Recent legislative and legal developments in the global digital world.
Friday, 25 January, 2019
The European Parliament releases its position on the proposal for modernizing EU consumer protection rules (part of the New Deal for Consumers package)
Among other points, the European Parliament’s Internal Markets and Consumer Protection Committee proposed that marketplaces and comparison services must disclose the main parameters determining how search query results are ranked, that the “blacklist” of unfair commercial practices be bulked up, and that more dissuasive penalties be established. The new EU presidency, currently held by Romania, considers this proposal to be one of its priorities. Accordingly, we expect that the general conclusions will be released in the coming weeks.
The Spanish State Budget Bill includes a new tax on digital services
The tax places a 3% levy on online advertising and intermediation services, as well as on sales of data. It would apply to companies with revenues of at least €750 million worldwide and €3 million in Spain.
The EU reviews the Privacy Shield agreement with the US
In mid-December 2018 , the European Commission completed its second review of the EU-US agreement, finding that the Privacy Shield ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU, given that the steps taken by US authorities to implement the Commission’s recommendations have improved the functioning of the framework. However, the Commission does expect the US authorities to nominate a permanent Ombudsperson to replace the one that is currently acting.
The new European telecommunications regulatory framework now approved
Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) recasts four previous directives to regulate electronic communications networks, electronic communications services, associated facilities and services and certain aspects of terminal equipment.
Employee privacy rights related to the use of digital devices, the right to disconnect, the use of video surveillance, and the recording of sounds and geolocation have been written into the law for the first time.
On December 4, 2018, the changes to the VAT Directive published in the Official Journal of the European Communities the previous month came into effect. The first amendment extends the time period for the reverse charge mechanism in certain transactions, while the second concerns the ability to charge reduced rates on electronic books, as occurs with paper books.