March



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March 29, 2016
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Qatar drafts law to protect against spam

The Qatar cabinet has approved a draft privacy law that aims to protect residents against spam messages via email or on mobile phones, the Qatar News Agency said.
 
The draft data privacy law protects personal information that has been collected or processed electronically, or by combining electronic and 'traditional' processing. The draft law includes specific provisions on the right of individuals to protect their personal data, on the obligations of the data controller and processor, on personal data of a private nature, and banning any electronic communications sent "for the purpose of direct marketing to individuals without obtaining prior consent".
 
The Communications Regulatory Authority said it was drafting a code of conduct that would improve existing guidelines for companies that use text messages and applications such as WhatsApp, Viber and Skype to reach potential customers. The draft law has now been passed to Qatar's Advisory Council.

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March 29, 2016
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Israel postpones possibility of U.S.-EU Safe Harbor enforcement

On January 21, 2016, the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority (ILITA) announced that it would postpone for the time being any review or enforcement actions on data transfers from Israel to the U.S. that are based on the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework.
 
This contradicts an earlier statement by ILITA in October 2015. Israel's privacy regulations permit the transfer of personal data outside of Israel under certain circumstances, including transfers made "to a country to which the European Union permits transfers". Because of this, Israel relied on the Safe Harbor framework as a legal basis that enabled data transfers from Israel to the U.S. The Article 29 Working Party and others have urged regulators to adopt a new legal framework by January 31, 2016, to permit the transfer of personal data from the EU to the U.S. that complies with the requirements of the Schrems decision.
 
It is not clear whether the impending deadline will be reached, so ILITA has decided that the best course of action will be to postpone any potential Safe Harbor-related enforcement until there is more clarity on this issue.

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March 29, 2016
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Results of alcohol test do not automatically justify dismissal

Under French employment law, the issue of alcohol consumption at the workplace is taken very seriously as it could entail significant risks, not only for the employee and his|her colleagues, but also for the company in general.
 
Moreover, the employer is bound by a duty of care towards its employees and is required by the French Labour code to prevent employees under the influence of alcohol from working on the company's premises.
 
In this context, case law permits employers to have recourse to breathalyzer devices in orders to control the alcohol blood level of their employees, particularly where this is justified by the nature of the position held by the employees and provided that it is implemented under the company's internal regulations, which must be implemented pursuant to a specific procedure and provide for means by which the employees can challenge the results of the test.
 
Against this framework, would an employer be entitled to invoke the results of an alcohol test if the internal regulations providing for such tests have not been implemented according to the procedure relating to the introduction of internal regulations? A recent decision by the Supreme Court answered no.

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