Category News

US companies are behind the curve on understanding how GDPR impacts their businesses

There’s an eerie lack of awareness about the impact of the GDPR on US businesses that target consumers in the European Union. According to recent research by the IAPP, complexity of laws, inadequate budget and too little time combined with the lack of qualified and trained staff have conspired to perpetuate this lack of readiness by US companies.

Here in Europe, many companies and organisations have been bracing themselves for the biggest shake-up in data protection, privacy and security for over two decades that’s fully effective from 25 May 2018 – in 13 days’ time.

I’ve been in conversations with senior US-executives who’ve boldly told me that the “GDPR doesn’t apply to them” and in any event they can rely on ‘legitimate interest’ to continue to market goods and services and monitor t...

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Enough already? Fed up with GDPR emails asking for your consent?

You bet!

This is an all-out attack by the zombies! They follow other zombies by sending us mindless emails saying this kind of crap:

“We’re committed to managing and safeguarding the information you give us when looking for a job. CLICK HERE TO STAY SIGNED UP.”

Or how about this:

“LET’S STAY IN TOUCH. Did you know? New privacy laws come in to effect on 25 May. This landmark new law is designed to improve your privacy rights. This is great news for online shoppers, so if you enjoy getting our promotional emails, just click below…”

Or this:

“We don’t want to lose you, so please take action NOW”

STOP! THINK! LEARN!

These emails are pointless!

In the UK, it’s been the law since 2003 that you can only send a marketing email to an individual recipient when they’ve consented...

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Dot Gone! The end of the road for Whois

It’s the end of the road – and the end of an era – for the Whois service as its US-based parent ICANN fails to find a solution to continue the service that isn’t a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

According to its Wikipedia entry, Whois is a ‘query and response protocol that’s widely used for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of anInternet resource, such as a domain name, an IP address block, or an autonomous system, but is also used for a wider range of other information. The protocol stores and delivers database content in a human-readable format.’

The Whois system publishes the name, address and telephone number of everyone that registers an internet address without any data privacy notice or prior consent of the ...

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End of Cambridge Analytica as it puts itself into voluntary liquidation

In a meeting just before 1300 (GMT) today, Wednesday 2 May, staff at data agency Cambridge Analytica were told that it was putting itself into voluntary liquidation.

For the BBC news report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43985186

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Creepy or Cool?

When it comes down to deciding whether to process personal data under consent or legitimate interests – try thinking to yourself if you were the data subject (customer, client, supporter or employee) would you find it creepy or cool? If it’s creepy – it’s not the right thing to do. And you don’t need a lawyer to tell you that. I delivered this presentation at the recent IAPP Data Protection Intensive 2018 in London.

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‘Surveillance Capitalism’ – will it survive post-GDPR?

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica now face a series of class actions for ‘surveillance capitalism’ in the US – will this open the floodgates for similar legal actions across the world?

Class Action Complaint Case No. 18-cv-02276 has been brought by Patricia King (Plaintiff) in the US District Court for the Northern District of California and has asked for trial by jury.

The class action reads as follows:

1. Facebook is a social networking platform that engages in surveillance capitalism: It monetizes personal and behavioral data which it acquires through real-time surveillance of Facebook users. (see Shoshana Zuboff, Big Other: Surveillance Capitalism and the Prospects of an Information Civilization, 30 J. Info. Tech. 75 (Apr. 4, 2015), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2594754).

2...

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GDPR by Royal Appointment

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The joys of data hygiene

Unfortunately, the article in the current edition of my favourite business newspaper The Economist in explaining the GDPR was riddled with errors. Tut tut!

Here’s an example: “Data Subjects can demand a copy of the data held on them (data portability) …” which as we all know is a subject access request (SAR) and isn’t an absolute right under the GDPR.

Another error in the article on GDPR is the bold assertion: “The GDPR is prescriptive about what organisations have to do to comply.”

Er, no it isn’t. Few bits go into detail, like the requirements for a data protection impact assessment (Art.35, GDPR) or a subject access request (Art. 15, GDPR).

The GDPR is a deliberate move away from a ‘tick-box’ approach of the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC that it replaces and moves to a risk-ba...

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Lack of transparency with Facebook and other social media sites will be forced to come to an end as a result of GDPR

The Economist reports today (7 April 2018) that there’s been a bit of wake up call for Facebook and all other social media giants as a result of the furore over the mis-use of personal data. Mark Zuckerberg is openly admitting that Facebook data of up to 87 million people – 37 million more than previously reported – may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

As a result of a data breach on a scale not seen since Yahoo!, Americans are looking enviously at Europe where data protection, privacy and security laws protecting the individual are now the global ‘gold standard’ as a result of the GDPR that’s fully enforceable from 25 May – just 34 working days from today.

Rights over personal data are enshrined in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and EU citizens now have...

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Follow the leader. Why the US needs to learn the lessons of data protection from Europe

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