Category Legal update

Digital Economy Act 2017 described as taking ‘baby steps’ into the digital future

The much-criticised Digital Economy Bill has just received the Royal Assent (Thursday 27 April 2017) and is now law in the UK.

The British Government claims that the new Act will do the following:

  • empower consumers and ensure everyone has access to broadband wherever they live, including rural areas which has suffered from a lack of broadband connectivity
  • build a better infrastructure fit for the digital future
  • enable better public services using digital technologies
  • provide important protections for citizens from spam email and nuisance calls and protect children from online pornography.

baby-stepsOn this last point, the NSPCC has already called on the British Government to regulate social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter and to fine these companies if they fail to protect children on...

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‘Team DPO’ set to become the de facto way for monitoring compliance with the GDPR

The professionalsAre you an organisation that’s been on the hunt for a suitably qualified and trained Data Protection Officer (DPO) but have found it impossible to find one? You’re not alone.

There’s a shortage, not just in the UK, but across the European Union, with 12 months to go before the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is fully enforceable across all 28 Member States. The role of the DPO is at the heart of the new legal framework for data protection and privacy and facilitating compliance with the provisions of the GDPR. It’s also mandatory to appoint a DPO under Art.37(1), GDPR in three specific circumstances:

  1. Where the personal data processing is carried out by a public authority or body
  2. Where the core activities of the Data Controller, Joint Data Controller, or Data Processor...
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GDPR accelerator – DPIA Lite

ardi-in-action-at-iapp-conference-2016Last week I had the honour of speaking at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2016 in Brussels that was the biggest gathering of data protection professionals to date on mainland Europe with over 1100 delegates drawn from across Europe, US and the Far East.

My short talk was about sizing the risk and the GDPR accelerator ‘DPIA Lite’ that was devised by our team led by Martin Hickley, Associate, Henley Business School and Director of Data Protection, GO DPO®.

A significant aspect of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is demonstrating and verifying compliance – making it evident to the Supervisory Authority that the organisation is meeting its obligations under the EU Regulation.

There are three key ways in which an organisation can demonstrate that it’s compliant w...

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Are you a Superhero?

Superman…-Saves-the-DayOne of the biggest changes in data protection and privacy to usher in the New Year with a bang is publication of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) later this month. And it’s really important that all companies take the necessary steps to protect themselves from becoming liable for personal data breaches under this EU Regulation.

As reported extensively in this blog over the last 12 months, the GDPR will force all organisations to re-wire their thinking as well as their data protection policies and procedures for handling personal data under a fundamental change in European law.

Experience to date shows that effective training is the first line of defence and by far the best way to mitigate against the risks of being landed with a massive fine – which can be as high as €20m...

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Goodbye to ‘Safe Harbor’ as US companies need to start playing by the same rules

not so safe harborThis week the blogosphere went into overdrive with the news that the non-binding legal opinion of the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice claims that EU user data transferred to the US by various technology companies is a violation of current EU data protection and privacy laws.

Even before this opinion, the European Commission was already attempting to re-negotiate the Safe Harbor Agreement with the US. The Advocate General observed: “If the (European) Commission decided to enter into negotiations with United States, that is because it considered beforehand that the level of protection ensured by that third country, under the safe harbour scheme, was no longer adequate.”

And of course, he’s impeccably right in this regard.

The cornerstone of this highly influential leg...

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What GDPR means for organisations and companies in 2015

Get Ready for GDPRCompanies and organisations that use data at the centre of their sales and marketing activities – and that’s just about everyone reading this blog – will be impacted by the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Agreement between the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and European Commission now looks like a distinct possibility in November/December 2015 after which there’ll be a two-year transition period before sanctions begin to bite.

How the GDPR fits into an overall framework of changes within the European Union

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

The Charter is an important development as it’s the first formal EU document to combine and declare all the values and fundamental rights (economic and social as well as civil and political) to which EU citize...

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Is Google taking the pee out of data protection?

Google taking the pissIt’s no exaggeration to claim but when the history of data protection and privacy is written 10 years from now, one company will be credited with having had the most influence over the shape of data protection and privacy across the European Union (EU).

And it’s Google.

No week goes past without some reference to one of the most powerful digital companies on the planet. And this week just gone has been no exception.

On Thursday 9 July, Google was forced to revise its privacy policy after the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) threatened to fine company €15m. Google will now have to seek new users’ permission to combine their personal data throughout its services...

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European Council of Ministers in “historic step” for GDPR by end of 2015

V Jourova, European Commission describes progress on GDPR as an historic daySpeaking at a news conference a few hours ago, Věra Jourová, the European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality announced that an “historic step” had been taken today as the European Council of Ministers reached agreement on the general approach on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Latvia’s minister for justice Dzintars Rasnačs added: “We have moved a great step closer to modernised and harmonised data protection framework for the European Union. I am very content that after more than 3 years of negotiations we have finally found a compromise on the text and (GDPR)… will strengthen individual rights of our citizens and ensure a high standard of protection.”

What this means is that the Council of Ministers has political agreement on the basis of...

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Countdown to GDPR

time is tickingThe clock is ticking for reaching agreement on the EU General Data Protection Regulation, according to the European People’s Party (EPP) Group that brings together centre and centre-right pro-European political forces from the Member States and represents the largest group in the European Parliament.

Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 June 2015

The Council of Ministers will meet in Luxembourg to agree the adoption of a general approach to GDPR.

In effect, the Council will declare its own view on the preferred draft for GDPR and GDPR watchers the world over will be able to compare and contrast the various differences that will exist between this version and the one favoured by the European Parliament.

What started life as an ambitious proposal for reform by the European Commission that was amended ...

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Don’t call us. We’ll call you. And steal your data.

AT&T image of data theftWhile the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements have yet to be finalised, 20 years of European jurisprudence is a strong indication of the direction of travel where the supervisory authorities are going to clamp down hard on those organisations and their outsourcing providers that violate the new minimum standards for data protection.

And if you’re in any doubt how hard this will impact the telecoms sector, then you should look no further than what’s just happened to AT&T earlier this week in the US to get a taste of what we can expect to see here in the EU in the wake of the GDPR.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reached a settlement with the telecoms giant AT&T to pay close to $25m for a series of consumer data privacy violations following an investi...

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