HFN Technology & Regulation Client Update
Dear Clients and Friends,
We are pleased to present our June edition of the Technology & Regulation Client Update,
which includes several notable regulatory and industry compliance developments in the fields
of data protection, digital advertising, content, security and app compliance.
These include the following:
Facebook Page Administrator Responsible for Data Processing;
The new European Data Protection Board Updated Guidelines on GDPR;
Apple's Revised Guidelines for App Store on Cryptocurrency and Contacts Data;
Google Blocks Inline Installation of Chrome Extensions;
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office Presentation of a New Cybersecurity Bill; and
The US Supreme Court's Ruling on Digital Privacy.
Ariel Yosefi, Partner
Co-Head - Technology & Regulation Department
Herzog Fox & Neeman
If you have an important regulatory or industry compliance update you would like to share with the industry, please let us know
Facebook Page Administrator Responsible for Data Processing
TOPICS: Data Protection, Facebook, Court Ruling, Court of Justice, General Data Protection Regulation,
The EU Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the administrator of a Facebook page is jointly
responsible, together with Facebook, as joint data controllers.
In this case, a German company was the administrator of its fan page on Facebook. As the
administrator, this company could obtain anonymous statistical data on visitors to its fan page
via the "Facebook Insights" function, which enables the storage of cookies on visitors’ hard
drives in order to collect data about them.
The German Supervisory Authority ordered the administrator to deactivate the page due to
lack of transparency for the users. Although the company argued that it was not responsible,
the ECJ ruled that the page administrator was a data controller since it takes part in the
determination of the purposes and the means of processing of the visitors' personal data.
Accordingly, the ECJ found both Facebook and the page administrator responsible, as joint
The ECJ also noted that via Facebook Insights tool, administrators could ask for information
which helps them decide which offers they should make based on the users' information. The
fact that an administrator of a fan page uses Facebook's platform in order to benefit from
its services, cannot absolve it from any liability with respect to the protection of personal
Although this judgment was based on an analysis of the EU's Privacy Directive 95/46, which
has now been replaced with the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), the terms and
concepts in this area remain unchanged, and consequently, it adds important details with
regard to the roles of a data controller and data processor.
We would be happy to advise our clients and clarify the implications arising from this court
European Data Protection Board Updated Guidelines on GDPR
TOPICS: Data Protection, General Data Protection Regulation, ePrivacy Regulation, European Data
Protection Board, European Union
With the GDPR having come into force, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) replaced
Article 29 Data Protection Working Party ("WP29") (for more information concerning this
replacement, see our related update here) as the EU data protection advisory regulator.
The EDPB is an independent European body, whose purpose is to ensure the consistent
application of the GDPR and the EU Law Enforcement Directive, as well as promoting
cooperation between the EU's data protection authorities. The EDPB can adopt general
guidance in order to clarify the EU data protection laws, and unlike WP29, it is also
empowered to make binding decisions in order to ensure consistent compliance accordingly.
Immediately after the GDPR came into force, the EDPB came into effect and took the following
Endorsing WP29 position
The EDPB endorsed many of the previous positions of WP29 on the GDPR, such as:
Guidelines on consent under the GDPR;
Guidelines on transparency under the GDPR;
Automated individual decision-making and profiling guidelines for the purpose of the
Personal data breach notification guidelines under the GDPR;
The right to data portability guidelines under the GDPR; and
Data protection impact assessment (DPIA) guidelines and determining whether
processing is "likely to result in a high risk" for the purposes of the GDPR.
Draft guidelines on certification and identifying certification criteria under the GDPR
The purpose of these draft guidelines is to explain the key concepts of the certification
provisions under the GDPR Articles 42 and 43, their scope and purpose and to explore the
rationale for certification as an accountability tool.
Inter alia, the guidelines state that the term "certification" under Articles 42 and 43 of the
GDPR, shall refer to third party attestation which relates to processing operations by
controllers and processors, as well as providing a definition of the terms "certification
mechanisms, seals or marks", not defined by the GDPR. In addition, the guidelines explain
the obligations of a Supervisory Authority when acting as a certification body, and
compliance aspects that shall be taken into account when drafting certification criteria,
which include the lawfulness of processing, the data subjects' rights and the obligation to
notify data breaches.
Adopting the final version of the guidelines on transferring personal data outside of the EEA
under the GDPR
These guidelines are aimed at providing guidance as to the application of Article 49 of the
GDPR with regard to derogations within the context of transfers of personal data to countries
outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), an international organisation (if an adequate
level of data protection is provided for in that country or by that international organisation),
if appropriate safeguards have been put in place and unclear data subjects' rights at the level
of protection, as guaranteed by the GDPR.
The guidelines, which were founded on the previous work carried out by the WP29, provide
clarification as to the following derogations:
The data subject has explicitly consented to the proposed transfer, after having been
informed of the possible risks of such transfers due to the absence of an adequacy
decision and appropriate safeguards: The guidelines focus on the specific elements
required for such consent to be valid: consent must be explicit, specific for the particular
data transfer/set of transfers and the data subject must be properly informed,
particularly as to the possible risks of the transfer;
Transfer necessary for the performance of a contract between the data subject and the
controller or for the implementation of pre-contractual measures taken at the data
subject’s request: The guidelines explain the criterion of “necessity” and of “occasional
transfers” which have to be taken into account. The guidelines state that this requires a
close and substantial connection between the transfer of data and the purposes of the
contract and that whether or not the transfer can be deemed as occasional, will have to
be determined on a case by case basis. In this regard, the guidelines set out some
Transfer necessary for the conclusion or performance of a contract concluded in the
interest of the data subject between the controller and another natural or legal person:
Similar to the above derogation, the guidelines explain the terms "necessity" and
“occasional transfers” within the context of this derogation.
Transfer is necessary for important reasons of public interest: The guidelines state that
this derogation only applies when it can be deduced from EU law or the law of the
member state to which the controller is subject;
Transfer is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims: The
guidelines explain the range of activities that are covered by the term "establishment,
exercise or defence of legal claims" and the "necessity" requirement, adding that such
transfers should only be made if they are occasional;
Transfer is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of
other persons, where the data subject is physically or legally incapable of giving
consent: The guidelines provide several examples to better explain this derogation. For
example, the guidelines state that it is possible to transfer personal data if the data
subject, whilst outside the EU, is unconscious and in need of urgent medical care, then
only an external party (known as a “exporter”) – normally the person’s usual doctor and
who is established in an EU Member State – would be authorised to supply the data;
Transfer made from a public register: The guidelines state that the register must be open
to consultation by the public in general or by any person who can demonstrate a
legitimate interest. In addition, according to the guidelines, data controllers and data
processors who wish to transfer personal data under this derogation must be aware that
a transfer cannot include the detailed personal data or entire categories of the personal
data contained in the register, and that in each case, data exporters would have to
consider the interests and rights of the data subject; and
Compelling legitimate interests: The guidelines explain that this derogation can be used
only if the derogations referred to above, cannot be applied. Furthermore, the guidelines
provide an explanation of the remaining requirements, such as applying additional
measures as safeguards, informing the data subject of the transfer and of the compelling
legitimate interests pursued and that only interests that can be recognised as
“compelling” are relevant to the scope of this derogation.
Statement on the revision of the ePrivacy Regulation and its impact on the protection of
individuals with regard to the privacy and confidentiality of their communications
The statement supports the quick adoption of the proposed ePrivacy Regulation in light of
the increased usage of IP-based communications and the need to ensure end-users'
confidentiality of communications. In the statement, the EDPB offers insights and
clarifications on key issues, including preventing the processing of electronic
communications on the "legitimate interest" of the data controller or on the general
purpose of the performance of a contract, and arguing that the use of anonymised electronic
communication data should be encouraged.
We would be happy to provide further advice and recommendations concerning the new
EDPB Guidelines and their implementation.
Apple Revises Guidelines for App Store on Cryptocurrency and Contact Info
TOPICS: Data Protection, Cryptocurrency, Initial Coin Offerings, App Industry Compliance, Apple
Apple has recently released an updated version of its App Store Review Guidelines in which
two significant changes have been implemented:
The updated guidelines were revised to explicitly ban apps that mine cryptocurrency on
By doing so, Apple joins Google, which updated its Chrome Web Store policy to include
prohibitions regarding extensions that mine cryptocurrency (see our related update here),
and Microsoft, which published that by July 2018, its Bing search engine will ban
cryptocurrency advertisements on its platform, as is the case with other internet giants (see
our additional related reports regarding similar policy changes by Facebook and Twitter).
The revision includes five rules:
Apple will allow virtual-currency wallet apps, provided they are offered by developers
who are enrolled as an organisation;
The only cryptocurrency-mining apps allowed are apps that mine outside the device
(such as cloud-based mining);
Apps may help users make transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an
approved exchange, as long as they are offered by the exchange itself;
Apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs"), cryptocurrency futures trading, and other
crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading need to be from established banks,
securities firms, futures commission merchants, or other approved financial
institutions and must be lawful; and
Cryptocurrency apps may not offer users virtual coins for completing tasks, such as
downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download or posting to social
In addition, the guidelines were revised to prevent app developers from obtaining data from
The change is aimed at ending the common practice by which developers have asked users
for access to their phone contact list, which contains phone numbers, email addresses and
profile photos. The developers used this information for marketing, and in some cases even
shared or sold the information without having obtained any permission to do so from these
The changes in the guidelines explicitly state that developers cannot build a contact database
using information gathered from users' contacts or contact people using information
collected through accessing a user's contacts list.
