Posts tagged Information Commissioners Office.
Time 2 Minute Read

On May 1, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) and the UK regulator for communications and online safety, Ofcom, issued a joint statement regarding their collaboration on the regulation of online services where online safety and data protection intersect. This statement builds on the joint statement published in 2022. The latest statement outlines several areas of collaboration between the ICO and Ofcom.

Time 2 Minute Read

On April 12, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) launched the third installment in its consultation series examining how data protection law applies to the development and use of generative AI. This installment focuses on how the data protection principle of accuracy applies to the outputs of generative AI models, and the impact that accurate training data has on the output. The two previous installments discussed the lawful basis for web scraping to train generative AI models, and purpose limitation in the generative AI lifecycle. 

Time 2 Minute Read

On March 18, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published new data protection fining guidance on how the ICO determines penalties and calculates fines. The guidance was subject to a consultation process in 2023, and covers a variety of topics and considerations relevant to penalties and fines, including:

Time 2 Minute Read

On March 1, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced that it had issued an enforcement notice and a warning to the UK Home Office for failing to sufficiently assess the privacy risks posed by the electronic monitoring of people arriving in the UK via unauthorized means. The Home Office is the ministerial department of the UK government responsible for immigration, security, and law and order.

Time 1 Minute Read

On February 23, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) reported that it had ordered public service providers Serco Leisure, Serco Jersey and associated community leisure trusts (jointly, “the Companies”) to stop using facial recognition technology (“FRT”) and fingerprint scanning (“FS”) to monitor employee attendance.

Time 2 Minute Read

On February 16, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) published its first piece of guidance on content moderation. The ICO defines content moderation in the guidance as the analysis of user-generated content to assess whether it meets certain standards, and any action a service takes as a result of this analysis. This process includes the processing of personal data and,  according to the ICO in its statement, “can cause harm if incorrect decisions are made,” for example content being incorrectly defined as illegal.

Time 3 Minute Read

On February 6, 2024, the UK government published a response to the consultation on its AI Regulation White Paper, which the UK government originally published in March 2023. The White Paper set forth the UK government’s “flexible” approach to regulating AI through five cross-sectoral principles for the UK’s existing regulators to interpret and apply within their remits (read further details on the White Paper). A 12-week consultation on the White Paper was then held and this response summarizes the feedback and proposed next steps.

Time 1 Minute Read

In November 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) wrote to organizations operating 53 of the UK’s biggest websites regarding their compliance with data protection laws when using cookies.  On January 31, 2024, the ICO released a statement on such action noting that it received “an overwhelmingly positive response” with 38 of those organizations having changed their cookie banners in order to come into compliance. Others have either committed to ensuring compliance within a month, or are exploring other solutions such as contextual advertising.

Time 1 Minute Read

On January 18, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published an updated Opinion on age assurance for the Children’s Code (the “Opinion”). The Children’s Code is a statutory code of practice setting out how information society services likely to be accessed by children should protect children’s information rights online.

Time 1 Minute Read

On January 15, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced that it has launched a consultation series on generative AI. The series will examine how aspects of UK data protection law should apply to the development and use of the technology, with the first chapter of the series focusing on when it is lawful to train generative AI models on personal data scraped from the web. The ICO invites all stakeholders with an interest in generative AI to respond to the consultation, including developers and users of generative AI, legal advisors and consultants working ...

Time 2 Minute Read

On December 18, 2023, the updated response from UK Information Commissioner John Edwards to the Data Protection and Digital Information (No 2) Bill (the “Bill”) was published on the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The Commissioner’s original response was published in March 2023. In the latest response, the Commissioner states that he is “pleased to note that government made some changes…in response to my comments,” specifically with regards the definition of “vexatious requests” in respect of requests made to the Information Commissioner’s Office, and the drafting of the changes to the safeguards for processing for research purposes. However, the Commissioner goes on to state that the majority of his comments currently remain unaddressed, including with regards the definition of high risk processing. 

Time 1 Minute Read

On December 12, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced that it is producing an online resource relating to employment practices and data protection. The ICO also announced that it would be releasing draft guidance on the different topic areas to be included in the resource in stages, and adding to it over time. The ICO provided draft guidance on “Keeping employment records” and “Recruitment and selection” for consultation. The former draft guidance aims to provide direction on compliance with data protection law when keeping records ...

