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Review of UK data protection: Should fines go OVER HALF A MIL?

The UK government should consider raising the level of fines that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) can impose on organisations that breach the Data Protection Act (DPA), an expert has said. Data protection law specialist Kathryn Wynn of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that a previous increase in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Mar 2014
money_yen_dollar_pound

Crack Euro banker team to probe whether virtual currencies should be regulated

The European Banking Authority (EBA) will create a taskforce to advise it on whether virtual currencies should be regulated. The watchdog said that the taskforce will be created before July and have the objective of answering the question of whether virtual currencies "can and ought to be regulated". The taskforce will analyse …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Mar 2014

Bosses to be banned from forcing new hires to pull personal records

Forthcoming changes to the law will prevent employers, insurers and other organisations from forcing individuals to access personal data held about them by others and reveal the results to the party requesting that information, the data protection watchdog has warned.19 Feb 2014 Changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Feb 2014
euros_channel_money

EU hunts down online cross-border lawbook bureaucra-snaggles

The European Commission is to conduct an "in-depth review" of the risks present in conflicting laws and jurisdictions that apply online. The Commission made the announcement in a new communication it issued last week on internet governance. The Commission identified "a number of contradictory legal decisions" that have been …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Feb 2014

Who OWNS data generated by 'connected cars' sensor slurpers?

The fundamental question of whether the data generated by "connected cars" can legally be owned and who actually acquires ownership in such data at the time when they are generated must be answered before the extent to which companies can make use of that data can be determined, an expert has said. Munich-based technology law …
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Feb 2014
Oh no, I'll have to ask Dabbsy

Hear that, Sigourney? Common names 'may not constitute personal data'

Common names of people may not, read alone, constitute "personal data", the Court of Appeal has said. The Court said that only if common names were matched with other information would it be possible to identify the individuals to whom the names relate. Data protection laws only apply to the processing of personal data. "A name …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Feb 2014

CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

The government must take action to ensure that signs used to warn motorists that CCTV cameras are being used to monitor for parking offences are compliant with UK data protection laws, a watchdog has said. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that there are "deficiencies" in the information displayed to motorists on …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Feb 2014

Google closes briefcase on Italian job: Execs 'not liable' for privacy breach

Two senior Google staff members and another former executive at the company cannot be held liable for a breach of privacy caused when a video was uploaded to its Google Video platform in Italy, the Italian Supreme Court has ruled. Italian lawyer Marco Consonni of Orsingher Ortu, who read the judgment, told Out-Law.com that the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Feb 2014
credit: Alexandre Duret-Lutz licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-share alike http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Anonymous means NO identifying element left behind – EU handbook

A new handbook on European data protection laws contains a different test from the one used by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for determining whether data is personal or anonymised for the purposes of data protection law. The new handbook (214-page/3.08MB PDF) has been issued jointly by the European Union …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Feb 2014

EU warns United States: SHAPE UP on data protection OR ELSE

The US has until this summer to fix problems identified in the way an EU-US framework for the transfer of personal data between the regions operates, a senior EU official has said. Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, said that the EU-US "safe harbour" agreement would be suspended if the US fails to take "legislative …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Jan 2014
European Union Flag

MEPs: Specialised services? Oui. 2-speed internet? Nein

MEPs have called for greater restrictions on content producers' ability to set minimum internet service provider (ISP) service levels for their content. Producers and ISPs themselves need to be more restricted than is planned under new EU telecoms rules, they said. The European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Jan 2014

Meta search engines may infringe database rights: EU Court of Justice

Operators of websites in the EU that allow users to search for content on other sites and then display the information on their own site may be in breach of intellectual property laws as a result of a recent ruling by the EU's highest court. In a judgment issued last month, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) said that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Jan 2014

You... (Sigh). You store our financials in a 'Clowds4U' account?

