This week’s Techlaw News Round-Up

May 9, 2019

New ‘commercially meaningful’ e-commerce rules proposed

Proposed text on the future rules and obligations on e-commerce in the EU has been issued following negotiations between World Trade Organization (WTO) ministers in the Davos World Economic Forum in January 2019. The EU has committed to working towards establishing a ‘commercially meaningful set of rules on e-commerce with as many WTO Members as possible’ to strengthen consumer trust, improve transaction security and improve market fairness. Now, the proposed text will be put forward for discussion, along with proposals from other participating WTO member states.

Gambling Commission publishes new framework for measuring gambling harms among children and young people

As part of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms a new framework to understand gambling harms experienced by children and young people has been published.  This report, which has been developed by Ipsos MORI in collaboration with the Gambling Commission, Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and GambleAware, presents a framework to better understand the ways that harms from gambling can impact upon the health, relationships and finances of young people. It builds on earlier work to develop a framework for gambling harms among adults.  The framework has been designed to cover the broad spectrum of harms that can impact young people and the next phase of work will test some survey questions for measuring gambling harms.  The Commission has taken a number of measures to protect against gambling-related harm, including the new rules on age and identity verification requirements for online gambling operators, which came into force on 7 May 2019. The next stage of the project is to develop survey questions to measure annually key components of harm to children and young people and to map out the possible negative consequences of gambling on them.

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

An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) into HMRC’s Voice ID service was prompted by a complaint from Big Brother Watch about the department’s procedures. 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. It further failed to give them the chance to give or withhold consent. This was a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679. The ICO issued a preliminary enforcement notice to HMRC setting out the Information Commissioner’s initial decision to compel the department to delete all biometric data held under the Voice ID system for which it does not have explicit consent. The ICO’s final enforcement notice will give HMRC 28 days to complete deletion of relevant records.

ICO issues fine to PPI company for nuisance texts

The ICO has issued a monetary penalty notice to a PPI claims management company. The ICO investigated after a large number of complaints and found over 3.5 million unlawful spam texts had been sent in a six month period. The ICO issued a fine of £120,000. 

ICO launches campaign to educate users on how their personal data is used

The ICO has launched a campaign to improve users’ understanding of how they can control the use of their personal data online, including through social media and for political marketing. The campaign provides online resources and guidance to remind people of their rights under the GDPR and how to exercise them. The ICO’s ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes has uncovered the ‘behind the scenes’ processing of personal data, including algorithms, analysis, data matching and profiling that involves people’s personal information.  One of the recommendations from the investigation was for the ICO to continue to educate the public on the impact of new and developing technologies and the use of data analytics in political campaigns.