CLICK, CLICK, DID YOU REALLY AGREE? The EU GDPR and the need for a Uniform Format for Privacy Policies

Meera Manoj, Intern at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas – Advocates & Solicitors.

The recent outrage over Cambridge Analytica’s alleged profiling of Facebook users to influence elections has led to a curious situation. There was no breach of Facebook’s privacy policies at the time in regard to collecting data of users and their friends by third-party applications.[1] In fact, profiling users and selling their information to third parties is essentially Facebook’s business model.  Yet, consumers were left reeling with a sense of betrayal. The inescapable conclusion is that no one really reads online privacy notices.  In fact, this has already been well documented.[2] The reasons for this are quite clear. In the absence of a specific format for privacy notices, they tend to be complicated, lengthy and at times, misleading.[3] In such a scenario, users’ consent to online agreements is neither genuine nor informed.

However, the coming into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in the European Union (“EU”) may herald an era of change.[4]

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Meera Manoj, Intern at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas – Advocates & Solicitors. This post won the 2018 KSLR Short Blog Post Competition on International Trade and Investment Law.

The United States (“US”) under the Trump Administration has pursued an aggressive and, at times, contradictory, policy with the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”). While on the one hand it has threatened to withdraw from the WTO and cripple its appellate body, on the other hand, it has continued to aggressively pursue remedies within the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (“DSB”).

This article analyses the broader strategic picture emerging from key actions taken by the US administration in relation to the WTO.

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Suggested Reforms Regarding an Appeal/Review Mechanism for Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Awards

Isabelle Wenger, LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution at King’s College London

The aim of finality of arbitral awards in Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) has resulted in one main problem: the absence of an appellate body. This means that errant legal rulings are not subject to any meaningful form of legal review.[1] While finality is indeed one of the main advantages of international arbitration – by reason of the savings it brings in terms of costs and time to the parties – the lack of an appellate system poses the risk of having flawed or inconsistent awards on the same facts or points of law.[2]

After exploring the advantages and disadvantages of establishing an appellate body in the realm of ISDS awards, this essay discusses whether such body would be feasible and how it might be designed.

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Corporate Duel: Shareholder Activism in the Facebook Personal Data Manipulation Case

Wilfredo Cáceres Ghisilieri, LL.M in International Financial Law at King’s College London, M&A Associate at Estudio Muñiz (Peru).

“Mark Zuckerberg’s prepared testimony highlights a simple fact: He doesn’t understand how a large, global and publicly-held company is run,” Open MIC CEO Michael Connor said in a statement. “He currently has two jobs at Facebook — CEO and Chairman of the Board. It’s time for him to give up at least one, if not both, titles. It is long past time for Facebook to separate the roles of company CEO and Chairman,” Connor continued, “and for Mark Zuckerberg to resign or be fired.”[i]

The recent Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica manipulating Facebook’s users’ personal data (the “Facebook Case”) may have encouraged minority shareholders to propose changes to Facebook’s board and management. These investor groups (the “Activist Shareholders”) have different reasons for requesting Zuckerberg’s removal as CEO and Chairman of the tech giant: from financial motives – shares’ value fell dramatically after the Facebook Case was made public – to ethical or social ones. Yet Zuckerberg holds 60% of the company’s voting rights, hindering the possibility of forcing his resignation or to voting for his removal.

How can Activist Shareholders instigate change in Facebook? Can shareholders pressure Zuckerberg to step down? This post explains which mechanisms are available to shareholders for resolving dissatisfaction with the company management, and how the choice to activate them will depend on the type of shareholders involved.

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