More than 80 per cent of employees use software that has not been signed off on for use by their employer, according to a new survey. Stratecast and Frost & Sullivan asked 300 IT staff and 300 "line of business" (LoB) employees at large companies that employ at least 1,000 people in the UK, North America, Australia and New …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Jan 2014

Justice minister tries to further delay snoop silo laws in Germany

Germany might further delay its implementation of the Data Retention Directive despite facing potential financial penalties of more than €300,000 for each day it fails to transpose it into national law, according to media reports. The Cabinet plans to revisit the topic at a 22 January meeting in an attempt to avoid fines, and is …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jan 2014
credit: Alexandre Duret-Lutz licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-share alike http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Defamation expert: New '1 year after publication' rule means EASY LIFE for UK libel judges

Media law expert Ian Birdsey of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that newspaper and magazine publishers, as well as businesses that provide solutions for digitally archiving content, would welcome the introduction of a "single publication rule" as part of a new Defamation Act which came into force on 1 …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Jan 2014

ICO to focus only on 'serious, repeat' data-protection offenders

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) will not investigate every complaint it receives about data protection practices by organisations, under a draft new complaint-handling procedure outlined by the watchdog. The ICO said it intends to pass some complaints it receives onto organisations to deal with, and has set out a …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Dec 2013

Want access to mobe users' location, camera, phone ID? EXPLAIN YOURSELVES - ICO

Software developers should consider deploying "just-in-time notifications" to inform users about the imminent processing of personal data in mobile applications (apps), the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. The UK's data protection watchdog said that the pop-up disclosures were one way companies could explain to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Dec 2013
Cloudy sky

Bah! No NSA-proof Euro cloud gang. Cloud computing standards will 'aid data portability'

New cloud computing standards to be developed within the EU should facilitate users' ability to transfer data and services between cloud providers, MEPs have said.17 Dec 2013 Cloud computing TMT & Sourcing Outsourcing TMT Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Services The European Parliament has backed a new resolution on cloud …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Dec 2013

Go on, buy Bitcoin. But DON'T say we didn't WARN YOU

Buying virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, presents a number of risks that consumers should be aware of before purchasing such assets, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has warned. The regulator said that because virtual currency is not regulated, consumers risk losing their money by "buying, holding or trading" them. " …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Dec 2013

Steelie Neelie: EU biz can use YOUR private data WITHOUT PERMISSION

Businesses should be allowed to process part-anonymised, or pseudonymised, data without the consent of individuals whose data it is in certain circumstances, a senior EU official has said. Neelie Kroes, the EU Commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda, said that companies should be able to process pseudonymised data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Dec 2013
shutterstock_copyright_theft_burn_sidey must credit and link to shutterstock

One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review

The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Dec 2013
Street Fighter

Developer CEO 'liable for copyright infringement' over unlawful tool

The chief executive of a software company in Germany has been found liable for copyright infringement after software developed by the company was amended in an open source environment to allow copyright-protected material to be accessed unlawfully. Appwork created "JDownloader2", a download management tool, but allowed any …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Dec 2013
Eel (Moray with shrimp in mouth)

NSA-proof Euro cloud gang: Cool idea, bro... until it turns into MARKET-EATING beast

The creation of a European "IT Airbus" could raise competition concerns within the EU, an expert has warned. Some German politicians and lobbyists have been pushing for some of Europe's technology companies to group together and create separate IT infrastructure from US-based or US-controlled systems. These calls have come in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Dec 2013

Fat-walleted execs? Nope, it's a corporate tax swerve that REALLY ticks Brits off

Tax avoidance rather than executive pay is at the top of the UK public's concerns about business behaviour for the first time. Concerns about potential tax avoidance have topped those about executive pay for the first time in six years, according to the 10th annual survey of the British public's attitudes about business ethics …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Dec 2013

EC trade secrets plans: Infringing kit may be DESTROYED by order

Courts could order companies that infringe rivals' trade secrets to destroy goods developed using that know-how and pay damages under new laws proposed by the European Commission. The Commission has published a draft Directive on trade secrets (26-page/133KB PDF) in a bid to harmonise the legal framework around the unlawful …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2013
Old Bailey Lady Justice

