City A.M. has interviewed Howard Womersley Smith, an expert Fintech and Data lawyer and partner in Reed Smith’s Technology & Data London team, on London’s current startup FinTech scene.

Sitting down with Womersley Smith, City AM reflected on a range of London Fintechs urging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to break banks’ dominance over the use of consumer data. Womersley Smith sided with Fintechs and has long been saying that the startup scene needs exactly that to properly thrive in 2021. Fintechs have argued that the end of banks dominance would increase competition in the savings, credit, mortgages and pensions markets. However, Womersley Smith believes that we are some way off true portable banking. However, he noted that there is another factor in play, that of trust where banking with a household name provides an element of comfort for consumers which is difficult for challengers to compete with.
Continue Reading City A.M. interviews Howard Womersley Smith on London’s start up Fintech scene

Following a previous European Commission recommendation to support the gradual lifting of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions through mobile data and apps, on 19 October 2020, the European Commission has set up an EU-wide system for the interoperability of track and trace apps.

Background

National contact tracing and warning apps can play a key role in all phases of COVID-19 management by warning users if they had been in contact with someone who has indicated they tested positive for COVID-19 and giving appropriate health advice. Most EU Member States have developed national contact tracing and warning apps which can be used on voluntary basis.

The new ‘gateway’ system allows these national apps across the EU to talk to each other and exploits the full potential of national apps by moving towards a centralised system where they can be interoperable through a single gateway service.

The design of the gateway system builds on the set of technical specifications as set out in the EU Commission Guidelines for interoperability, EU toolbox and the EU Commission and European Data Protection Board guidelines on data protection for contact tracing and warning apps.
Continue Reading European Commission implements interoperable gateway for COVID-19 contact tracing and warning apps

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the brand ambassador and influencer industry in different ways. Social media engagement is up. Screen times have increased. Advertising campaigns of brand ambassadors for organizations and influencers might have been adjusted. Self-quarantining audiences have different demands. With the strong trust from their followers, influencers on social media channels such as

On 12 June 2020, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued new guidance for organisations on the coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery phase (Guidance).

The Guidance (available here) forms part of the ICO’s wider data protection and coronavirus information hub (available here) which aims to help organisations navigate data protection during this unprecedented time.

The new Guidance comes as the lockdown measures start to ease and businesses begin to reopen. It sets out six key data protection steps that organisations need to consider around the use of personal data.
Continue Reading ICO issues guidance for organisations amid coronavirus recovery

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has the ability to process large sets of data. The term “AI” describes algorithms that can be taught to identify patterns or predict outcomes. If the algorithm is primed with a teaching set of data, then it can evaluate new sets of data based on the desired outcome. AI has been

It has been 64 days since the UK officially went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 crisis, with many ‘non-essential’ workers vacating their workplace. In preparation for sending the UK back to work, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued FAQ-style guidance to assist employers wishing to track and test employees’ symptoms.

Health data is ‘special category data’ under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is therefore subject to greater restrictions. Nonetheless, the ICO makes it clear that data protection law does not prevent employers from taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of staff and the public, provided that personal data is handled responsibly and carefully in accordance with the law.

The guidance covers the following specific activities:

  • Testing employees for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Compiling lists of employees with symptoms or positive diagnoses
  • Disclosing positive cases to other employees
  • Using temperature checks or thermal cameras in the workplace


Continue Reading ICO issues guidance on workplace coronavirus testing

On 13th May, the European Commission’s eHealth Network published its interoperability guidelines for approved contact tracing mobile applications in the EU, guiding developers when designing and implementing applications and backend solutions to ensure efficient tracing of cross-border infection chains. These guidelines serve as a follow-up action to their previously published ‘Common EU Toolbox for Member States’ on mobile applications to support contact tracing in the EU’s fight against COVID-19 on 15th April.

Why are interoperable apps considered important in the fight again COVID-19? It is almost inevitable that in today’s day and age we would look to technology to be part of the solution. The hope is that interoperable apps will facilitate the tracing of cross-border infection chains, which is particularly valuable for cross-border workers, tourism, business trips and neighbouring countries.
Continue Reading The Commission’s eHealth Network looks to develop the interoperability framework for contact tracing apps

The chair of the Council of Europe’s data protection ‘Convention 108’ committee, Alessandra Pierucci, and the Council of Europe Data Protection Commissioner, Jean-Philippe Walter, have recently released a joint statement on digital contact tracing in the fight against coronavirus.

Digital contact tracing is being used in many countries to help control the spread of coronavirus by alerting individuals that may have come into contact with an infected person.  The UK government is gearing up to deploy its contact tracing app within the next few weeks (it is currently being tested on the Isle of Wight), which could help lift the lockdown measures further. However, as highlighted by the joint statement, it is crucial to ensure that the necessary data protection safeguards are implemented when adopting extraordinary measures to protect public health.
Continue Reading Digital contact tracing and coronavirus: The Council of Europe’s take

Companies and their workforces across the globe have been impacted by COVID-19 in ways that threaten critical trade secrets and other IP assets, and that require greater vigilance to protect them. The massive increase in the world’s remote workforce, as well as numerous terminations and furloughs, create a heightened risk of theft or inadvertent disclosure