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Mark Young

Mark Young, an experienced tech regulatory lawyer, advises major global companies on their most challenging data privacy compliance matters and investigations.

Mark also leads on EMEA cybersecurity matters at the firm. He advises on evolving cyber-related regulations, and helps clients respond to incidents, including personal data breaches, IP and trade secret theft, ransomware, insider threats, and state-sponsored attacks.

Mark has been recognized in Chambers UK for several years as "a trusted adviser - practical, results-oriented and an expert in the field;" "fast, thorough and responsive;" "extremely pragmatic in advice on risk;" and having "great insight into the regulators."

Drawing on over 15 years of experience advising global companies on a variety of tech regulatory matters, Mark specializes in:

  • Advising on potential exposure under GDPR and international data privacy laws in relation to innovative products and services that involve cutting-edge technology (e.g., AI, biometric data, Internet-enabled devices, etc.).
  • Providing practical guidance on novel uses of personal data, responding to individuals exercising rights, and data transfers, including advising on Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) and compliance challenges following Brexit and Schrems II.
    Helping clients respond to investigations by data protection regulators in the UK, EU and globally, and advising on potential follow-on litigation risks.
  • GDPR and international data privacy compliance for life sciences companies in relation to:
    clinical trials and pharmacovigilance;

    • digital health products and services; and
    • marketing programs.
    • International conflict of law issues relating to white collar investigations and data privacy compliance.
  • Cybersecurity issues, including:
    • best practices to protect business-critical information and comply with national and sector-specific regulation;
      preparing for and responding to cyber-based attacks and internal threats to networks and information, including training for board members;
    • supervising technical investigations; advising on PR, engagement with law enforcement and government agencies, notification obligations and other legal risks; and representing clients before regulators around the world; and
    • advising on emerging regulations, including during the legislative process.
  • Advising clients on risks and potential liabilities in relation to corporate transactions, especially involving companies that process significant volumes of personal data (e.g., in the adtech, digital identity/anti-fraud, and social network sectors.)
  • Providing strategic advice and advocacy on a range of EU technology law reform issues including data privacy, cybersecurity, ecommerce, eID and trust services, and software-related proposals.
  • Representing clients in connection with references to the Court of Justice of the EU.

On 12 September 2023, the UK Information Commissioner, John Edwards, and the Chief Executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (“NCSC”), Lindy Cameron, signed a joint memorandum of understanding (“MoU”) detailing how the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) and NCSC will work together moving forward.

The MoU does not create legally binding obligations between the ICO and NCSC, but provides a strong signal of intent for areas of cooperation.  The statements about information sharing and engaging with NCSC leading to potentially reduced fines under the UK GDPR are likely to be of particular interest to commercial organizations.Continue Reading ICO Encourages Organizations To Cooperate with NCSC and Flags Potential Reduction in Fines

On July 10, 2023, the European Commission adopted its adequacy decision on the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (“DPF”). The decision, which took effect on the day of its adoption, concludes that the United States ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EEA to companies certified to the DPF. This blog post summarizes the key findings of the decision, what organizations wishing to certify to the DPF need to do and the process for certifying, as well as the impact on other transfer mechanisms such as the standard contractual clauses (“SCCs”), and on transfers from the UK and Switzerland.Continue Reading European Commission Adopts Adequacy Decision on the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework

On July 4, 2023, the European Commission published its proposal for a regulation laying down additional procedural rules relating to the enforcement of the GDPR.  The aim of the proposed Regulation is to clarify and harmonize the procedural rules that apply when EU supervisory authorities investigate complaint-based and ex officio cross-border cases (i.e., where the relevant processing conducted by a controller or processor  spans multiple Member States, resulting in a “lead” authority and additional “concerned” authorities).  If adopted, the Regulation will sit alongside the GDPR, complementing the existing cooperation and consistency mechanisms set forth in Chapter VII.Continue Reading European Commission Proposes GDPR Enforcement Procedure Regulation

On 21 June 2023, at the close of a roundtable meeting of the G7 Data Protection and Privacy Authorities, regulators from the United States, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada and Japan published a joint “Statement on Generative AI” (“Statement”) (available here). In the Statement, regulators identify a range of data protection-related concerns they believe are raised by generative AI tools, including legal authority for processing personal information, and transparency, explainability, and security. The group of regulators also call on companies to “embed privacy in the design conception, operation, and management” of generative AI tools.

In advance of the G7 meeting, on 15 June 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) separately announced that it will be “checking” whether businesses have addressed privacy risks before deploying generative AI, and “taking action where there is risk of harm to people through poor use of their data”.Continue Reading UK and G7 Privacy Authorities Warn of Privacy Risks Raised by Generative AI

On April 17, 2023, the UK applied to join the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (“CBPR”) Forum as an Associate member. It is the first country to declare its application to participate in the Global CBPR as an Associate member since its inception one-year ago. In addition to its application, the UK co-hosted the Global CBPR Forum workshop “At One Year: Challenges and Opportunities”, which took place between April 17 to April 20, 2023.Continue Reading Global CBPR Forum: A New International Data Transfer Mechanism

On April 18, 2023, the European Commission published its proposal for an EU Cyber Solidarity Act (“CSA”).  It aims to strengthen incident detection, situational awareness, and response capabilities, and to ensure that entities providing services critical for day-to-day life can access expert support to manage their cyber risk and respond to incidents.  Specifically, the CSA aims to promote information sharing about cyber incidents and vulnerabilities, to help improve the cyber resilience of critical entities, and to create an EU-wide resource for incident management.

