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UK Company Fined For Buying And Selling Non-Compliant Marketing Databases

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which enforces data protection legislation in the UK, has fined a company £20,000 (approximately 24,000 USD / 23,000 EUR) for not exercising sufficient due diligence when buying and using marketing databases. The ICO found that over 580,000 individuals’ contact details had been obtained by The Data Supply Company Ltd … Continue Reading

UK Information Commissioner’s Office Publishes Draft Guidance on Consent under the GDPR

By Dan Cooper and Rosie Klement On March 2, 2017, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) released draft guidance for UK organizations on how the notion of consent will be interpreted and applied when the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) comes into force in May 2018. The ICO is currently engaging in a public consultation on … Continue Reading

Inherited Infrastructure, Outdated Software, And Other Failings That Led To TalkTalk’s Record Fine

On October 5, 2016, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) fined telecoms company TalkTalk a record £400,000 for failing to put in place appropriate data security measures and allowing a cyber-attacker to access TalkTalk customer data “with ease.”  The ICO highlighted several  technical and organizational deficiencies as justification for issuing its largest fine to-date.  Many … Continue Reading

UK Telco Loses Appeal; Should Have Reported Data Breach Within 24 Hours Of Customer Complaint, Not Fuller Investigation

By Phil Bradley-Schmieg and Gemma Nash On August 30, 2016, a major UK telecoms company (TalkTalk) lost its appeal against a fine imposed on it for failing to report a personal data breach to the UK national data protection authority (the Information Commissioner) within 24 hours of its receipt of a customer’s complaint. Commission Regulation … Continue Reading

UK Government Considering New Patient Data Security and Research Consent Standards, Sanctions

A new post on the Covington eHealth blog reports that the UK government is running a consultation around NHS patient data security standards and a new legal framework for secondary uses (e.g. research) of patient data.  To find out more about the proposals and the consultation, please click here.… Continue Reading

ICO Publishes New Guidance On Encryption

On March 3, 2016, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) released new guidance on encryption.  The guidance aims to provide advice to organizations on protecting personal data (such as customer and employee data) through the use of encryption.  There is no legally-binding requirement under UK data protection law to encrypt data, either when static or … Continue Reading

Company Receives Record Fine from UK Regulator For Cold Calling

The UK’s data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), has imposed a fine of £350,000 on Prodial Ltd (“Prodial”) for making over 46 million unsolicited automated telephone calls to generate leads in relation to payment protection insurance refunds.  This is the highest fine issued by the ICO to date.… Continue Reading

UK ICO Issues Largest Ever Fine In Connection With Automated Marketing Calls

The UK Information Commissioner’s Officer (“ICO”) has issued its largest fine to date in connection with using an automated calling system to make direct marketing calls.  The ICO found that Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Ltd (“HELM”), a green energy company that made millions of automated marketing calls in relation to “free” solar panels, recklessly … Continue Reading

UK Government Launches Cybersecurity Service For Healthcare Organizations

The UK government has announced a new national service providing expert cybersecurity advice to entities within the National Health Service (NHS) and the UK’s broader healthcare system.  The project, called CareCERT (Care Computing Emergency Response Team), is aiming for a full go-live in January 2016. … Continue Reading

Regulators in the U.S. and U.K. Monitoring Mobile Apps and Websites Directed at Children

By Megan L. Rodgers What information is being collected by mobile apps and websites directed at kids? With whom is that information shared? What notice is provided to parents? Regulators in the U.S. and abroad continue to focus on these issues. The FTC recently released a follow-up report on privacy notices in mobile apps directed … Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court Will Hear Google’s Appeal in Important Privacy Case

The UK Supreme Court has granted Google the right to appeal part of the English and Welsh Court of Appeal’s notable ruling in Google Inc. v. Vidal-Hall & Ors [2015] EWCA Civ 311. Our previous blog highlighted the facts of the case (brought by Internet users against Google’s ad-tracking practices) and the significant consequences of … Continue Reading