Time 1 Minute Read

On November 21, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) issued a statement explaining that it has recently written to companies operating some of the UK’s most visited websites regarding their compliance with data protection laws when using cookies. The ICO noted that certain websites are not providing users with fair choices as to whether or not they are tracked for personalized marketing purposes, and referred to its guidance on making it simple for users to “Reject All” advertising cookies. 

Time 2 Minute Read

On November 8, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) intended to reinforce their “common mission to uphold individuals’ data protection and privacy rights, and cooperate internationally to achieve this goal”. The MOU sets out broad principles of collaboration between the ICO and EDPS and the legal framework governing the sharing of relevant information and intelligence. The ICO and EDPS consider that, when addressing similar issues, reducing divergencies in their regulatory approaches will benefit public and private organizations, individuals, and other stakeholders in the UK and EU.  

Time 3 Minute Read

On October 17, 2023, The First-tier Tribunal of the UK General Regulatory Chamber allowed an appeal by Clearview AI Inc. (“Clearview”) against an enforcement notice and fine issued by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”).

Time 2 Minute Read

On October 3, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner's Office ("ICO") published new Guidance on lawful monitoring in the workplace, designed to help employees comply with their obligations under the UK General Data Protection Regulation ("UK GDPR") and the Data Protection Act 2018 ("DPA").

Time 3 Minute Read

On September 21, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published an opinion on the UK Government’s assessment of adequacy for the UK Extension to the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (the “UK Extension”). The ICO provides that, while it is reasonable for the Secretary of State to conclude that the UK Extension provides an adequate level of data protection and lay regulations to that effect, there are four specific areas that could pose risks to UK data subjects if the protections identified are not properly applied. These four risks are: 

Time 2 Minute Read

On September 12, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner, John Edwards, and the Chief Executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of the UK, Lindy Cameron, signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that sets forth a framework for cooperation and information sharing between the ICO and the NCSC. The MoU states the general aims “are to codify and enhance working” between the ICO and NCSC so as to “assist them in discharging their functions.”

Time 1 Minute Read

On June 19, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) recommended that organizations start using privacy enhancing technologies (“PETs”) to share personal information safely, securely and anonymously. The ICO also has issued new guidance on PETs which is aimed at those using large data sets in finance, healthcare, money laundering and cybercrime. The guidance contains information on how PETs can be used to help organizations with data protection compliance and technical detail on the different types of PETs currently available.

Time 1 Minute Read

On June 15, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) called for businesses to address the privacy risks posed by generative artificial intelligence (“AI”) before “rushing to adopt the technology.” Stephen Almond, the ICO’s Executive Director of Regulatory Risk, said:  “Businesses are right to see the opportunity that generative AI offers . . . . But they must not be blind to the privacy risks.” An organization wishing to use AI should seek to understand at the outset how AI will use personal data, and mitigate any known risks. The ICO stated it is ...

Time 2 Minute Read

On June 8, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published a new report on neurotechnology. Neurotechnology is technology used to monitor neurodata, the information coming directly from the brain and nervous system. In its press release on the report, the ICO warns that “that newly emerging neurotechnologies risk discriminating against people if those groups are not put at the heart of their development” and predicts the use of such technologies to become “widespread over the next decade.”

Time 1 Minute Read

On May 24, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced it published new guidance for businesses and employers on responding to subject access requests (“SARs”). The right of access, commonly referred to as a subject access request, gives someone the right to request a copy of their personal information from organizations. The ICO received over 15,000 complaints related to SARs during April 2022 and March 2023.

Time 3 Minute Read

On May 23, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner, John Edwards, delivered the opening remarks at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”). The Commissioner opened his speech by stating his “principal reason” for being present was to provide “reassurance” that he takes his “responsibility of protecting Europeans data in the United Kingdom very seriously” and “will continue to do so through the process of law reform, and beyond.” The Commissioner went on to discuss several points, including the following:

Time 1 Minute Read

On March 22, 2023, Capita PLC (“Capita”) experienced a cyber incident which it announced in a press release on April 3, 2023 and an update on April 20, 2023. Capita identified the incident on March 31, 2023, and confirmed the incident caused disruption to some services provided to individual clients, which has now been resolved. On April 21, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) issued a statement confirming that Capita reported the incident and the ICO is investigating. The ICO also noted that other organizations affected by the incident should “consider their position[s]” and, if necessary, submit a breach notification.

