All posts by Greg Whitaker

Yesterday, 10 January, the European Commission (EC) presented its formal proposals for the new ePrivacy Regulation. On initial analysis, the first official draft of the Regulation appears broadly similar to last month's leaked version, explored by Datonomy here. Datonomy will be providing a fuller analysis, however in the meantime the EC's Fact Sheet provides a useful starting point. The Commission's aim is to have the new Regulation adopted by 25 May 2018 when the GDPR takes effect. Olswang's Head of Digital and Data, Elle Todd, and Alex Dixie, the firm's Head of Adtech, will be taking a first look at the practical impacts of the new proposals in a webinar at 15:00 UK time on Thursday 19 January. Follow this link to register. In particular the webinar will examine:
 ‘If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself'. James Madison, 1788 (highlighted in the AG's opinion) Enabling a government to control the governed, whilst obliging it to control itself, is the dilemma with which the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been faced in its preliminary ruling on the appeal decisions of Tele2 and Watson. In today's ruling against the UK Government, the ECJ has clarified that national governments need to respect EU standards on data retention in their domestic legislation. The ruling is a potentially embarrassing setback for Theresa May, as … Continue Reading ››
Yesterday (13 December) in time-honoured tradition, a draft proposal of the European Commission's (EC) new ePrivacy Regulation was leaked. The official draft of the proposal is not expected to be published by the EC until January 2017, and it is possible some of the detail will change before then. Datonomy will be providing fuller analysis of the real thing in the near future, but an initial look at the leaked draft – which (typos aside) gives a good indication of what to expect - reveals the following:
  1. It's a Regulation rather than a Directive (as predicted by Datonomy here)
As with the GDPR, this is intended to provide additional harmonisation and simplification. However, there are a number of areas where Member States can nuance provisions.
  1. A fining regime similar to GDPR
Offenders can expect turnover based fines. For example, fines of up to 2% of turnover, or up to 10,000,000 … Continue Reading ››
Recently Datonomy attended the second of two conferences held by Exeter University addressing the UK's place in the Digital Single Market. The day, hosted at Portcullis House, focused on data protection and privacy policy with viewpoints provided by both practitioners and stakeholders. Of particular relevance to Datonomy readers were the panels' opinions on the ePrivacy Directive review, the GDPR, and the new Investigatory Powers Act (recently explored by Datonomy here). Draft ePrivacy Regulation on the horizon Perhaps the headline news from the day was the strong support for the review of the ePrivacy Directive to result in the implementation of a new ePrivacy Regulation (therefore directly effective). It was argued the Regulation should extend the scope of the current ePrivacy Directive to cover new tech including, for example, OTT Providers, publically used private networks and the Internet of Things. According to the European Commission the draft proposal … Continue Reading ››
What's new? After more than 12 months of debate, the Investigatory Powers Bill (dubbed by the media, like all interception legislation, as the 'Snooper's Charter') passed through its final stages in the House of Lords on 16 November, granting the government surveillance powers described by US whistle-blower Edward Snowden as "the most extreme … in the history of western democracy.” The Bill is designed to future proof law enforcement powers in the face of ever-evolving forms of digital communication. It covers the following:
  • General privacy protections
  • Lawful interception of communications
  • Authorisations for obtaining communications data
  • Retention of communications data
  • Equipment interference
  • Bulk warrants
  • Bulk personal dataset warrants
  • Oversight arrangements
Background Upon receiving Royal Assent, the date of which is still unclear, the Bill will mark a major overhaul of the UK's regimes on communications data retention and law enforcement access rules. As Datonomy readers will be familiar, the new legislation has been under discussion for many years under successive governments … Continue Reading ››