The CSA adds another layer to the increasingly crowded landscape of EU cybersecurity laws.  The proposed law would interact with the revised Network and Information Security Directive (“NIS2”) and certifications issued under the Cybersecurity Act. Private companies in specific sectors will also have to consider potential overlap with the forthcoming Cyber Resilience Act and the financial services-focused Digital Operation Resilience Act.

Below, we set out three striking features of the CSA that are likely to be of particular relevance to private companies.Continue Reading Three Interesting Features of the Proposed EU Cyber Solidarity Act

On 29 March 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published updated Guidance on AI and data protection (the “Guidance”) following “requests from UK industry to clarify requirements for fairness in AI”. AI has been a strategic priority for the ICO for several years. In 2020, the ICO published its first set of guidance on AI (as discussed in our blog post here) which it complemented with supplementary recommendations on Explaining Decisions Made with AI and an AI and Data Protection risk toolkit in 2022. The updated Guidance forms part of the UK’s wider efforts to adopt a “pro-innovation” approach to AI regulation which will require existing regulators to take responsibility for promoting and overseeing responsible AI within their sectors (for further information on the UK Government’s approach to AI regulation, see our blog post here).

The updated Guidance covers the ICO’s view of best practice for data protection-compliant AI, as well as how the ICO interprets data protection law in the context of AI systems that process personal data. The Guidance has been restructured in line with the UK GDPR’s data protection principles, and features new content, including guidance on fairness, transparency, lawfulness and accountability when using AI systems.Continue Reading UK ICO Updates Guidance on Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection

On 29 March 2023, the UK Government published a White Paper entitled “A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation” (“White Paper”). The White Paper elaborates on the approach to AI set out by the Government in its 2022 AI Governance and Regulation Policy Statement (“Policy Statement” – covered in our blog post here). This announcement comes following the Government’s commitments, in the Spring Budget 2023, to build an expert taskforce to develop the UK’s capabilities in AI foundation models and produce guidance on the relationship between intellectual property law and generative AI (for more details of these initiatives, see here).

In its White Paper, the UK Government confirms that, unlike the EU, it does not plan to adopt new legislation to regulate AI, nor will it create a new regulator for AI (for further details on the EU’s proposed AI regulation see our blog posts here and here). Instead, the UK would require existing regulators, including the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), to take responsibility for the establishment, promotion, and oversight of responsible AI in their respective sectors. Regulators’ activities would be reinforced by the establishment of new support and oversight functions within central Government. This approach is already beginning to play out in certain regulated areas in the UK. For example, in October 2022, the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) jointly released a Discussion Paper on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning considering how AI in financial services should be regulated and, in March 2023, the ICO updated its Guidance on AI and Data Protection.  Continue Reading UK Government Adopts a “Pro-Innovation” Approach to AI Regulation

Last week, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) released guidance on Security-by-Design and Security-by-Default principles for technology manufacturers that was jointly developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency, as well as cybersecurity authorities in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, and New Zealand.  While similar principles have been published in the past, such as those released by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, this guidance builds on the White House’s recent roll-out of the U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy and is in line with efforts to encourage a consistent, international approach to software security that emphasizes the responsibilities of software manufacturers across various jurisdictions.  While the guidance primarily focuses on recommendations for technology manufacturers, it also includes recommendations for enterprise customers to “hold their supplying technology manufacturers accountable for the security outcomes of their products.”  CISA and the authoring agencies are seeking feedback on the guidance, and indicated plans to hold future listening sessions to collect feedback. Continue Reading CISA Publishes International Guidance on Implementing Security-by-Design and Security-by-Default Principles for Software Manufacturers and Customers

The new EU-wide cyber law, Directive 2022/2555 (NIS2), entered into force on Monday, January 16, 2023. NIS2 builds on the original NIS Directive but significantly expands the categories of organizations that fall within the scope of the law, imposes new and more granular security and incident reporting rules, and creates a stricter enforcement regime. Member states now have until October 18, 2024 to transpose the new directive into their respective national laws.

The passage of NIS2 sets the stage for 2023 to be another big year for cybersecurity in Europe. We expect the global cyber threat landscape to remain challenging and the regulatory landscape to become even more complex due to a raft of new laws including the Cyber Resilience Act (which we covered here), the Critical Entities Resilience Directive (see our post here), the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) (focused on financial services), and the UK’s ongoing reforms to its Network and Information Systems Regulations.

In this blog post, we summarize the key elements of NIS2 and describe what they will mean for your cybersecurity program this year.Continue Reading New EU Cyber Law “NIS2” Enters Into Force