Data protection, freedom of information & privacy

Privacy, data security and information management is moving rapidly up the corporate agenda. Advances in data processing technology have transformed the business environment.

With this opportunity comes risk, since many enterprises collect and hold vast amounts of customer and employee data for which they have legal responsibility but which are easily accessed, transferred or removed with little or no oversight.

Each year we see new laws, regulations and standards for managing personal information coming into force across the world. Attitudes to privacy are also rapidly changing with organisations dealing with: greater scrutiny from public regulators and global industry bodies (e.g. Payment Card Industry); increasing judicial sanctions for data security failures; and greater individual awareness of legal rights. In addition, privacy concerns can lead to serious damage to business and brand reputation.

Key areas of activity

  • Security Incident Management: Advising on incident management and responding to major security breaches, including loss of sensitive data;
  • Compliance Advice: Dealing with general privacy compliance issues for a range of businesses. Our team has been involved in data privacy audits for the EU subsidiary of a major Japanese electronics manufacturer for example and reviewing global privacy compliance for a leading internet brand;
  • Advertising & Marketing: Giving practical advice to leading brands on data protection requirements particularly in relation to their advertising, sales and marketing operations;
  • Access Requests: Advising on data access requests both for applicants and recipient organisations. We also have specialist knowledge of freedom of information laws and regulations governing access to public data;
  • Regulatory Action: Dealing with and responding to regulatory investigations, taking and defending enforcement proceedings. We acted in the Court of Appeal case of Johnson v Medical Defence Union [2007] EWCA Civ 262, one of UK's leading data protection cases.

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