Time 2 Minute Read

On April 4, 2023, the data protection regulator of the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), issued a fine of a £12.7 million to TikTok Information Technologies UK Limited and TikTok Inc (together, “TikTok”) for a number of breaches of UK data protection law, including failing to use children’s personal data lawfully. 

Time 3 Minute Read

On March 15, 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published an updated version of its guidance on AI and data protection (the “updated guidance”), following requests from UK industry to clarify requirements for fairness in AI. 

Time 5 Minute Read

On February 20, 2023, in the case of Experian Limited v The Information Commissioner, the First-Tier Tribunal in the UK (the “Tribunal”) ruled on the ICO’s action to require Experian to make changes to how it processes personal data for direct marketing purposes. While the Tribunal supported the ICO in certain respects, it largely ruled in favor of Experian and issued a Substituted Decision Notice, as detailed further below.

Time 1 Minute Read

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) recently published a package of detailed guidance and checklists for direct marketing activities. The ICO’s new webpage on direct marketing now includes various resources, including specific guidance for SMEs, business-to-business marketing, and organizations using the marketing services of data brokers, as well as direct marketing FAQs and checklists, and a training module for businesses.

Time 3 Minute Read

On November 30, 2022, the UK government confirmed that the Network and Information Systems (“NIS”) Regulations 2018 (“NIS Regulations”) will be strengthened to protect essential and digital services against cyber attacks. The changes bring providers of outsourced IT and managed service providers (“MSPs”) into scope of the NIS Regulations. The announcement comes in response to a public consultation held in January this year.

Time 3 Minute Read

On November 25, 2022, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) and the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, issued a joint statement setting out how they intend to work together to “ensure coherence between the data protection and the new online safety regimes.” The regulators noted that the statement is primarily intended for online service providers that are likely to be regulated under the online safety regime, but it also will be of interest to other stakeholders as an indication of their joint direction.

Time 3 Minute Read

On November 17, 2022, the UK data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), published updated guidance on international transfers that includes a new section on transfer risk assessments (“TRAs”) and a TRA tool.

In its statement regarding the updated guidance, the ICO describes the TRA guidance as “an alternative approach to the one put forward by the European Data Protection Board” and says its aim is “to find an alternative, achievable approach delivering the right protection for the people the data is about, whilst ensuring that the assessment is reasonable and proportionate.”

Time 2 Minute Read

On October 24, 2022, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) issued a £4.4 million fine to Interserve Group Limited for failing to keep employee personal data secure, which violates Article 5(1)(f) and Article 32 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), during the period of March 2019 to December 2020. The ICO determined that such violations rendered Interserve vulnerable to the cyber attack which took place between March 2020 and May 2020, affecting the personal data of up to 113,000 Interserve employees. The compromised data included contact details, national insurance numbers and bank account details, as well as special category data, including ethnic origin, religion, details of any disabilities, sexual orientation and health information.

Time 2 Minute Read

On September 26, 2022, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) confirmed in a statement that it issued TikTok Inc. and TikTok Information Technologies UK Limited (together, “TikTok”) a notice of intent to potentially impose a £27 million fine for failing to protect children’s privacy. This notice of intent follows an investigation by the ICO finding that TikTok may have breached UK data protection law between May 2018 and July 2020 by failing to protect children’s privacy when using the TikTok platform.

Time 2 Minute Read

On May 10, 2022, as part of the Queen’s Speech, the UK government announced its intention to introduce a Data Reform Bill (the “Bill”). The UK government’s background and briefing notes to the Queen’s Speech state that the purpose of the Bill is to “take advantage of the benefits of Brexit to create a world class data rights regime…that reduces burdens on businesses, boosts the economy, helps scientists to innovate and improves the lives of people in the UK.”

Time 5 Minute Read

Last month, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth submitted a response to the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (“DCMS”) on its Consultation on Reforms to the Data Protection Regime (the “Response”). The Response also reflects views gathered from CIPL members during two industry roundtables organized in collaboration with DCMS to obtain feedback on the reform proposals. Key takeaways from the Response include the following:

Time 2 Minute Read

On August 19, 2021, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) approved the criteria for three certification schemes, as required under Article 42(5) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (“UK GDPR”). Certification schemes are one method for organizations to demonstrate compliance with the UK GDPR.

