Culture Change During this Momentous Time

I watched the congressional testimony on Capitol Hill today regarding the pandemic, and listened to the medical experts from NIH/NIAID, CDC, FDA, and the Administration. Their observations got me thinking about the concept of culture change and how much we are hearing about how the pandemic is changing (or going to change) cultural norms and expectations. We all know that the pandemic is having an impact on the field of privacy and how that has been operationalized in the past few years (GDPR, etc.).

Changing a corporate culture so that it is (more) privacy – centric is one thing. Changing a corporate culture as a result of the pandemic and what that is going to mean across many countries is another. Accomplishing both simultaneously is a tall order, but I think it is possible if people remember that change has both technical and interpersonal / humane components.

These times require much more human understanding and flexibility than we are used to. But if people remember what the goal is, and work together, it will get done.


An interesting twist in the ‘cookie walls’ saga.

France’s Council of State has ordered the CNIL (French data protection watchdog) to cancel parts of its guidelines on cookies as the ban on cookies walls was not valid. The court explained that the CNIL exceeded its specific mandate under an act called “flexible law” which refers to instruments, such as regulatory authorities’ guidelines, which do not create a legal right or obligation.

Although a recent update of the EDPB Guidelines on consent invalidated ‘cookie walls’, our patient may still be very much alive. There potentially might be similar court decisions in some other Member States.

Recently, the BfDI (German watchdog) said that “cookie-walls are permitted if a comparable service is also offered without tracking, for example, as a paid service”. This happened right after the update of the EDPB Guidelines on consent came out.

Original text of the decision is in French: