Spring 2019 Newsletter
The debate about the continued ability of the UK to trade with the EEA post Brexit has raised few concerns to date regarding how personal data will be transferred between the UK and the EEA.
Once Brexit takes place, the UK will become a third country for the purposes of the processing of personal data. Whilst the current proposed deal with the EU will allow for the temporary continued cross-border flow of personal data between the UK and the EU (during the transition period), in the absence of an adequacy decision being granted by the EU before the end of the transition period, businesses who wish to receive personal data from the European Union need to take steps so as to enable this to take place. In the event of a no deal Brexit, personal data may flow from the UK to the EU without any changes, but the same is not true of personal data flowing from the EU regarding EEA citizens to the UK, and organisations will need to take immediate steps.
There may also be issues regarding the transfer of personal data between the UK and the USA, as the rules governing this are currently contained in the EU-US Privacy Shield, to which the UK will no longer be a party, post Brexit. For further details please read our newsletter ‘Brexit & Data Protection’, from 16 January 2019, or call us on 01343 813 745.
Following the fines imposed upon Facebook, and various ongoing cases which have been raised against them, both in the UK and more widely, it appears that Facebook now wants to take a more proactive stance in relation to protecting the privacy of its users.
Mark Zuckerberg announced on 6 March 2019 that Facebook are now seeking to become a “privacy-focused messaging and social media platform.” He himself accepts that there is a lot to do in order to achieve this and he has indicated that he wishes to work together with experts in order to develop this new vision. Critics of Facebook have questioned whether real changes will be achieved, given that Facebook make so much money through the over-sharing of our personal data.
Recent Statistics Regarding Complaints, as Reported by the ICO
The Information Commissioner’s Office (‘the ICO’) continue to receive an increasing number of complaints relating to live calls, rising from 3,421 in December 2018 to 4,266 in January 2019, which represents an increase of 25% over one month.
The vast majority of the calls, namely 27%, related to accident claims, followed by marketing relating to broadband, phone, TV or other telecoms services. The ICO have also seen a 30% increase in complaints regarding people receiving spam texts, the majority of which wew received from payday loan providers. The vast majority of concens received by the ICO, however, were regarding automated calls. There was an increase of 2,205 complaints for this category in January 2019, and this accounted for a total of 49% of the overall incidents raised which the ICO received in January 2019.
Protect One of Your Most Valuable Business Assets
Most organisations need to process personal data in order to operate effectively.
Very few businesses will be able to effectively operate without the ability to process personal data. The vast majority of businesses will have some form of client database, and also process data regarding their employees. This data may be one of your business’ most valuable assets, and therefore needs protecting, but moving beyond that also consider:
– the impact on your business if you were to receive a fine for non-compliance; and
– the implications with regards to your reputation if you were found to be at fault by failing to comply with data protection legislation.
For assistance regarding assessing the risks and opportunities to your business relating to the protection of personal data, contact us today.