May 2015 EU mHealth Round-Up

May 2015 saw a number of developments in the EU mHealth sector worthy of a brief mention.  The European Commission announced that it would work on new guidance for mHealth apps, despite the European Data Protection Supervisor and British Standards Institution publishing their own just weeks earlier.  In parallel, the French data protection authority announced … Continue Reading

ICO Fines Insurance Company £175k for Data Security Breach, Criticising Lack of Policies

By Mark Young and Tom Jackson On February 20, 2015, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) fined Staysure.co.uk Ltd (“Staysure”), an online travel insurer, £175,000 for failing to protect its customers’ personal data.  In addition to technical vulnerabilities, the ICO took into account Staysure’s lack of security policies and practices when levying the fine. In short, … Continue Reading

The UK’s Data Protection Regulator to Introduce “Privacy Seals” for Businesses

By Fredericka Argent The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that it is looking to introduce a system of “privacy seals” for organizations doing business in the UK.  The seal is intended to be a consumer-facing stamp of approval demonstrating that a particular organization is meeting or surpassing the compliance requirements of the UK’s Data Protection … Continue Reading

UK Data Protection Regulator Surveys Use of Smart Medical Devices

By Phil Bradley-Schmieg The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched an informal survey of current practices relating to the use of data-enabled medical devices and apps. The short and anonymous survey explores whether organisations have put in place specific policies and procedures, asset registers, IT security requirements for medical device procurement policies, information governance … Continue Reading

UK Parliamentarians Seek FOI Changes To Force Private Sector Suppliers To Disclose NHS Contract Details

By Tom Jackson and Phil Bradley-Schmieg A cross-party group of UK Members of Parliament (“MPs”) is seeking to amend the UK’s ‘freedom of information’ regime under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”) to also cover current and prospective private sector suppliers to the National Health Service (“NHS”) in England and Wales. The Freedom of … Continue Reading

ICO Releases Concrete Guidance on Privacy Requirements When Recording Video with Drones

On October 15, 2014, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published an updated code of practice for surveillance cameras.  Among other topics, the ICO uses the Code to begin to address privacy practices for drones.  Drones are not new, but two factors are now making questions about drones and privacy practices more pressing.  First, many … Continue Reading

Updating Ofcom’s Guidance on Network Security – New Consultation

In light of growing concerns over cybersecurity and evolving technology and operational practices, Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) is seeking views on whether its existing guidance on network security should be revised.  Interested parties have until 21 February 2014 to respond.   Depending on the responses received, Ofcom intends … Continue Reading

European Regulators and the Eternal Cookie Debate

By Dan Cooper, Mark Young and Maria-Martina Yalamova This week, the Article 29 Working Party (the “WP29”) released an opinion paper on what constitutes “consent” for purposes of complying with the EU’s “cookie” rules — rules that were revised to include a consent requirement nearly four years ago.  The paper will be relevant to website … Continue Reading

The ICO Publishes New Guidance on Direct Marketing

By Helena Marttila-Bridge and Colin Warriner On 10 September 2013, the UK’s Information Commissioner (ICO) released new guidance on direct marketing.  The paper canvasses the marketing rules found in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, with the aim of helping companies to comply with the law … Continue Reading

ICO Issues Fine of £90,000 for Breach of PECR

By Oliver Grazebrook and Ezra Steinhardt On 20 March 2013, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced that it had issued a fine of £90,000 against DM Design, a Glasgow-based kitchen and bedroom fitting company, for breaching the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) by making thousands of unwanted direct marketing calls.  This fine, made two years … Continue Reading

New ICO Guidance Offers Employers Practical Advice on Implementing Safer “Bring Your Own Device” Policies

On 7 March 2013, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued new guidance on the use of personal devices for business purposes. The guidance is largely informed by a survey commissioned by the ICO and carried out by the market research firm YouGov. According to the survey, 47% of adults in the UK use personal … Continue Reading
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