency announced that settlements had been finalized with five companies regarding separate allegations that they had falsely claimed certification under the framework. The EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks make it possible for companies to transfer personal data lawfully from the EU and Switzerland, respectively, to the U.S. (In compliance with the EU – GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation). The FTC announcement can be found here. In individual actions the FTC had alleged that: DCR Workforce, Inc., Thru, Inc., LotaData, Inc., and 214 Technologies, Inc., each…

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Be Prepared: New Tech Enables Floods of Subject Access Requests

In January 2020, a new data privacy startup, Mine, made headlines when it received $3 million in seed funds. Mine is an inevitable product of new data privacy laws that have been passed in Europe and California. The start-up based in Tel Aviv helps users identify all the companies that hold their personal data. It then allows users to submit automated subject access requests and subject erasure requests. They advertise as a service providing tools for consumers to “reclaim your data.”  Users of this service have already sent out thousands of requests emphasizing how easy it is to generate hundreds of requests. Achieved is already handling Mine requests on…

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EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Review Report Outlines Steps To Improve Enforcement and Monitor Compliance

The Privacy Shield – a mechanism by which U.S. companies can legally transfer data to the European Union, continues to draw the attention of regulators and policymakers. On December 19, 2018, the European Commission (the Commission) announced the publication of its report on the second annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The report offers companies insight into what aspects of the Privacy Shield officials find most important and what steps are planned to strengthen enforcement and oversee compliance. Background The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is a framework for transatlantic exchanges of personal data for commercial purposes between the European Union and the United States. Companies must self-certify that they meet the requirements of…

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European Data Protection Supervisor Predicts Sanctions Coming Soon for Violations of General Data Protection Regulation

Regulators in the European Union could impose sanctions for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as soon as by the end of 2018, according to European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli. According to a Reuter’s news report, Butarelli said in an interview, “I expect first GDPR fines for some cases by the end of the year. Not necessarily fines but also decisions to admonish the controllers, to impose a preliminary ban, a temporary ban, or to give them an ultimatum.” Regulators in France and Italy report a 53 percent increase in complaints about violations over last year, Buttarelli said, adding that enforcers have seen a sharp…

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U.S. Federal Trade Commission Announces Settlement of First Privacy Shield Enforcement Action

On September 8, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced settlement of its first enforcement action involving the terms of the Privacy Shield. Three companies – Decusoft, LLC, Tru Communication, Inc., and Md7, LLC were alleged to have violated the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) by falsely claiming that they were certified to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. In fact, they had not completed the certification process required. One of the companies, Decusoft, falsely claimed not to be certified to the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield. As part of their settlements with the FTC, the companies are prohibited from misrepresenting the extent to which they participate in any privacy or…

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