While the EU Directive on Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts prohibits certain clauses in standard (i.e., unilaterally imposed) contracts between businesses and consumers, some recently enacted EU laws restrict the use of certain clauses in standard contracts between businesses (“B2B”). The Data Act is the latest example of such a law, as it prohibits certain “unfair contractual terms” (“Unfair Clauses”) in standard contracts between businesses relating to the access and use of data. As such, it has a potentially very wide scope. Businesses entering into such a contract should therefore ensure that they do not include any clause that could be considered “unfair” because such a clause would not be binding on the other party to the contract. This blog post focuses specifically on the Data Act’s provision on Unfair Clauses. For more information on the Data Act, see our previous blog post.Continue Reading EU Data Act Regulates Business-to-Business Contracts Relating to Access and Use of Data
Anna Sophia Oberschelp de Meneses is an associate in the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Anna is a qualified Portuguese lawyer, but is both a native Portuguese and German speaker. Anna advises companies on European data protection law and helps clients coordinate international data protection law projects. She has obtained a certificate for "corporate data protection officer" by the German Association for Data Protection and Data Security ("Gesellschaft für Datenschutz und Datensicherheit e.V."). She is also Certified Information Privacy Professional Europe (CIPPE/EU) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Anna also advises companies in the field of EU consumer law and has been closely tracking the developments in this area. Her extensive language skills allow her to monitor developments and help clients tackle EU Data Privacy, Cybersecurity and Consumer Law issues in various EU and ROW jurisdictions.
Several EU data protection supervisory authorities (“SAs”) have recently issued guidance on cookies. On January 11, 2024, the Spanish SA published guidance on cookies used for audience measurement (often referred to as analytics cookies) (available in Spanish only). On December 20, 2023, the Austrian SA published FAQs on cookies and data protection (available in German only). On October 23, 2023, the Belgian SA published a cookie checklist (available in Dutch and French).
The new guidance builds on existing guidance but addresses some new topics which we discuss below.Continue Reading EU Supervisory Authorities Publish New Guidance on Cookies
On October 17, 2023, the European Commission adopted a proposal to review the Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) framework. The review consists of: (i) a proposal to amend the ADR Directive; (ii) a proposal to repeal the Online Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) Regulation; and (iii) a recommendation addressed to online marketplace and EU trade associations. Continue Reading European Commission Proposes Alternative Dispute Resolution Framework Review
On April 28, 2022, Covington convened experts across our practice groups for the Covington Robotics Forum, which explored recent developments and forecasts relevant to industries affected by robotics. Sam Jungyun Choi, Associate in Covington’s Technology Regulatory Group, and Anna Oberschelp, Associate in Covington’s Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice Group, discussed global regulatory trends that…
The EU was particularly active in furthering its digital strategy in 2021, and will likely continue this high level of activity into 2022. Below, we briefly summarize last year’s key legislative and regulatory updates from the EU across the following areas:
- data transfers;
- cookies (and alike) and unsolicited marketing communications;
- open data;
- intermediary services;
On December 23, 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published its inception impact assessment (“Inception Impact Assessment”) of policy options for establishing a European Health Data Space (“EHDS”). The Inception Impact Assessment is open for consultation until February 3, 2021, encouraging “citizens and stakeholders” to “provide views on the Commission’s understanding of the current situation, problem and possible solutions”.
Continue Reading AI Update: European Commission Conducts Open Consultation on the European Health Data Space Initiative
On December 16, 2020, the German Federal Government passed a draft law that substantially amends some of Germany’s information technology laws (“IT laws”). These amendments aim to adapt the current legal framework to the increasing digitalization of products and services, the proliferation of IoT products, and the appearance of new cybersecurity threats. The draft law is expected to be enacted in the German Parliament in the first quarter of 2021.
Continue Reading German Federal Government Passed a Draft Law Amending Germany’s Information Technology Laws
On July 17, 2020, the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence set up by the European Commission (“AI HLEG”) published The Assessment List for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (“Assessment List”). The purpose of the Assessment List is to help companies identify the risks of AI systems they develop, deploy or procure, and implement appropriate measures to mitigate those risks.
The Assessment List is not mandatory, and there isn’t yet a self-certification scheme or other formal framework built around it that would enable companies to signal their adherence to it. The AI HLEG notes that the Assessment List should be used flexibly; organizations can add or ignore elements as they see fit, taking into consideration the sector in which they operate. As we’ve discussed in our previous blog post here, the European Commission is currently developing policies and legislative proposals relating to trustworthy AI, and it is possible that the Assessment List may influence the Commission’s thinking on how organizations should operationalize requirements relating to this topic.Continue Reading AI Update: EU High-Level Working Group Publishes Self Assessment for Trustworthy AI
On June 2, 2020, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) published a paper on algorithmic discrimination prepared by the French independent administrative authority known as “Défenseur des droits”. The paper is divided into two parts: the first part discusses how algorithms can lead to discriminatory outcomes, and the second part includes recommendations on how to identify and minimize algorithmic biases. This paper follows from a 2017 paper published by the CNIL on “Ethical Issues of Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence”.
Continue Reading French CNIL Publishes Paper on Algorithmic Discrimination
The European Commission, as part of the launch of its digital strategy for the next five years, published on 19 February 2020 a White Paper On Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust (the “White Paper”). (See our previous blog here for a summary of all four of the main papers published by the Commission.) The White Paper recognizes the opportunities AI presents to Europe’s digital economy, and presents the Commission’s vision for a coordinated approach to promoting the uptake of AI in the EU and addressing the risks associated with certain uses of AI. The White Paper is open for public consultation until 19 May 2020.
Continue Reading AI Update: European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (Part 2 of 4)