Time 4 Minute Read

On August 26, 2021, the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (“DCMS”) made news by publishing a document indicating its intent to begin making adequacy decisions for UK data transfers to foreign jurisdictions and by announcing its preferred candidate for the position of new UK Information Commissioner.

Time 4 Minute Read

On August 9, 2021, the UK First-Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) (“FTT”) reduced a fine imposed by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) against Doorstep Dispensaree Ltd (“DDL”) from £275,000 to £92,000, a reduction of approximately two thirds. DDL, which supplies medicines to customers and care homes, was fined in December 2019 for failure to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The ICO also issued an Enforcement Notice, requiring DDL to take certain actions to bring its processing into compliance.

Time 4 Minute Read

On July 30, 2021, the UK High Court handed down its judgment in the case of Warren v DSG Retail Ltd [2021] EWHC 2168 (QB), determining that the claimant could not seek damages on the basis of misuse of personal information, breach of confidence or common law negligence following a data breach.

Time 2 Minute Read

On June 29, 2021, the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (“DCMS”) published guidance for businesses on child online safety, which includes guidance on data protection and privacy, age-appropriate content, positive user interactions, and protecting children from online sexual exploitation and abuse.

Time 1 Minute Read

On July 6, 2021, it was reported that British Airways (“BA”), which is owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A, had settled a UK class action lawsuit relating to its 2018 data breach, in which approximately 430,000 data subjects were affected. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) previously fined BA £20 million for the same breach, after finding that BA had failed to process the personal data of its customers in a manner that ensured appropriate security, as required under Article 5(1)(f) and Article 32 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. This amount was significantly reduced from the ICO’s proposed fine of more than £183 million.

Time 5 Minute Read

On June 4, 2021, the European Commission published the final version of the implementing decision on standard contractual clauses for transfers of personal data to third countries under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), as well as the final version of the new standard contractual clauses (the “SCCs”). The European Commission had previously published draft versions of the implementing decision and the SCCs in November 2020.

Time 3 Minute Read

On April 9, 2021, the First-Tier Tribunal of the General Regulatory Chamber stayed proceedings in Ticketmaster UK Limited’s (“Ticketmaster’s”) appeal against a fine issued by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) until 28 days after a judgment in civil litigation brought by 795 customers against Ticketmaster. The group action, which relates to the breach for which Ticketmaster was fined by the ICO, is currently before the High Court in England. As a result of the stay in proceedings, the appeal likely will not be heard before the Tribunal until mid to late 2023.

Time 4 Minute Read

On March 26, 2021, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth submitted its comments on the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s (“DPC”) draft guidance on safeguarding the personal data of children when providing online services, “Children Front and Centre—Fundamentals for a Child-Oriented Approach to Data Processing” (the “Draft Guidance”).

Time 2 Minute Read

On March 19, 2021, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (“DCMS”) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) with respect to new UK adequacy assessments following the UK’s departure from the European Union. The MoU sets out how DCMS and third countries will negotiate adequacy decisions, referred to under the MoU as “adequacy regulations”. These permit the free transfer of personal data collected in the UK to the relevant “adequate” jurisdiction.

Time 2 Minute Read

On January 19, 2021, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published its analysis of the application of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (the “UK GDPR”) to transfers from UK-based firms or branches that are registered, required to be registered or otherwise regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

Time 4 Minute Read

On December 24, 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement in principle on the historic EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “Trade Agreement”). For data protection purposes, there is a further transition period of up to six months to enable the European Commission to complete its adequacy assessment of the UK’s data protection laws. For the time being, personal data can continue to be exported from the EU to the UK without implementing additional safeguards.

Time 3 Minute Read

On December 17, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published its Data Sharing Code of Practice (the “Code”), in accordance with its obligation to do so under the Data Protection Act 2018 (the “DPA”).

Time 4 Minute Read

On December 2, 2020, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth submitted its response to the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (“DCMS”) UK National Data Strategy  (“NDS”) consultation.

