Thursday, 15 May 2014

More legal gobbledegook from the Article 29 Working Party

Hmmmmm. The Article 29 Working Party has recently, without ceremony (or much publicity), slipped another document containing some 21 pages of dense legalese onto the internet. 

The document could comprise some form of consultation exercise on model clauses that might be necessary when an EU based data processor wants to use the services of a non-EU based sub-processor (yawn). 

But the document does not explicitly say that it is a consultation exercise. It is, however, a “working document”, and its purpose is to provide advice to the Commission should any work commence on standard contractual clauses between EU based data processor and non-EU-based data sub-processors. Now, why would the Article 29 Working Party go to the trouble of publishing this stuff on its website if it were not interested in the views of those who may find themselves affected by these draft clauses? 

If we’re not careful, we’ll all get the blame for not having read or commented on these draft clauses soon, should they suddenly re-emerge as a set of fully formed clauses.

If anyone can readily understand this document, please step forward. There must be someone with a brain the size of this planet who can offer some commentary or guidance to us mere mortals (and perhaps to the legal geeks at the Article 29 Working party).  Unfortunately, the document contains no helpful commentary or explanatory notes (in plain English or in technical jargon), describing precisely what the legal clauses are actually intended to do. So it’s really hard to assess whether the draft clauses are fit for purpose. But there must be someone who knows whether these draft clauses are any good.

Eventually, such clauses might be useful - to those that read complicated clauses, that is. After all, there must be many non-EU based sub-processors who are already carrying out a wide range of data processing services for EU-based processors. But whether many people passionately care about the legality of the existing arrangements is something I have absolutely no knowledge about.

Do I want to comment on the document?

Not really.  As I’ve said, I don’t fully understand it. 

I’m going to mow the lawn, instead.