On June 28, 2016, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) released its Annual Report for 2015 -2016 (the “Report”).

According to the Report, the ICO has dealt with an increase in the number of data protection concerns, handling 16,388 complaints in total. Particularly noteworthy is the £130,000 fine imposed on Pharmacy 2U for breach of the fair processing requirements under the UK Data Protection Act 1998. Pharmacy 2U sold details of over 20,000 customers to a list marketing company without customers’ knowledge or consent.

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On October 15 and 16, 2015, Hunton & Williams is pleased to sponsor PDP’s 14th Annual Data Protection Compliance Conference in London. Bridget Treacy, Head of the UK Privacy and Cybersecurity practice at Hunton & Williams, chairs the conference, which features speakers from the data protection industry, including Christopher Graham, UK Information Commissioner, and Rosemary Jay, senior consultant attorney at Hunton & Williams.

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On September 17, 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron issued a Written Ministerial Statement, announcing that policy responsibility for data protection issues and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) will both be transferred from the Ministry of Justice (the “MoJ”) to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, (the “DCMS”) with the changes taking effect on the same date. Existing data protection policy teams at the MoJ also will move to the DCMS.

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On October 15, 2014, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published a code of practice regarding the use of surveillance cameras (“Code of Practice”). The Code of Practice explains how the legal requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 apply to operators of surveillance cameras. Practical and technological advancements have led to a wide variety of surveillance camera technologies that differ from traditional CCTV (e.g., Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras and body-worn cameras). The Code of Practice addresses (1) changes in technology and (2) inconsistent standards that have arisen in various sectors since the ICO last updated its guidance on CCTV systems, which occurred in 2008. In particular, due to technological advancements, surveillance cameras are no longer merely passive recording devices, but rather can be used to identify specific items or individuals, keep detailed records of events, and are increasingly portable and discrete.

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On September 2, 2014, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published a consultation on the framework criteria for selecting scheme providers for its privacy seal scheme. The consultation gives organizations the opportunity to provide recommendations for the framework criteria that will be used to assess the relevant schemes. The consultation is open until October 3, 2014.

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On July 15, 2014, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) released its Annual Report for 2013/14 (the “Report”). Entitled Effective, Efficient – and Busier than Ever, the Report illustrates the rapid growth of data protection and freedom of information issues in the UK in the past year. It highlights the fact that the ICO has received increasing numbers of questions and complaints from members of the public, processed record numbers of cases, and issued its highest ever level of fines, totaling almost £1.97 million. The Report also emphasizes the fact that the ICO’s resources are stretched and, in a direct appeal to both the UK Parliament and the Ministry of Justice, calls for “stronger powers, a more sustainable funding system, and a clearer guarantee of independence.”

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As we reported on October 8, 2013, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has announced it is reviewing its Privacy Notices Code of Practice (the “Code”) to assess whether it should be updated. In anticipation of the November 30th closing date for comments on the Code, today the ICO’s Head of Policy Delivery posted a request for feedback on the ICO’s blog.

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On October 19, 2013, the Center for Internet and Society (“CIS”), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Data Security Council of India held a Privacy Roundtable in New Delhi, the last in a series of roundtables that began in April 2013. The events were designed to elicit comments on a draft Privacy Protection Bill, proposed legislation for a privacy and personal data protection regime in India. The law would regulate the collection and use of personal data in India, as well as surveillance and interception of communications.

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