Prior to the “Brexit” vote in 2016, the pro-Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, sent almost 200,000 unsolicited texts in violation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), according to a recent settlement it reached with the ICO. Under those regulations, as the ICO outlines in its PECR guidance, consumers must either have opted into receiving texts or they must already be an existing customer who “bought . . . a similar product or service” in the past.
Continue Reading UK’s ICO Brings Texting Enforcement Action, Fines Vote Leave 40,000 Pounds

The EU and Japan have reached a “reciprocal adequacy” agreement to allow data to flow more easily between them. As part of a larger bilateral trade deal which included commitments by both parties to reduce tariffs, Japan also agreed to enact additional safeguards to comply with new EU data protection standards. Those additional safeguards include increased data subject rights to access and correction, restrictions upon transfers of EU data from Japan to third countries, and limits on the use of sensitive data. Japan’s independent data protection authority would have enforcement authority over the new rules, and would investigate and resolve complaints from European data subjects. If it is approved by internal committees and regulators in both the EU and Japan, the deal will come into effect this Fall. This agreement comes after pressure this summer from the EU Parliament to suspend the US-EU agreement currently in place (the “Privacy Shield” program).
Continue Reading EU and Japan Strike Tentative Data Transfer Deal

It’s hard to believe that it has been a month since GDPR took effect. Since May 25, the sky has not fallen, nor have we seen widespread lawsuits or regulatory scrutiny. For those companies who are still working towards compliance with this new EU law, a round up of guidance from various EU regulators may be helpful. In the UK, the ICO maintains information on its site, including an assessment toolkit. In France, the CNIL also has useful tools in English for companies, including updates to its privacy impact assessment software. In Spain, the data protection agency has issued guides (in Spanish), including for breaches, impact assessments, and risk assessments.
Continue Reading GDPR Celebrates One Month Anniversary