Key points from the Bridges facial recognition appeal

September: Panopticon is scraping itself off furlough and bounding back to school. Here are two information rights from August that are worth noting, both anchored in ECHR rights.

First, readers will recall the high-profile case of R (Bridges) v Chief Constable of South Wales Police and Others. Bridges concerned a challenge on (among others) Article 8 ECHR and DP grounds to the police force’s use of automated facial recognition (AFR) as part of a pilot project aimed at spotting the faces of suspects on wanted lists among the crowds. Continue reading

Schrems II: standard contractual clauses survive; Privacy Shield dead

Well this is a fine mess. Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems has struck again: transfers of personal data from the EU to the US are suddenly vulnerable again, thanks to today’s CJEU judgment in Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland and Max Schrems (Case C-311/18; 16 July 2020) – the so-called Schrems II judgment. The judgment (see here: Schrems II Judgment) is complex and multi-faceted, but I’ll aim for a nutshell summary just now. Continue reading

ZXC v Bloomberg: privacy expectations about criminal investigations

The Court of Appeal has today given judgment in the long-running ZXC v Bloomberg litigation ([2020] EWCA Civ 611). The key points:

  1. In general, a person does have a reasonable expectation of privacy about the fact that/details of their being subject to a police investigation, up to the point of charge.
  2. Reporting about alleged conduct is different from reporting about a criminal investigation into that conduct.

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Spam sandwiches: Tribunal dismisses Leave.EU PECR appeals

Regulation 22 of PECR 2003 – the prohibition on non-consensual electronic direct marketing communications – has been a favourite ICO hunting ground for monetary penalties for many years. Nevertheless, its dos and don’ts have remained stubbornly fuzzy at the edges. Thankfully, the Tribunal’s most recent decision on direct marketing communications is helpful and illuminating. It’s also quite entertaining: a nice montage of Arron Banks, spam, kangaroos and stuff. Continue reading