Blog: Data protection doesn’t take a day off

Last year we began taking action against organisations for non-payment of the data protection fee, sending out a clear message that those who didn’t pay risked a fine. We stepped that up earlier this year when we began identifying organisations which had been issued with a fine, as well trend reports to show which sectors had been issued with fines. The recent dismissal of the first appeal of a fine for non-payment of the fee by Farrow and Ball sends a further message, loud and clear, that there is no…

Blog: Using biometric data in a fair, transparent and accountable manner

10 May 2019 As technology takes ever greater strides, so organisations and businesses are harnessing its capabilities to help manage their contact with customers, including using it for means of identification and authentication. While there are undoubtedly significant benefits in using new technologies, organisations need to be aware of the potential challenges when choosing and using any systems involving biometric data. In January 2017, HMRC adopted a voice authentication which asked callers to some of its helplines to record their voice as their password. A complaint from Big Brother Watch…

Helping people be data aware

In our data-driven world, it’s more important than ever to know who is using people’s personal data, and why. Today the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is launching the ‘Be Data Aware’ campaign to help people understand how organisations might be using their data to target them online, and how people can control who is targeting them. This includes understanding how organisations use people’s data to reach them with social media adverts to market goods or services and for political marketing. The ICO’s ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political…

ICO fines PPI claims company £120,000 for millions of nuisance texts

The ICO has fined a PPI claims management company £120,000 for sending unlawful spam texts about its services. Hall and Hanley Ltd of Devonshire Street North, Manchester were responsible for sending 3,560,211 direct marketing text messages between 1 January 2018 and 26 June 2018 about PPI compensation claims. The ICO launched an investigation after it became aware of a large number of complaints about the company. It found that Hall and Hanley, which had used a third party for this work, but did not have valid consent as required by…

ICO says that voice data collected unlawfully by HMRC should be deleted

An ICO investigation into HMRC’s Voice ID service was prompted by a complaint from Big Brother Watch about the department’s conduct. The investigation focused on the use of voice authentication for customer verification on some of HMRC’s helplines since January 2017. The ICO found that HMRC failed to give customers sufficient information about how their biometric data would be processed and failed to give them the chance to give or withhold consent. This is a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation. The ICO issued a preliminary enforcement notice to…

Blog: Helping us strike the right balance between journalism and data protection

Privacy and freedom of expression are both fundamental rights that are equally vital to our society, democracy and way of life. But they can sometimes appear to be in conflict with each other. Our data protection laws aim to reconcile these rights and achieve a crucial balance. But it is important that those organisations engaged in journalism know how to apply the requirements and exemptions in practice.  Respecting individuals’ rights and treating their personal data within the law is vital to maintaining the public’s trust, and this applies to journalism…

Data Market Ocean Tries New Token Sale After CoinList Offering Misses Target

After a token sale on CoinList failed to reach its target, data marketplace Ocean is trying again on crypto exchange Bittrex International. Ocean Protocol has a vision to become the ecosystem for “a new data economy,” its founder Bruce Pon told CoinDesk. With the release of Ocean’s version 1.0 beta network earlier in April, its tokens are ready to be used on the platform, but the company has not quite met its fundraising goal. Through its initial exchange offering (IEO), Ocean aims to raise $6.77 million in bitcoin, following a previous…

Gate.io Raises $64 Million for Launch of New Exchange Cryptocurrency

Crypto exchange Gate.io has raised $64 million worth of crypto assets in seven days for its own exchange cryptocurrency that won’t be launched on a blockchain for at least six months. One of the oldest Chinese exchanges, Gate.io claimed on Monday that over the last week it was heavily oversubscribed with orders totaling $2.99 billion for the so-called Gate Points, which can be used for offsetting trading fees on the platform. Moreover, each Gate Point further entitles a holder to receive 2.5 Gate Tokens (GT), the native cryptocurrency of Gatechain, the…

ICO fines funeral plan firm and asks public to help elderly relatives to report nuisance calls

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) wants people to support their elderly relatives or neighbours if they are receiving nuisance marketing calls.  The appeal came as a company selling funeral plans was fined £80,000 for making unlawful marketing calls to people who had made it explicitly clear they didn’t want to receive them. The ICO launched an investigation after a national newspaper had reported allegations of illegal practices at a call centre at Handforth Dean in Wilmslow, Cheshire, run by a company which at the time was called Plan My Funeral…

Children’s privacy – new standards for online services will help protect children

15 April 2019 Today we’re setting out the standards expected of those responsible for designing, developing or providing online services likely to be accessed by children, when they process their personal data. Parents worry about a lot of things. Are their children eating too much sugar, getting enough exercise or doing well at school. Are they happy? In this digital age, they also worry about whether their children are protected online. You can log on to any news story, any day to see just how children are being affected by…