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Europe Data Protection Digest | A view from Brussels — 28 April 2022 Related reading: A view from Brussels — 22 April 2022

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Habemus DSA! Over the weekend, the EU co-legislators reached a deal on the Digital Services Act. The DSA builds on the EU 2000 e-Commerce Directive and adds new accountability and due diligence obligations for online platforms regarding illegal and harmful content. Finalizing this piece of legislation was a priority for the commission and the current French Presidency of the Council of EU Member States. The final text will become public soon, and we will see then how much horse-trading was made on the 15 or so areas of contention that remained in the final hours of negotiation, and which areas reflect an agreement at minima — possibly raising questions of interpretation during the implementation phase.

GDPR. The Court of Justice of the EU delivered a judgment determining that consumer protection associations may bring representative actions against infringements of personal data protection, where national legislation allows. The case stemmed from an action brought by the Federal Union of Consumer Organisations and Associations against Meta Platforms Ireland before German courts, about the “admissibility of a consumer protection association to bring proceedings in the civil courts against infringements of the GDPR, independently of the specific infringement of rights of individual data subjects and without being mandated to do so by those data subjects.” Punch line of the court’s decision: Yes we can. On a related note, the EU is in fact negotiating a Directive proposed in 2018 on collective redress for consumers, which would be relevant for GDPR-related representative actions.

Eurojust. DG Justice is proposing to amend the EU regulation that governs the collection, preservation and analysis of evidence relating to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes at Eurojust, the EU’s hub for judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Eurojust coordinates investigations and prosecutions of serious cross-border crime (among others, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) in Europe and beyond, and supports national investigating and prosecuting authorities. However, the Eurojust regulation does not explicitly allow Eurojust to collect, preserve and analyze related evidence. In light of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and alleged international crimes, the European Commission is proposing to “allow Eurojust to collect, preserve and analyze evidence in relation to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and related criminal offences and, when necessary and appropriate, enable its exchange or otherwise make it available to the competent judicial authorities, national or international.”

International. The European Commission and all EU Member States have signed on to the “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” unveiled 28 April. Signatories affirm their intention to “work toward an environment […] that secures and protects individuals’ privacy” among other goals. The declaration references promoting this vision in multi-stakeholder forums with the caveat of respecting [signatories’] regulatory autonomy. One might wonder where this initiative fits in the plethora of existing bilateral and multi-stakeholder endeavors pertaining to addressing these very issues, i.e., in the context of internet governance, trust or trade, and the signatories’ respective ambitions in that respect.

Enjoy what is left of April and see you in May!

Photo by Yannis Papanastasopoulos on Unsplash


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