UK defamation law reforms take effect from start of 2014

Justice minister Lord McNally has told the House of Lords that the new Defamation Act, which received Royal Assent in April, will take effect from the start of next year. New regulations, which govern the process website operators must follow when informed about alleged defamatory comments on their site to avoid becoming liable …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Nov 2013
The buttons on a mobile phone glow in the dark

Gov mulls making it easier for ICO to squash marketing pests

The legal test that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) must meet before it can justify serving fines on businesses that send unsolicited marketing communications could be lowered, a Government representative has said. Lord Gardiner of Kimble said that the measure could be used to address concerns about nuisance calls. …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Nov 2013

ICO on beefed-up EU privacy rules: Biz bods will need 'explicit consent' to slurp data

Businesses can help ease the transition towards complying with new EU data protection rules by taking a number of steps now, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. In an ICO blog, Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith said businesses can begin by reviewing their procedures for obtaining consent to the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Nov 2013

New Bitcoin exchange launches in the UK

A new online trading platform based in London is to open next week to those seeking to exchange British pounds for the virtual currency Bitcoin. Traders are now able to register with Coinfloor providing they come from the UK or Europe, although they will not be able to buy or sell currency on the platform until 5 November, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Oct 2013
"334/365 this is a phoooonne!!!" - Lazurite

Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

The deployment of a new address system for the internet brings with it connectivity problems, network security issues and privacy concerns, according to a new study. The UK is lagging behind other areas of the world in relation to the transition to IPv6 and the continuing reliance on the existing IPv4 system of addresses has the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Oct 2013

EC: NSA slurps scare you? Europe's clouds are open for business

The European Commission has outlined its aim for the EU to become a "world leading" cloud computing market on matters relating to data protection and security. However, it said it is opposed to the EU closing its market to cloud providers that are based and store data abroad – despite recent revelations about the accessibility …
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Oct 2013

Hey banks: Use Win XP after deadline? You'll PAY if card data's snaffled

Banks that use the Windows XP operating system will face a risk to their compliance with payment card data security rules if they continue to operate the software after Microsoft withdraws its extended support services, a US regulatory body has warned. Microsoft confirmed in 2010 that it would end "extended support" for Windows …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Oct 2013

Online bookies must keep punters' cash in separate account

Licensing conditions proposed by the Gambling Commission may not adequately protect customers against the risk of losing their money or credits if gambling operators become insolvent, an expert has warned. The Commission is consulting on draft plans that, if introduced, would oblige remote gambling licensees, except ancillary …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Sep 2013

WAIT! Don't you dare send that ad-spaff email without 'specific' consent

Organisations need to obtain "extremely clear and specific" consent from individuals in order to conduct direct marketing to them via email or through any other form of electronic marketing message, according to new guidelines. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that rules set out in the UK's Privacy and Electronic …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Sep 2013
The European flag

New EU rules: Telco only SOMETIMES has to tell you it spaffed your data

New rules setting out the circumstances in which telecoms companies need to report personal data breaches, as well as the kind of information they need to share in those reports, have come into force. The EU's Regulation on the notification of personal data breaches (7-page/756KB PDF) applies to all providers of publicly …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

HMRC nabs 5 after £500k 'cyber attack' on tax systems

Computer systems operated by the UK's tax authority have been subjected to a cyber attack in an attempted tax scam, it has said. HMRC said that it suspects five men it arrested of using "illegally obtained personal data from third parties" to set up fake tax self-assessment accounts online in a bid to "steal large sums of false …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Aug 2013

Finance watchdog: Big fingers + tiny mobe screen + banking = doesn't end well

Companies providing mobile banking services must consider how to overcome limitations in mobile device screen sizes in order to help consumers avoid making erroneous payments, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said. In an interim report (12-page/724KB PDF) it published as part of its ongoing review into mobile banking, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Aug 2013

Quarter of a million quid fine for data-wipe gaffe? ICO told: Nae, laddie

The UK's data protection watchdog was not justified in serving a monetary penalty on a Scottish council over an allegedly flawed outsourcing arrangement it had with a data disposal contractor, an Information Rights Tribunal has ruled. Scottish Borders Council was issued with a £250,000 fine by the Information Commissioner's …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Aug 2013