Time 4 Minute Read

On November 13, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) fined Ticketmaster UK Limited (“Ticketmaster”) £1.25 million for failing to keep its customers’ personal data secure. The ICO found that Ticketmaster had failed to implement appropriate security measures to prevent a cyber attack, breaching the requirements of Articles 5(1)(f) and 32 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The ICO acted as the lead supervisory authority with regard to the cross-border processing affected by this breach, and the penalty has been approved by the other EU data protection authorities through the GDPR’s cooperation process. Ticketmaster has indicated that it will appeal the fine.

Time 1 Minute Read

On November 10, 2020, Hunton Andrews Kurth will host a webinar examining the data protection considerations that arise on the UK’s departure from the EU. The UK’s Brexit transition period ends on December 31, 2020, and it is not clear whether the EU will formally recognize the UK’s data protection regime as ‘adequate.’ What does this mean for companies’ plans to update their data transfer mechanisms? Is adequacy the holy grail it is widely believed to be? What other issues must be considered? Is there still time?

Time 4 Minute Read

On October 22, 2020, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth submitted its response to the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (“DCMS”) call for views and evidence on its review of representative actions under Section 189 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA”). Section 189 requires the UK government to review the operation of the representative action provisions of the DPA and provide a report to Parliament by November 25, 2020.

Time 6 Minute Read

On October 27, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published a report following its investigation into data protection compliance in the direct marketing data broking sector, alongside its enforcement action against Experian. During the investigation, the ICO conducted audits of the direct marketing data broking businesses of the UK’s three largest credit reference agencies (“CRAs”) – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – and found “significant data protection failures at each” that were “deeply embedded” within the businesses.

Time 5 Minute Read

On October 30, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced its fine of £18.4 (approximately $23.9 million) issued to Marriott International, Inc., (“Marriott”) for violations of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). This is a significant decrease from the proposed fine of £99,200,396 (approximately $124 million) announced by the ICO in July 2019. The ICO’s fine only relates to the breach from the point at which the GDPR came into force in May 2018, and is the second largest fine levied by the ICO thus far under the GDPR. Marriott has not admitted liability for the breach, but has indicated that it does not plan to appeal.

Time 4 Minute Read

On October 27, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published its enforcement notice against credit reference agency Experian Limited (“Experian”) under Section 149 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA”) (the “notice”). The notice requires Experian to make fundamental changes to its offline direct marketing practices, and was issued after the ICO undertook a two-year investigation into the use of personal data by data broking businesses Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Time 3 Minute Read

On October 21, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) released its updated guidance on the data subject right of access under Article 15 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The ICO provided a draft of the guidance for consultation in December 2019, and in response to the feedback it received, supplemented the guidance with additional content. The guidance provides more in-depth advice for organizations than what was provided in the ICO’s previous guide and includes examples designed to demonstrate how the GDPR’s requirements will apply in practice.

Time 1 Minute Read
On November 5, 2020, Hunton Andrews Kurth will host a panel discussion with representatives from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (“ICO”) and the French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”) to explore the latest developments on cookie guidance and compare their respective approaches. In our webinar titled “From a Regulator’s Perspective: Latest Developments on Cookie Guidance from the ICO and CNIL,” our speakers will discuss practical cookie law issues, including:
Time 4 Minute Read

On October 16, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced its fine of £20,000,000 (approximately $25,850,000) for British Airways (“BA”), which is owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A, for violations of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). This is a significant (approximately 90%) decrease from the proposed fine of £183,390,000 (approximately $230,000,000) announced by the ICO in July 2019, but is the largest fine imposed to date by the ICO.

Time 3 Minute Read

On September 9, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published an Accountability Framework, designed to assist organizations in complying with their accountability obligations under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The GDPR’s accountability principle requires that organizations both comply with their legal requirements under the GDPR, and also demonstrate their compliance. The ICO states that its Accountability Framework “supports the foundations of an effective privacy management programme.”

Time 2 Minute Read

The Age Appropriate Design Code (the “code”) created by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) has completed the Parliamentary process and was issued by the ICO on August 12, 2020. It will come into force on September 2, 2020, with a 12-month transition period for online services to conform to the code.

Time 9 Minute Read

On August 11, 2020, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales overturned the High Court’s dismissal of a challenge to South Wales Police’s use of Automated Facial Recognition technology (“AFR”), finding that its use was unlawful and violated human rights.

