UK Government endorses new data security standards and greater patient control over use of health data

The Department of Health published its Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs (the “Review”) earlier this year. Incidents such as WannaCry (refer to article above for more detail) have created awareness of the ease and speed with which cyber-attacks can cause widespread disruption and highlight the importance of ensuring that organisations implement strong security standards, particularly in the health care sector. Continue reading

Draft Data Protection Bill published – no major surprises for businesses

Following its Second Reading in the House of Lords, on 22 November 2017 the draft Data Protection Bill (the “Bill”) passed the Committee Stage and will next be considered at the Report Stage on 11 December 2017. The Bill was initially published on 14 September and once finalised it will repeal the current Data Protection Act 1998 (the “DPA”). The Bill implements various national derogations permitted by the GDPR and also extends the GDPR standards to certain areas of data processing outside EU competence. The Bill also provides for the continuation of the Information Commissioner’s role. Continue reading

The GDPR: Practical European Guidance on personal data breach notification requirements

The GDPR introduces a new mandatory requirement for all controllers to notify the appropriate data protection authority of a “personal data breach” likely to result in a risk to people’s rights and freedoms, for example following a cyber-attack. This will include providing the regulator with a significant amount of information about the breach and marks a change from the present regime where notification to the ICO is not mandatory (although the ICO does already encourage notification for “serious breaches”).

The GDPR also includes a new obligation to notify the affected data subjects themselves: when a “personal data breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons”. There is an exception in relation to those parts of the data which have been rendered unintelligible to unauthorised persons through the application of technical measures such as encryption or so-called “salting and hashing”.

Fines for breach of the separate fundamental requirements to implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures under Article 32(1) of the GDPR are set at the lower tier under the new sanctions regime. Article 33(5) also requires controllers to document all personal data breaches – comprising the facts of the breach, its effects and remedial actions taken – so as to enable regulators to verify compliance with the Article 32 requirements. This is in line with the accountability principle that runs through the provisions of the GDPR.

The Article 29 Working Party recently issued guidance which discusses the notification obligations and includes some worked examples of various types of breaches, including when notification is and isn’t required. Continue reading

The GDPR: ICO issues draft guidance on data controller and processor liability

In the run up to the GDPR applying from next year, there has been a variety of practical guidance for compliance at the European level through the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) (which reflects the consolidated view of national supervisory data protection authorities in each member state) and at the national level through the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”). Continue reading