This Week's Techlaw News Round-Up

ICO Computer Misuse Act Prosecution, Treasury consultation on cryptoassets and stablecoins, Ada Lovelace Institute review of vaccine immune passport evidence in this week’s round-up of UK and U techlaw developments.

UK news

Motor industry employee receives prison sentence in ICO Computer Misuse Act prosecution

A motor industry employee has been sentenced to eight months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, in a prosecution brought by the ICO. The employee worked for the RAC and transferred personal data to an accident claims management firm without authorisation. She pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to secure unauthorised access to computer data, and to selling unlawfully obtained personal data. The court heard that she compiled lists of road traffic accident data including partial names, mobile phone numbers and registration numbers despite having no permission from her employers. The ICO investigation found that the data transferred was used to make nuisance calls. The offence came to light when Arval, a fleet management company, alerted RAC to nuisance calls to one of its drivers about an accident he had been involved in. Arval suspected there may have been a data leak from RAC, which had carried out recovery of their driver’s vehicle. This prompted the RAC to perform a data leakage scan of its Outlook mailboxes, where it found details which led it to discover the unauthorised data. The individual concerned was also ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and contribute £1,000 costs and a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002 was also made.

HM Treasury consults on UK regulatory approach to cryptoassets and stablecoins

At the moment a large proportion of cryptoassets fall outside or are likely to fall outside the “regulatory perimeter” which means they may not be subject to the same consumer protections. In light of this, the Treasury issued a consultation last year on regulating the promotion of cryptoassets; and is now consulting on the broader regulatory approach to cryptoassets including new challenges from so-called stable coins. The latest consultation seeks views on how the UK can ensure that its regulatory framework is equipped to harness the benefits of new technologies, supporting innovation and competition, while mitigating risks to consumers and stability. It reflects advice from the UK’s Joint Cryptoassets Taskforce which was established in 2018 with a mandate to consider the risks and benefits posed by cryptoassets and distributed ledger technologies in the UK and to advise on the appropriate regulatory response. The consultation ends on 21 March 2021.

Ada Lovalace Institute launches call for evidence on vaccine passports and COVID status apps

The Ada Lovelace Institute has launched a call for evidence which will establish recommendations and open questions about the practical and ethical issues around digital vaccine passports and health status apps. The review is designed to provide guidance to the UK and other governments and a body of evidence to help ensure any potential roll-out of vaccine passports and health status apps work in the best interests of people and society. The Institute is particularly focused on considering proposals in which private health data is used in the public domain and digitally linked to an identified individual.  It will consider questions relating to the science, history and uses of vaccine passports, design, legal framework, ethics, social impact and behavioural impact.

Published: 2021-01-16T15:00:00

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