Data in the sporting arena – LawInSport Conference next week

In case of interest, LawInSport’s Annual Conference is running a panel session next Tuesday morning on the subject of the use and commercialisation of player data in the sports arena (I am speaking alongside Hugh Tomlinson QC and Jorge Oliveira, Head of Data Protection at FIFA). The entire two-day conference is now being run remotely. You can purchase tickets here.

Anya Proops QC

Privacy & transparency in the family courts – Sir Andrew MacFarlane reports

The issue of how the protection of privacy rights should be balanced as against the fundamental public interest in achieving transparency and open justice within the family justice system has long vexed the family division of the High Court. On the one hand, ensuring the confidentiality of family law proceedings is crucial both in terms of protecting the fundamental privacy rights of those individuals who find themselves caught up in such proceedings and in terms of maximising their engagement in the process. On the other hand, a lack of meaningful transparency around the work of the family courts undermines public trust in the family justice system, increases the risk of miscarriages of justice and inhibits the public’s ability to press for reforms of the system on a properly informed basis. Continue reading

Reforming UK data protection laws – the ICO responds

Following the Government’s announcement of its proposals to amend the UK data protection legislation (which you can read about in Katherine’s Taunton’s post here), the ICO has now published its response to those proposals – see here. As expected, the core thrust of the response is that, in pressing for a new more business and particularly tech-friendly data protection regime, the Government should be careful not to throw the data privacy baby out with the bathwater. Not least, we see Elizabeth Denham, in her foreword to the response, emphasising the point that achieving public trust in business – particularly in the tech sector – through the maintenance of high standards of data protection is itself integral to the achievement of economic growth. In terms of the detail, there is much to pore over in a response that runs to some 89 pages. However, points that particularly caught my eye include the following: Continue reading

New CJEU judgment on intermediary liability

The UK Government’s recent introduction of an Online Safety Bill has raised afresh the important question of the extent to which online intermediaries can and should be required to curate and police the content that they host or index online. The Bill itself is controversial. Not least there are serious questions as to whether, as currently framed, it will: (a) require intermediaries to meet excessively burdensome standards (b) subject Ofcom (the proposed regulator in respect of the relevant online safety duties) to regulatory obligations which are themselves Augean in nature and further (c) fundamentally undermine the free speech rights which the Bill itself recognises are foundational to a modern digital democracy. In other words, there is a serious question as to whether this is a Bill that will do more harm than good. It is against that backdrop that we should turn to consider the recent judgment of the CJEU in the case of Peterson v Google LLC C-682/18 and C-683/18. The Peterson case is a copyright case, and so its relevance to the readers of this blog is not immediately discernible. However, it is a case worth considering particularly in view of what it says about the protections afforded to online intermediaries, and particularly hosting platforms, by the E-Commerce Directive. Continue reading