Brazilians tear strip off NSA in wake of Snowden, mull anti-US-spook law

Businesses selling online to Brazil-based consumers could be forced to store any personal data they collect about those individuals on local servers under proposed new laws under consideration in the country. According to an automated translation of a report by the Reuters news agency, the federal government in Brazil has …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Aug 2013

Most UK privacy cock-ups are 'careless' spaffing of personal data - watchdog

Most of the data breach incidents analysed by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in a three-month period earlier this year concerned errors in the way personal information was disclosed, the watchdog has said. The ICO said that it had looked at 335 data breach incidents between 1 April and 30 June 2013 and found that in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

The man from Del Monte, he says... NO! .delmonte gTLD bid crushed, juiced

A trade mark owner has won the right to stop its mark being adopted as a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) by a rival company. Del Monte International (DMI) of Monaco had applied to register '.delmonte' as a new gTLD under an expanded system of domains being set up by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

2 in 5 top Brit biz bosses expect IT dept to drive 'technical innovation'

China and the US are investing more in technology in a bid to drive innovation than the UK, more than half of respondents to a new survey have said. According to management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture which conducted the poll - and published the results this week - 56 per cent of business …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Aug 2013
axe_channel_teaser

Top Brit biz giants love to outsource IT so much, they're gonna do it more

Most UK businesses involved in outsourcing IT are planning to either increase or maintain the current levels to which they outsource, according to a new survey. A survey of more than 230 of highest spending UK businesses on IT by Whitelane Research revealed that more than a third of those businesses are planning to increase the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Gov: Smart TV bods must protect users from smut-riddled badness

Labelling within electronic programme guides on connected TVs could help viewers to distinguish between regulated and unregulated content, the Government has said in setting out a new communications strategy. The government has called on industry (52-page/472KB PDF) to develop tools that enable the distinction to be made between …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Aug 2013

Crumbs, we're going to lose that public sector bid - Jeeves, send for the lawyers

The number of complaints raised by businesses over the awarding of public sector contracts has more than doubled over the last year, according to new figures. According to data released by the Cabinet Office following a freedom of information request by Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, business complaints about …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jul 2013
Sweatshop with boss, c.1888

Congrats architects, PR bods, toolmakers - you're the new digital tycoons!

There are at least 40 per cent more companies that make up the UK's "digital economy" than any Government estimates, and those companies tend to be considerably more successful than non-digital companies, researchers have found. The study [43-page, 6.2MB PDF], commissioned by Google and produced by the National Institute for …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Jul 2013

You still reading us? Not for long! Summer is THE IT meltdown hot spot

Most IT outages in 2012 occurred during the months of June and July, a technology provider has said. John Gentry, vice president of marketing at Virtual Instruments, said 60 per cent of IT outages for the year occurred during the two summer months. Gentry said factors such as IT experts taking holidays, the stress on mobile and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Kick the tyres on UK's swap-shop for cat pics and other copyright stuff

A new online platform to help facilitate the licensing of copyrighted works in the UK is now being piloted. The Copyright Hub centralises information on who individuals and businesses need to contact and gain permission from to "copy, adapt, share or distribute" music, text, images, video or other multimedia that is protected by …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Hack biz rivals or hire cyber-warriors and we'll shut you down, warns EU

Businesses could be wound up if they engage in cyber attacks or fail to prevent staff from engaging in computer hacking or other cyber crimes under new draft laws backed by the European Parliament. MEPs last week voted to support a new EU Directive on attacks against information systems. The new framework would require member …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Europe: OK, we'll 'backload' carbon emissions - but we'd better not lose big biz

The European Parliament has voted through proposed temporary reforms to the EU's emissions trading system (EU ETS), after the Parliament's Environment Committee set stricter conditions for the proposed "backloading" of allowances. The latest proposed reforms will prevent the European Commission from backloading more than the 900 …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jul 2013