A class action brought in the UK by campaign group “Google You Owe Us” was blocked in the High Court yesterday (Monday 8th October 2018). They allege that in 2011/12 Google bypassed privacy settings on Apple iPhone handsets and collected data about millions of people in contravention of the Data Protection Act 1998. The High Court was told that the information collected by Google included data about race, sexuality, political leanings and social class.
Yesterday (10 July 2018) the UK Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, published a progress report in relation to her office’s investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns. This investigation has focussed on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said it intends to fine Facebook £500,000 for two breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998. This is the maximum fine that can be imposed under that legislation. However, the position could have been much worse for Facebook.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the regulator responsible for policing the current legislation, has had difficulty enforcing the current legislation. Since 2010, of the £17.8 million in fines that it has imposed, for the making of nuisance calls and the sending of nuisance emails and texts, only just over half have been paid. The ICO’s efforts have been hampered by some of the companies it has fined going into liquidation rather than paying their fine.
A story very much in the headlines at the moment is the hacking of Uber’s computer system.
One of the lead stories on BBC 1 Breakfast this morning was about the overhaul of UK data protection laws.
British citizens will soon have more rights to control what is done with personal information about them. The UK data protection watchdog is also to get new powers and will be able to levy higher fines.