We would be happy to advise on any questions that may arise from the new Apple's App
Store Guidelines changes.
Google Blocks Inline Installation of Chrome Extensions
TOPICS: Unwanted Extensions, App Industry Compliance, Google Chrome
Google has recently announced that it will stop support for inline installations of Chrome
extensions from outside websites. This means that users will only be able to install extensions
from the Chrome Web Store. This step was taken by Google as part of an ongoing attempt to
ensure choice and transparency to its users.
Google stated that the descriptions displayed alongside extensions in the Chrome Web Store
are instrumental in helping people make informed decisions on whether or not they wish to
install an extension. Google found that when comparing extensions installed through inline
installation, users are less likely to uninstall or complain with regard to a confusing or
deceptive description if the installation came from the Chrome Web Store.
Google has begun to enforce the new rule by automatically blocking the inline installation
function for all extensions initially published on the 12
of September 2018, inline installation will be disabled for existing Chrome extensions, and
finally, in early December 2018, Google will have completely disabled the inline install API
method from Chrome 71.
of June 2018 or later. After the 12
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office Presented a New Cybersecurity Bill
TOPICS: Cybersecurity, Israeli National Cyber Directorate, Israel
The Israeli Ministry of Justice has published a memorandum of a proposed National
Cybersecurity Bill ("the Bill") for public comments, following which it will be presented to a
vote in the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset).
The preamble to the Bill states that there is a significant increase in the frequency of cyber
threats the aim of which is to harm public safety, the economy and homeland security, and
accordingly, national involvement is needed. The Bill establishes the foundations for
cooperation between the Israeli Government and civil organisations in order to protect
cyber-space and will apply to government offices, critical infrastructures, and civilian entities.
The Bill emphasises the importance of the balance between protection of the public in the
cybersecurity sphere, and avoiding overloading the economy with a layer of bureaucracy.
The Bill also establishes a framework for the roles and powers of the Israeli National Cyber
Directorate, defining it as a security organisation within the Prime Minister's Office, the
purposes of which are to protect the Israeli cyber-space and promote Israel as a world leader
in the cyber field. Inter alia, the National Cyber Directorate will manage and operate national
defense actions against cyber-attacks and promote international cooperation in the cyber
field. According to the Bill, the National Cyber Directorate will be authorised to instruct
organisations on how to act in cases of data breach or if there is a suspicion of hacking, and
that in any event, those organisations will be required to maintain the confidentiality of those
The Bill also establishes a regulatory authority dedicated to the cybersecurity field, since the
State has a great responsibility in the prevention and preparation for cyber-attacks, as
explained in the preamble. Among its other responsibilities, the Bill states that this authority
will classify the organisations under its supervision according to the damage to which they are
exposed in cyber-attack scenarios, and instruct them to carry out certain actions in order to
The Bill has been widely criticised for two main reasons: first, this Bill gives the National Cyber
Directorate extended powers to search and seize private computers from private companies
and even from individuals' private houses without a court order, in order to foil or deal with a
cyberattack. Secondly, it enables the Government to collect private data from companies
that are responsible for critical portions of Israel’s digital and physical infrastructure, such
as internet providers. Critics claim that the Bill raises serious concerns as to the potential of
harm to the privacy of Israeli citizens, as well as to trade secrets of private organisations.
US Supreme Court's Ruling on Digital Privacy
TOPICS: Data Protection, US Supreme Court, United States
A new Supreme Court ruling in Carpenter v. United States case imposes limits on police,
stating that police must generally obtain a warrant to seize cellphone tower location
This case was dealing with the question of whether or not there was a reasonable expectation
of privacy when location records were held by third party, such as a phone carrier. The
Supreme Court ruled that obtaining this kind of private data without a warrant from wireless
carriers, as police usually do, would be considered as an unreasonable search and seizure
under the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment. The court noted that these records are
highly sensitive, in that they provide information as to where a person is located, every day,
every moment, and over several years.
Fourteen of the largest US tech companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook and
Microsoft were also involved in this case, as they filed a brief in support of neither party. In
this brief, they argued that the Fourth Amendment needs to be amended for the digital era.
Although the brief was not officially filed in support of either party, in practice, their opinion
was in favour of Carpenter's position, stating that the court should reconsider whether the
Government should easily be able to obtain access to that data.