On Episode 18 of Covington’s Inside Privacy Audiocast, Dan Cooper, Moritz Hüsch, Kristof van Quathem, and Petros Vinis discuss GDPR enforcement, and the evolution of regulatory fines since the GDPR was enacted in 2018.
Covington’s Inside Privacy Audiocast offers insights into topical global privacy issues and trends. Subscribe to our Inside…
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.
Continue Reading 12 Eye-Catching Proposals In The UK Government’s Plan To Reform UK Data Protection Law
On December 24th, with a year-end deadline and the holidays fast approaching, European Commission and United Kingdom (“UK”) officials announced they reached a deal on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“Agreement”). Once formally adopted by the European Union (“EU”) institutions, the Agreement will govern the relationship between the EU and UK beginning on January 1, 2021, following the end of the Brexit transition period.
The Agreement is likely to avert a year-end scramble to secure cross-border data transfers between the EU and the UK. Although the final text has not yet been published, a UK government summary of the deal indicates that the parties agreed to allow for the continued free flow of personal data for up to six months to allow time for the EU and UK to adopt mutual “adequacy decisions,” in which each jurisdiction may recognize the other as offering adequate protection for transferred personal data. Absent these adequacy decisions (and the interim period established by the Agreement), organizations would need to consider implementing additional safeguards, such as standard contractual clauses, to transfer personal data between the EU and UK.
Continue Reading Brexit Deal Keeps EU-UK Data Flows Open as Parties Pursue Mutual Adequacy
Over the past 9 months, the UK has been hammering out the shape of its future trading relationship with the EU, as well as many others, and there apparently are signs of progress in the past few days as a result of intensified talks between the two sides. Some are reporting a deal will be…
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.
Continue Reading English High Court Awards Damages for Quasi-Defamation Data Claim
On July 25, 2019, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published a blog on the trade-offs between different data protection principles when using Artificial Intelligence (“AI”). The ICO recognizes that AI systems must comply with several data protection principles and requirements, which at times may pull organizations in different directions. The blog identifies notable trade-offs that may arise, provides some practical tips for resolving these trade-offs, and offers worked examples on visualizing and mathematically minimizing trade-offs.
The ICO invites organizations with experience of considering these complex issues to provide their views. This recent blog post on trade-offs is part of its on-going Call for Input on developing a new framework for auditing AI. See also our earlier blog on the ICO’s call for input on bias and discrimination in AI systems here.…
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.
Continue Reading ICO issues draft code of practice on designing online services for children
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. …
Continue Reading ICO opens beta phase of privacy “regulatory sandbox”