The UK Government recently published its AI Governance and Regulation: Policy Statement (the “AI Statement”) setting out its proposed approach to regulating Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) in the UK. The AI Statement was published alongside the draft Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (see our blog post here for further details on the Bill) and is
UK Data Protection Act
12 Eye-Catching Proposals In The UK Government’s Plan To Reform UK Data Protection Law
There have been many headlines today about the UK Government’s plans to reform UK data protection law. We are still reviewing the (near 150-page) consultation document, but set out below a dozen proposals that we thought might pique the interest of readers of our blog.
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English High Court Awards Damages for Quasi-Defamation Data Claim
The English High Court has recently awarded damages in a data privacy case, with two features of particular interest. First, the nature of the claim is more reminiscent of a claim in defamation than for data privacy breaches, which is a development in the use of data protection legislation. Secondly, the damages awarded (perhaps influenced by the nature of the case) were unusually high for a data privacy case.
The decision highlights an unusual use of data protection in English law, as a freestanding form of quasi-defamation claim, as the claimants sought damages for reputational harm (as well as distress) solely under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “DPA”, since replaced by the Data Protection Act 2018, which implemented the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) in the UK) rather than in a libel or defamation claim, or in parallel with such a claim. It also sets a potentially unhelpful precedent by awarding two of the claimants £18,000 each for inaccurate processing of their personal data, an amount that is significantly higher than has been awarded in other data protection cases brought under the DPA. If such awards were to be made in the context of a class action, the potential liability for data controllers could be significant.
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UK Court upholds police use of automated facial recognition technology
R (on the application of Edward Bridges) v The Chief Constable of South Wales  EWHC 2341 (Admin)
In Bridges, an application for judicial review, the UK High Court (Lord Justice Haddon-Cave and Mr. Justice Swift) considered the lawfulness of policing operations conducted by the South Wales Police force (“SWP”) which utilised Automated Facial Recognition (“AFR”) technology. The Court rejected Mr Bridges’ allegations that the SWP’s conduct was unlawful as contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”), Article 8, the Data Protection Acts 1998 and 2018 (“DPA 98 and 18”), and the Equality Act 2010. In this blog post we consider several key aspects of the case.…
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ICO issues draft code of practice on designing online services for children
Earlier this month, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office published a draft code of practice (“Code”) on designing online services for children. The Code is now open for public consultation until May 31, 2019. The Code sets out 16 standards of “age appropriate design” with which online service providers should comply when designing online services (such as apps, connected toys, social media platforms, online games, educational websites and streaming services) that children under the age of 18 are likely to access. The standards are based on data protection law principles, and are legally enforceable under the GDPR and UK Data Protection Act 2018. The Code also provides further guidance on collecting consent from children and the legal basis for processing children’s personal data (see Annex A and B of the Code). The Code should be read in conjunction with the ICO’s current guidance on children and the GDPR.
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ICO opens beta phase of privacy “regulatory sandbox”
On March 29, 2019, the ICO opened the beta phase of the “regulatory sandbox” scheme (the “Sandbox”), which is a new service designed to support organizations that are developing innovative and beneficial projects that use personal data. The application process for participating in the Sandbox is now open, and applications must be submitted to the ICO by noon on Friday May 24, 2019. The ICO has published on its website a Guide to the Sandbox, which explains the scheme in detail.
The purpose of the Sandbox is to support organizations that are developing innovative products and services using personal data and develop a shared understanding of what compliance looks like in particular innovative areas. Organizations participating in the Sandbox are likely to benefit from having the opportunity to liaise directly with the regulator on innovative projects with complex data protection issues. The Sandbox will also be an opportunity for market leaders in innovative technologies to influence the ICO’s approach to certain use cases with challenging aspects of data protection compliance or where there is uncertainty about what compliance looks like.
The beta phase of the Sandbox is planned to run from July 2019 to September 2020. Around 10 organizations from private, public and third sectors will be selected to participate. In the beta phase, the ICO is focusing on data processing that falls within the remit of UK data protection law. …
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The UK Adopts Data Protection Act 2018
Having received Royal Assent on May 23, 2018, the UK Data Protection Bill is now an Act of Parliament.
The Data Protection Act 2018 (the “Act”) implements the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and replaces the UK Data Protection Act 1998.
Notable provisions that make use of the ability of Member States to implement…
UK Government Publishes New Data Protection Bill
On September 13, 2017, the UK Government published a new Data Protection Bill regulating the use of individuals’ personal data.
The Bill, which is intended to replace the UK Data Protection Act 1998, would serve a range of functions, most notably setting out how the UK intends to make use of its leeway to derogate from basic rules in the new EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (the “GDPR”). For instance, the GDPR allows countries in the EU to modify its rules or introduce additional sanctions where necessary to protect freedom of expression, research, or other public interest objectives.
The Bill would also apply “GDPR-like” rules to data that is not covered by the GDPR (such as data in unstructured paper-based files), implement of the new EU Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive (the “PCJ DPD”), and set down privacy and data security rules for its intelligence agencies.
The Bill will now undergo further debate and amendment, and should hopefully clear both Houses of Parliament in advance of May 25, 2018, when the GDPR will become law in the UK subject to any modifications implemented by the Bill.
This post discusses some of the Bill’s salient points for commercial organizations.
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UK Information Commissioner’s Office Publishes Draft Guidance on Consent under the GDPR
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 the draft guidance, which expires on…
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…