Time 5 Minute Read

On July 23, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) published the first two reports of its Data Protection Regulatory Sandbox Beta phase (the “Beta phase”) involving projects by Jisc (a not-for-profit organization serving the higher and further education and skills sectors) and Heathrow Airport Ltd.

Time 4 Minute Read

On July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework as part of its judgment in the Schrems II case (case C-311/18). In its judgment, the CJEU concluded that the Standard Contractual Clauses (the “SCCs”) issued by the European Commission for the transfer of personal data to data processors established outside of the EU are valid, but it struck down the Privacy Shield framework on the basis that the limitations on U.S. public authorities’ access to EU personal data were not sufficient for the level of protection in the U.S. to be considered equivalent to that ensured in the EU, and that the framework does not grant EU individuals actionable rights before a body offering guarantees that are substantially equivalent to those required under EU law.

Time 2 Minute Read

On July 1, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) launched a joint endeavor with the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) and Office of Communications (“Ofcom”), named the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (“DRCF”). The DRCF is intended to promote collaboration between the three regulators and pool their collective expertise with regard to data, privacy, competition, communications and content in digital markets and services. It also intends to engage regularly with the UK government.

Time 4 Minute Read

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced on June 23, 2020, that restrictions relating to COVID-19 would be eased as of July 4. Although many measures remain in place to prevent the virus’ spread, certain businesses, including restaurants and pubs, will be able to reopen in the UK, with the recommendation that staff-customer contact be minimized.

Time 2 Minute Read

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has released guidance to assist employers in implementing appropriate safeguards as workplaces reopen, titled “Coronavirus Recovery - Six Data Protection Steps for Organisations” (the “guidance”). This guidance sets out the key principles of data protection that should be kept in mind as employers put measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Time 5 Minute Read

Elizabeth Denham, the UK Information Commissioner, has released an opinion in response to the joint effort announced by Apple Inc. (“Apple”) and Google LLC (“Google”) to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of COVID-19 by building contact-tracing technology into iOS and Android smartphones. In the opinion, the Information Commissioner concludes that the "Contact Tracing Framework" (“CTF”) being developed supports data protection principles.

Time 2 Minute Read

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has published guidance regarding its expectations for controllers and health professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In its guidance for controllers, the ICO adopted a pragmatic stance, stating: “We know you might need to share information quickly or adapt the way you work. Data protection will not stop you doing that. It’s about being proportionate - if something feels excessive from the public’s point of view, then it probably is.”

Time 3 Minute Read

On March 17, 2020, the Executive Committee of the Global Privacy Assembly (“GPA”) issued a statement giving their support to the sharing of personal data by organizations and governments for the purposes of fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GPA brings together data protection regulators from over 80 countries and its membership currently consists of more than 130 data protection regulators around the world, including the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the data protection regulators for all EU Member States.

Time 6 Minute Read

On March 4, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) fined the international airline Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (“Cathay Pacific”) £500,000 for failing to protect the security of its customers’ personal data. The fine was issued under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “DPA”) and represents the maximum fine available. The ICO found that between October 2014 and May 2018, Cathay Pacific’s computer systems lacked appropriate security measures which led to customers’ personal details being exposed. Of the approximately 9.4 million customers affected worldwide, 111,578 were from the UK.

Time 2 Minute Read

On March 2, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) fined CRDNN Limited, a lead generation company, £500,000—the maximum amount available for a breach of the Electronic Communications Regulations (“PECR”). The fine was imposed after CRDNN carried out over 193 million unsolicited automated direct marketing calls relating to window scrappage, window and conservatory sales, boiler sales, and debt management between June and October 2018.

Time 7 Minute Read

On February 19, 2020, the Information Commissioner's Office (“ICO”) launched a consultation on its draft AI auditing framework guidance for organizations (“Guidance”). The Guidance is open for consultation until April 1, 2020 and responses can be submitted via the ICO’s online survey.

Time 4 Minute Read

On January 21, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published the final version of its Age Appropriate Design Code (“the code”), which sets out the standards that online services need to meet in order to protect children’s privacy. It applies to providers of information services likely to be accessed by children in the UK, including applications, programs, websites, social media platforms, messaging services, games, community environments and connected toys and devices, where these offerings involve the processing of personal data.

