All posts by Jeremy Phillips

Last week the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued his Opinion on the proposal for a Council Directive on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. It addresses the constitutional basis for the approval of proposals for Council Directives following the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon last December, as well as addressing the data protection dimensions of the proposal itself.

The EDPS's observations relate largely to the need for greater clarity and transparency, but aren't likely to end up with Datonomy's European readers paying lower taxes ...
"Content or hosting provider? Google decision examines data processing law" is the title of an article contributed to International Law Office today by Laura Liguori and Saverio Cavalcanti (Portolano Colella Cavallo Studio Legale). This article summarises the Court of Milan's conviction, heavily reported in the national press, of three Google executives for violation of Italian data protection provisions following the hosting, on the Google Video website, of a video of a boy with Down's syndrome being bullied by his classmates.

After explaining the relevant legal provisions and the court's decision, the authors comment as follows:
"The legal grounds for the decision have been widely criticized as a threat to the freedom of the Internet. However, this view appears to be incorrect: the judge clearly stated that the principle of non-liability for hosting providers is safe and … Continue Reading ››
The BBC reports that, for the first time, Google has released details about how often countries around the world ask it to hand over user data or to censor information. According to the article,
"Brazil tops the list with 3,663 data requests while the US made 3,580 and the UK came a distant third with 1,166. ... Google said it cannot provide statistics on requests from China which are regarded as state secrets.
... The search giant has launched an online tool breaking down the figures which it hopes will be "just the first step toward increased transparency".
"The vast majority of these requests are valid and the information needed is for legitimate criminal investigations or for the removal of child pornography, " said David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer.
" We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship. Unless companies, governments and individuals do something, the … Continue Reading ››
You may recall that, as part of its first birthday celebrations, Datonomy hosted a screening of data protection documentary Erasing David. As guests munched and crunched their popcorn, hotdogs, ice cream and sweets they were treated to a rare find: a film at once entertaining and eye-opening (see Datonomy's review of the film here).

If you missed this munching, eye-opening extravaganza – all is not lost. Erasing David will be screened on Thursday 29 April 2010 at 8.30pm, ahead of its broadcast on More 4, on 4 May 2010, in cinemas across the UK (for a full list see here). The best experience is to be had at the London Ritzy cinema in Brixton, where a post-screening debate will be held (beamed live to the other cinemas). Among those taking part in the debate are the film's director … Continue Reading ››
EMI Records (Ireland) Ltd and others v Eircom Ltd [2010] IEHC 108, decided last Friday by Mr Justice Charleton in the Irish High Court, has attracted attention in terms of its copyright enforcement content, since it relates to the voluntary "three strikes" arrangement made between various owners of copyright in recordings and the country's largest internet service provider. The decision however is of great interest to Datonomites too.

Under the voluntary scheme which the court was asked to consider, the recording companies planned to operate software which would identify file-sharing with regard to works in which they claimed copyright and where one of the file-sharers was operating from an internet protocol (IP) address assigned to Eircom. Once notified of an alleged infringement, Eircom would implement a "three strikes" procedure which, if the alleged infringement continued, would ultimately lead to termination of the subscriber's internet … Continue Reading ››

Last week saw the publication of the Report on the joint review of the implementation of the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data by air carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

A team comprised of representatives from both the European Commission and the DHS was charged with reviewing the implementation of the July 2007 bilateral agreement which permits the transfer of PNR data from airlines in the EU to the DHS. Under this agreement, the DHS has the right to use the data only for the purpose of preventing and combating (i) terrorism and related offences and (ii) other serious offences which are transnational in nature. The team found that the DHS generally complies with … Continue Reading ››
Yesterday saw the publication online, on the website of the Official Journal of the European Union, of the following title:
The Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor on the amended proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the establishment of ‘Eurodac’ for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EC) No (…/…) (establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person), and on the proposal for a Council Decision on requesting comparisons with Eurodac data by Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes.
Just to remind readers, Eurodac is a contraction of the words "European Dactyloscopy". the EU's database of fingerprints taken … Continue Reading ››