Earlier this month, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced a fine in a case that involved inferring health data and using this for marketing. The ICO found that catalogue retailer Easylife Limited (“Easylife”) had profiled 145,400 individuals for inferred health conditions without their consent, based on certain “trigger products” that they had purchased from Easylife’s Health Catalogue. For example, if a customer bought a jar opener or a dinner tray, Easylife would infer that the customer might have arthritis, and then call them to market glucosamine joint patches. The ICO has fined Easylife £1.48 million: £1.35 million for using customers’ personal information to sell health-related products without their consent, and a further £130,000 for making unsolicited direct marketing calls.
Alex Carn is an associate in Covington’s international disputes practice group. Alex primarily advises clients on international commercial and investor-state disputes across a range of industries including the technology, life-sciences, and energy sectors. He has conducted arbitrations under major institutional rules including the ICC and SIAC rules, as well as ad hoc proceedings under the UNCITRAL rules.