Time 8 Minute Read

On January 8, 2020, the Information Commissioner's Office (“ICO”) launched a consultation on its draft direct marketing code of practice (the “Draft Code”), as required by section 122 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA 18”). The Draft Code is open for public consultation until March 4, 2020.

Time 3 Minute Read

On October 30, 2019, Facebook reached a settlement with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) under which it agreed to pay (without admission of liability) the £500,000 fine imposed by the ICO in 2018 in relation to the processing and sharing of its users’ personal data with Cambridge Analytica.

Time 5 Minute Read

On September 4, 2019, the High Court of England and Wales dismissed a challenge to South Wales Police’s use of Automated Facial Recognition technology (“AFR”). The Court determined that the police’s use of AFR had been necessary and proportionate to achieve their statutory obligations.

Time 2 Minute Read

On August 15, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced that it had launched an investigation into the use of live facial recognition technology at the King’s Cross development in London. This follows a letter sent by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to the owner of the development inquiring as to whether the use of the software was legal. The company responsible for the technology said it was used for the purposes of public safety.

Time 1 Minute Read
On August 15, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office updated its guidance on the timescale for responding to data subject access requests under the EU General Data Protection Regulation, following a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union . The guidance now states that the time limit should be calculated from the day that the request is received, whether or not it is a working day. For example, if a request is received on September 3, the time limit will commence on that date and the response should be provided to the data subject by October 3 ...
Time 5 Minute Read

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published its 2018-19 Annual Report on July 9, 2019. This is the first Annual Report published by the ICO since the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) took effect on May 25, 2018.

Time 3 Minute Read

Simon McDougall, Executive Director for Technology Policy and Innovation for the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), has stated that “change is needed” in the adtech sector. In a speech delivered on July 11, 2019, at the Westminster Media Forum, focusing on the future of online advertising regulation, McDougall commented that “heads are still firmly in the sand” in some pockets of the digital advertising industry, and that many real-time bidding practices are currently being conducted in an unlawful manner, whether or not industry players are aware of it.

Time 2 Minute Read

On July 9, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced its intention to fine Marriott International, Inc. (“Marriott”) £99,200,396 (approximately $124 million) for infringements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The ICO’s announcement followed Marriott’s notification of the proposed fine to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

Time 3 Minute Read

On July 8, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced that it intends to fine British Airways (“BA”), which is owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A., £183,390,000 (approximately $230,000,000) for violating the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). This is the first fine to be announced publicly by the ICO under the GDPR and hints at the tough stance it is likely to take with regard to future breaches.

Time 5 Minute Read

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) recently published an updated report on adtech, following a Fact Finding Forum held in March 2019 and consultation with industry players. The report focuses on whether and how organizations in the adtech sector can comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the UK’s implementation of the e-Privacy Directive, known as the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (“PECR”).

Time 3 Minute Read

On May 30, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published its reflections on the year that has passed since the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), together with a blog post by Elizabeth Denham, the UK Information Commissioner.

Time 3 Minute Read

On May 31, 2019, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP submitted comments to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) public consultation on its draft code of practice for age appropriate design for online services (the “Code”).

Time 2 Minute Read

At its annual conference, CYBERUK, the National Cyber Security Centre (the “NCSC”), pledged not to pass on confidential information about cyberattacks to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) without the consent of the affected organization. This commitment is an attempt to reassure organizations, encouraging them to report and seek assistance in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

Time 5 Minute Read

On April 15, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) issued for public consultation a draft code of practice, “Age Appropriate Design,” that will regulate the provision of online services likely to be accessed by children in the UK. Given the extraterritorial reach of the UK Data Protection Act 2018, organizations based outside of the UK may be subject to the code, which is expected to take effect by the end of 2019. The deadline for responding to the public consultation is May 31, 2019.

Time 5 Minute Read

On April 9, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) levied one of its most significant fines under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “DPA”) against pregnancy and parenting club Bounty (UK) Limited (“Bounty”), fining the company GBP 400,000. Bounty, which provides new and expectant mothers with information and offers for products and services, collects personal data online, via an app, and offline through hard copy cards. The company also offered a data broking service. Bounty came to the attention of the ICO as a “significant supplier” of personal data in the context of the ICO’s wider and ongoing investigation into the data broking industry.

Time 2 Minute Read

On March 29, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) announced that it has opened its sandbox beta phase for applications (the “Beta Phase”).

