SaaS Agreements – GDPR – Local Derogations

The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) now applies to all SaaS customers and SaaS companies collecting or processing the personal data of individuals located within the EU. SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers must comply with the terms the GDPR. SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers should be aware that the GDPR does not however fully harmonise data protection law throughout the EU, as each EU country may introduce their own requirements in certain instances (“derogations”) under their own local data protection laws.

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SaaS Agreements – GDPR – Age of Consent

The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the new Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA”) now apply in the UK. SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers must comply with the terms of both the GDPR and the DPA. SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers should be aware that the GDPR does not fully harmonise data protection law throughout Europe, as each EU country may introduce their own requirements in certain instances (“derogations”). SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers who operate in, or collect or process personal data from persons located in different EU countries need to be aware of the different rules in each EU country.

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SaaS Agreements – GDPR – US Companies

From the 25th of May 2018 the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force and change existing UK data protection laws. The GDPR does not just apply to SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers located in the EU. The GDPR also applies extraterritorially, i.e. to SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers located outside of the EU, for example in the USA, as set out below.

GDPR Applies to US SaaS Customers and SaaS Suppliers

The GDPR will apply to SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers located in the USA if:

They offer goods or services to SaaS customers located within the EU; or
They monitor the behaviour of EU data subjects;

Even though the SaaS supplier or SaaS Customer is not located within the EU.

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SaaS Agreements – GDPR – The General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) will replace the existing EU Data Protection Directive and harmonise European data protection law from the 25th of May 2018. In the UK the GDPR will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 from the 25th of May 2018, regardless of “Brexit”. This will have a significant effect on both SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers who will need to comply with the terms of the GDPR. SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers must update all contractual documents that involve data processing, such as SaaS agreements, privacy policies and hosting and support agreements to comply with the new rules under the GDPR before the 25th of May deadline.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – TalkTalk Fine

SaaS customers and SaaS Suppliers should be aware that in October 2016 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued a £400,000 fine against TalkTalk for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The fine was issued in relation to the hacking of personal data stored in a database that was accessible via the Internet.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – New obligations for SaaS Customers

From the 25th of May 2018 the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force and change existing UK data protection laws. The GDPR will place further more onerous obligations on SaaS customers (data controllers) in relation to all data processing. SaaS customers need to amend the terms of their existing SaaS agreements and privacy policies and implement the changes into internal policies and procedures in order to comply with the upcoming changes in UK data protection law.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – New Obligations for SaaS Suppliers

From the 25th of May 2018 the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force and change existing UK data protection laws. The GDPR will place direct obligations on SaaS suppliers (data processors) in relation to data processing activities. In addition SaaS customers (data controllers) and their clients (data subjects) will be able to enforce breaches of the new rules directly against SaaS suppliers. SaaS suppliers need to amend the terms of their existing SaaS agreements in order to comply with the upcoming changes in data protection law.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – Cyber Insurance

Currently most SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers do not take put specific cyber insurance and rely upon the provisions of a general insurance policy to cover liabilities in the event of a claim for a cyber incident or a data breach. This is partly due to the fact that few insurers offer adequate cyber insurance policies and SaaS customer and SaaS supplier’s failure to consider the need for a specialist policy of insurance, to ensure that they are covered in the event of a claim being denied under a general insurance policy.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – Privacy Shield Update

Similar to the rules under the Safe Harbor scheme, SaaS customer and SaaS suppliers need to self-certify their compliance with the principles of the Privacy Shield. The following are the core principles which must be adhered to.
Core Principles

Notice must be given to data subjects about specific issues;
Choice to opt out of disclosure of data to third parties;
Accountability for onward transfer to third parties;

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – Microsoft Irish Data Centre Decision

Many SaaS customers are concerned whne using data centres which are owned by a US parent company i.e. Microsoft or Amazon, that even if their SaaS data is stored in a data centre located in the EU it will not be protected against disclosure to US authorities. The recent US court of appeal ruling won by Microsoft has confirmed the position, namely that SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers who use data centres located in the EU, owned by US companies, can prevent US authorities from accessing their data in some circumstances.

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