PL&B International E-news, Issue 87

1. Germany amends data protection law

On 10th July, the second chamber of Germany’s legislature passed Amendment II (Data Trading) to the Data Protection Act following Amendment I earlier this year. Amendment II will enter into force on 1st September this year and Amendment I will enter into force on 1st April 2010.

The changes include:

  1. consent for use of marketing data
  2. strengthening the position of internal data protection managers
  3. the principles of data avoidance and data minimisation are strengthened
  4. data breach notification is introduced in certain circumstances
  5. a strengthening of protection for employees
  6. an increase in monetary fines.

Dr. Ulrich Wuermeling, Attorney, Latham & Watkins, Frankfurt, provided this news. There will be a more detailed report in the August issue of the Privacy Laws & Business International Newsletter.

2. French “three strikes” law unconstitutional

On 10 June France’s Constitutional Court ruled that a key provision of the law to terminate Internet access for file-sharers was unconstitutional. Because of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of communication and the right to a fair trial, only a court, not an administrative body, can terminate Internet access, the court said. In France, the Constitutional Court rules on the constitutionality of laws before they go into force, unlike the United States, where it takes years after a law has gone into force before a case gets to the Supreme Court. At a second attempt, France had adopted its “three strikes” law to discourage file-sharers who breach copyright laws. The bill was, as predicted, re-introduced, but was only adopted subject to the restrictive interpretation by the Constitutional Court.

The first attempt, which would have required service providers to terminate Internet access after three warnings from a new authority, “HADOPI” failed in the upper house after widespread protests (PL&B International April 2009 p. 21).

3. Swedish privacy party elects Member of European Parliament

The “Piracy Party” grew rapidly after the Pirate Bay convictions for file-sharing and the introduction of legal measures to require retention and notification to copyright enforcers of file-sharing information (PL&B International June 2009 p. 6). It won a seat in the European Parliament in the 7 June election. The party received 7.1 per cent of the votes to win one of the country's 18 seats in the European parliament. The party campaigns for increased Internet privacy protection, as well as for legalising file-sharing.

Click here for further information about subscribing to the international newsletter.

Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2009