At a glance.
- The UK’s Information Commissioner’s new reprimand publishing policy.
- Washington focuses on Big Tech.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s new reprimand publishing policy.
In December the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) determined that it would publish details about any reprimands it issues, starting from January 2022 onwards. Cooley’s cyber/data/privacy insights offers a look at what this shift in policy will mean going forward. In the past, the ICO published enforcement notices, fines, and summaries of audit reports but reprimands typically remained confidential. The full details of a reprimand can be quite lengthy, but the ICO will likely publish information such as the reason for the investigation, what the ICO took into consideration in its assessment, risks and breaches identified by the ICO, further actions recommended, and the deadlines for these actions. While the ICO’s announcement included a caveat allowing the regulator to withhold reprimand details “if there’s a good reason,” the hope is that the increased transparency will motivate organizations to implement appropriate compliance programs to ensure they are not found in violation of the General Data Protection Regulation. As well, the new policy should give individuals a better handle on their own privacy rights, empowering them to ensure their data is being protected.
Washington focuses on Big Tech.
Between US President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address and his recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, it’s clear the White House is seeking tech reform in three key areas: Section 230, antitrust, and privacy. A Washington Post opinion piece takes a closer look at these issues, and what the future could hold for them. The Supreme Court is poised to hear two court cases regarding Section 230, a portion of the Communications Decency Act that shields internet companies from liability for user content. While both sides of the aisle take issue with Section 230, it’s for very different reasons: liberals feel it allows platforms like Facebook and Youtube to post problematic content without consequence, while conservatives say 230 infringes on freedom of speech. President Biden has been ambiguous about how, exactly, he feels Section 230 should be updated, but he’s made it clear it’s time for more transparency regarding what content will be allowed. When it comes to antitrust, President Biden stated he wants to “prevent big online platforms from giving their own products an unfair advantage.” Congress has made nearly successful attempts to prohibit self-preferencing, and a Justice Department lawsuit concerning Google’s advertising practices includes antitrust issues. And finally, privacy is perhaps the issue both parties agree on most. Big Tech has gone mostly unregulated when it comes to the collection of user data, being granted carte blanche as long as data collection policies are included in the fine print of their dense user agreements. In his speech Biden called for “stricter limits on the personal data these companies collect on all of us,” and lawmakers proposed such limits in the American Data Privacy and Protection Act. Support from the White House could be the boost needed to make sure more stringent privacy laws are finally passed.