Location, location… Article 29 WP opinion on applicable law

Claire Walker

The recent Opinion on applicable law  published by the Article 29 Working Party will be of interest to anyone pondering data protection issues relating to cloud computing, to EU multi nationals and to non EU businesses whose activities may trigger EU data protection obligations.
This Datonomist freely admits that the 34 page opinion (complete with flowcharts) is not her idea of Friday afternoon reading, but is encouraged by the inclusion of a numbers of topical examples which illustrate the Working Party’s practical analysis of the applicable law provisions of Directive 95/46. These include cloud computing, geo location and social media scenarios.
The Opinion serves two purposes.  The first is to clarify the application of the applicable law rules (Article 4 on applicable law; Article 17 (3)which is relevant to security and data processors, and Article 28 which deals with the powers of national enforcement authorities) – and by “clarify” the WP means ensuring there are no loopholes.
The second purpose of the opinion is to propose improvements which could be made as part of the Commission’s current review of the Directive, to make the rules clearer (and easier to comply with).  The Commission’s latest thinking on the revised Directive was published in November in this Communication.
Datonomy will apply its critical powers to the applicable law opinion and bring you a more detailed summaryin due course  – but in the meantime,  a happy 2011 to all our readers…and a reminder that the deadline for responding to the Commission’s latest round of consultations on the Directive is 15 January.

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