Time 3 Minute Read

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has issued a Monetary Penalty Notice to pensions release provider Grove Pensions Solutions Ltd (“Grove”), fining it £40,000 after the company used contact details collected by a third party for its direct marketing campaign. Grove used a specialist third-party marketing agency to send emails on its behalf to mailing lists, negligently failing to obtain valid consent from individuals who received the marketing emails. Despite seeking external advice (including legal advice), the ICO decided that Grove should have known of the risk that its conduct would breach rules on direct marketing, particularly given recent widespread publicity of this issue in the UK. The fine was imposed under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Time 3 Minute Read

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has fined Vote Leave Limited (the UK’s official Brexit campaign) £40,000 for sending almost 200,000 unsolicited texts promoting the aims of the campaign. In an unrelated action, the ICO has carried out searches of a business believed to have been responsible for initiating nuisance telephone calls. The ICO has highlighted nuisance calls, spam texts and unsolicited direct marketing as areas of “significant public concern,” and is increasingly imposing sanctions on businesses that infringe the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (“PEC Regulations”), which prohibit these practices. In its view, the monetary penalty imposed on Vote Leave should act as a “deterrent against non-compliance, on the part of all persons running businesses currently engaging in these practices.”

Time 2 Minute Read

On March 8, 2019, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP issued a white paper on Regulatory Sandboxes in Data Protection: Constructive Engagement and Innovative Regulation in Practice (the “White Paper”). The release of the White Paper follows a joint roundtable held by CIPL and senior staff from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) on February 19, 2019. Over 35 CIPL members attended the full-day roundtable, exchanging views on how the regulatory sandbox should work in practice, discussing the benefits of participation and key questions around appropriate safeguards upon entering and exiting the sandbox, as well as sharing examples of innovative projects where a sandbox may be useful.

Time 5 Minute Read

On March 5, 2019, the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (“GPEN”), a global network of more than 60 data protection authorities (“DPAs”) around the world, published the results of its 2018 intelligence gathering operation on organizations’ data privacy accountability practices (the “Sweep”). On the same date, some participating DPAs released the results of the Sweep exercise carried out in their respective jurisdiction.

Time 2 Minute Read

On February 20, 2019, the French data protection authority (the “CNIL”) published a set of questions and answers (“FAQs”) indicating the CNIL’s recommendations, and steps that organizations should take, to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. The CNIL’s FAQs build upon guidance the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) provided in its Information Note on Data Transfers under the GDPR in the Event of a No-Deal Brexit.

Time 3 Minute Read

At its plenary meeting on February 13, 2019, in Brussels, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) adopted an Information Note on Data Transfers under the GDPR in the Event of a No-Deal Brexit, and an Information Note on BCRs for Companies Which Have ICO as BCR Lead Supervisory Authority.

Time 2 Minute Read

On January 30, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) released a discussion paper on the upcoming beta phase of its regulatory sandbox initiative (the “Discussion Paper”). The ICO had launched a call for views on creating a regulatory sandbox in September 2018, and the feedback received facilitated developing systems and processes necessary to launch the beta phase.

Time 2 Minute Read

On December 29, 2018, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office announced that Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner, was awarded a CBE for her services to protecting information. Denham’s award was announced in the United Kingdom’s 2019 New Year’s Honours list. This honor reflects Denham’s achievements as the UK Information Commissioner and the enhanced leadership, visibility and impact that she has brought to the role and the Office.

Time 3 Minute Read

On January 15, 2019, the UK House of Commons rejected the draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK Prime Minister and the EU by a margin of 432-202. While the magnitude of the loss sets in motion a process which could potentially have resulted in an early general election being held, on January 16 a majority of British Members of Parliament rejected a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government.

Time 2 Minute Read

On November 30, 2018, the Austrian Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) published a decision in response to a complaint received from an individual regarding the cookie consent options offered on an Austrian newspaper’s website. As a factual matter, the Austrian newspaper offered three options to individuals who sought to access content on the site: (1) accept the use of cookies for analytics and advertising purposes and have full, complimentary website access; (2) refuse cookies and obtain access to only limited content on the website; or (3) pay a monthly subscription of €6 to obtain full access to the website without accepting the use of cookies and similar tracking technologies.

Search

Subscribe Arrow

Recent Posts

Categories

Tags

Archives

Jump to Page