Industry news

US anti-abortion protest with a protestor holding a 'keep abortion legal' sign aloft
Roe v Wade and The Erosion of Women’s data privacy

The overturning of Roe v Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court on the 24th June this year (2022) has upended women’s reproductive rights in the USA. It is unlikely to end there. As the ripple effects continue to be felt across the States and beyond, serious questions regarding erosion of women’s privacy are being raised. The answers to these privacy questions posit a deeply unsettling future for women in America and the use of their personal data.

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A large number of surveillence cameras on a wall. All are pointing in the same direction and are looking at two people.
Southern Co-Op face complaints over use of Biometric scanners

This month Big Brother Watch and the data rights firm AWO filed a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) regarding Southern Co-Op’s use of biometric scanning in several of their stores. This system has been implemented in 35 of Southern Co-Op’s 200+ stores, and is used (according to the Co-Op) to protect customers and colleagues in stores where there has been regular crime. Both Big Brother Watch and AWO have raised significant concerns regarding the application of the system, which is sold by the firm Facewatch.

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Grafitti of a surveillance camera on a concrete wall with the text 'for your safety & our curiosity'.
Safeguarding gone wrong? Project Alpha and the accidental weaponisation of personal data

The recently released data protection impact assessment for a Met Police scheme has caused concertation amongst privacy groups and human rights activists as potential large scale profiling of children's data has been further compounded by allegations of racial bias. Entitled 'Project Alpha', this scheme has proven a useful example of how personal data collected for safeguarding can be accidentally or deliberately weaponised.

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A photo of Euro and US Dollar notes.
Third Time’s the Charm? Why Privacy Professionals are sceptical of ‘Privacy Shield 2.0’

On March 25th 2022, amidst wider discussions on US-EU cooperation, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden announced an ‘agreement in principle’ on a new EU-US data sharing system termed the Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework. Yet rather than relief, the announcement has been met with pronounced scepticism by privacy professionals in Europe. The emerging discourse is a product of a difficult relationship between its political ideals and practical realities.

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Coming soon: New UK SCC’s presented to Parliament

This month (February 2022) the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) laid before Parliament the new International Data Transfer Agreement (IDTA). This document, as well as its associated transfer addendum and a further document setting out transitional provisions follows a consultation undertaken by the Information commissioner’s office (ICO) in 2021.

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Schrems II in action: the DSB issues its first ruling

The Austrian Data Protection Authority (DSB) has issued its first ruling on a Schrems II model case. In it, the DSB ruled that the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) and Technical Organizational Measures (TOMs) implemented as part of the Google Analytics are not sufficient to protect its EU-US data transfers.

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A phone showing the Twitch app.
Now Streaming: Twitch’s Data

Last month, Amazon’s Twitch streaming service confirmed that it had been the victim of a significant data breach. Around 125GB of data (including the source code for the mobile, desktop, and video game console versions, as well as the earnings of Twitch’s content creators) has been released by the hackers to the anonymous messaging-board website 4Chan.

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A lamppost with a sticker on it. The sticker states 'big data is watching you'.
A Bite to match its Bark? – What Amazon’s fine means for its Data Subjects

In a landmark case, Amazon has been fined $886m by Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for serious breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Whilst the scale of the fine suggest that the GDPR is finally matching the promises of its inception, the circumstance of its reporting still leaves the consumer facing an uphill battle to hold illegal privacy practices to account.

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