In Q1 2022, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued 26 enforcement actions. There were 15 monetary penalties issued, ranging between £2k – £200k, and 11 enforcement notices. The majority of the fines and enforcement notices related to unsolicited marketing activities, two related to data subject rights infringements, and one related to a failure to ensure adequate security around personal data. The last related to a ransomware attack and despite the controller being subjected to a malicious cybercrime, it was penalised for a failure to address known vulnerabilities and to prevent the ransomware attack in time.
What does the ICO tell us about using data for research purposes?
The UK’s data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’), has released draft guidance on the research provisions within the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation (‘UK GDPR’) and Data Protection Act (‘DPA’). The guidance is out for public consultation until 22 April 2022.
Continue Reading What does the ICO tell us about using data for research purposes?
ICO launches consultation on Chapter 3 of updated guidance on anonymisation, pseudonymisation and PET
On 7 February 2022, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced that it had launched a consultation on Chapter 3 of its draft guidance on anonymisation, pseudonymisation, and privacy enhancing technologies (PET).
Continue Reading ICO launches consultation on Chapter 3 of updated guidance on anonymisation, pseudonymisation and PET
DCMS launches public consultation on reforms to the UK’s data protection regime
On 10 September 2021, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) launched a public consultation on its proposed reforms to the UK’s data protection regime, with a view to assessing the case for legislative change.
The consultation comes as the first step in the government’s plans to deliver on ‘Mission 2’ of its National Data Strategy, published in 2020: to secure a data regime that promotes growth and innovation for UK businesses, while also maintaining public trust.
The UK’s data protection regime has not received a substantive update since 2018 when the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect, alongside the introduction of the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018. The government’s National Data Strategy has suggested that the UK may start to move away from EU law when it comes to data protection.
According to the Secretary of State, the ultimate aim of the consultation is to ‘create a more pro-growth and pro-innovation data regime, whilst maintaining the UK’s world-leading data protection standards’.
Continue Reading DCMS launches public consultation on reforms to the UK’s data protection regime
The ICO approves the first UK GDPR certification schemes
Controllers and processors can demonstrate their compliance with the GDPR by adhering to approved data protection certification mechanisms established by data protection authorities. The ICO has approved such certification mechanism for three UK GDPR certification schemes, in the following areas:
- IT asset disposal – the Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance (ADISA) have developed a standard that ensures personal data has been handled appropriately when IT equipment is re-used or destroyed. This scheme is for companies who provide IT asset disposal services and focuses on IT asset recovery and data sanitisation. There are currently no certification bodies listed on the ICO’s website to deliver this scheme;
- Age assurance – Age Check Certification Scheme (ACCS) have developed this scheme which includes data protection criteria for organisations operating or using age assurance products. These allow organisations to estimate or verify a person’s age so that they can access age restricted products or services; and
- Age appropriate design, specifically children’s online privacy. Again developed by ACCS, this scheme provides criteria for the age appropriate design of information society services which are based on the ICO’s Children’s Code. The certification body for both ACCS schemes is Age Check Certification Services Ltd.
The ICO has commented that for these “constantly evolving” areas “enhanced trust and accountability in how personal data is protected is vital”.
Continue Reading The ICO approves the first UK GDPR certification schemes
The UK’s ICO launches public consultation on employment practices
The ICO has announced plans to replace its existing employment practices guidance with a more user-friendly online resource. The new resource will be divided into specific topics such as recruitment and selection, employment records, monitoring of workers, and information about workers’ health.
In particular, the new guidance aims to:
- Address the changes in data protection law,
- Reflect the changes in the way that employers use technology and interact with staff, and
- Meet the needs of people using the ICO’s guidance products.
To this end, the ICO has launched a public consultation to gather views on these and related subject areas.
The ICO has prepared a survey for completion by those wishing to take part in the consultation. Contributions may be submitted by responding to an online survey or by completing and returning a word document by email or post.
The deadline for responding is midnight on Thursday 21 October 2021.…
Continue Reading The UK’s ICO launches public consultation on employment practices
The UK’s ICO launches public consultation on new Standard Contractual Clauses
In our previous post here we discussed the ICO’s announcement that it is working on new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) to facilitate transfers of personal data outside the UK. The new UK SCCs will be known as the UK’s International Data Transfer Agreement (IDTA).
The ICO has now launched the public consultation on its IDTA and accompanying guidance (available here). The consultation is open for feedback until 5pm on 7 October 2021.
Purpose of the IDTA
The IDTA will replace the current UK SCCs. The ICO has already made it clear that any transfers to third countries will need to take into account the Schrems II decision and apply supplementary measures, where required. The IDTA is a contract which organisations will be able to use when making a ‘restricted transfer’. The ICO is also consulting on how to define a ‘restricted transfer’ in light of the UK GDPR. In particular, the ICO is consulting on whether to keep its current guidance that says a restricted transfer only takes place where the importer’s processing of the personal data is not subject to UK GDPR. Recognising the complexity of international transfers for businesses, the ICO Executive Director of Regulatory Strategy, Steve Wood, has said that the new guidance is designed to be accessible and to support the full range of organisations, from SMEs to multi-national companies.…
Continue Reading The UK’s ICO launches public consultation on new Standard Contractual Clauses
The ICO publishes first chapter of its new draft guidance on anonymisation, pseudonymisation and privacy enhancing technologies
The UK’s data protection authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), is calling for views on the first chapter of its anonymisation, pseudonymisation and privacy enhancing technologies guidance, available in draft here.
The guidance will help organisations to identify the issues they need to consider in order to use anonymisation techniques effectively. The guidance will sit alongside the ICO’s data sharing code of practice, which provides guidance on how to lawfully share personal data, and offers organisations an alternative way of using or sharing data through anonymisation.
The first chapter introduces and defines anonymisation and pseudonymisation, and places the concepts within the framework of data protection law in the UK.
Continue Reading The ICO publishes first chapter of its new draft guidance on anonymisation, pseudonymisation and privacy enhancing technologies
ICO announces it is working on bespoke UK set of Standard Contractual Clauses
What is new?
During the ICO’s Data Protection Practitioners’ Conference 2021 today, the ICO revealed that it is working on new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) to facilitate transfers of personal data outside the UK. The ICO’s consultation on the new UK SCCs will take place this summer. This is a separate process to the new SCCs that are currently being finalised by the European Commission. These new EU SCCs will not be valid for use for restricted transfers of data outside the UK.
Why is this change taking place?
From 31 December 2020 organisations in the UK have been relying on existing SCCs (Decisions 2001/497/EC and 2010/87/EU) for transfers of data outside the UK except where such territories are recognised as adequate (e.g. countries in the EU, the EEA, and those that obtained the EU Commission’s adequacy decision). However, the existing SCCs will be repealed when the new EU SCCs come into play. Therefore, the ICO is taking measures to put in place new international transfer mechanisms for restricted transfers outside the UK.…
Continue Reading ICO announces it is working on bespoke UK set of Standard Contractual Clauses
The ICO unveils its plans for updating anonymisation guidance
The ICO Data Sharing Code of Practice which was published earlier this year aimed to provide organisations with practical guidance for data sharing in compliance with data protection law, which we previously wrote about here.
The ICO are aware that data sharing encompasses many other dimensions and thus that the guidance would be updated on an on-going basis. As part of this, the ICO outlined its plans to update its guidance on anonymisation and pseudonymisation and on exploring privacy enhancing technologies. The refreshed guidance will assist in some of the challenges that organisations may face such as determining whether data is personal data or anonymous information and providing appropriate controls that should be adopted.
Continue Reading The ICO unveils its plans for updating anonymisation guidance