Bird & Bird LLP


Bird & Bird is an international law firm dedicated to providing a full range of corporate and commercial legal services to clients in the e-commerce, IT, IP, communications, media, sport, banking and pharmaceutical and bioscience sectors. Lawyers from each of our international offices work together to provide cross-border advice to national and international clients.

Show more


Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media

ICO's investigation into data broking sector and enforcement notice to Experian
United Kingdom | 20 November 2020

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) recently published a report on its investigation into data protection compliance in the direct marketing data broking sector. The ICO's investigation focused on offline marketing services offered by the three largest credit reference agencies in the United Kingdom. The investigation covered only direct marketing services and did not extend to the core credit referencing function of these companies.

Marriott International faces class action in addition to potential GDPR fine
United Kingdom | 02 October 2020

Marriott International announced a significant data breach in 2018 following which the Information Commissioner's Office issued a statement citing an intention to fine Marriott £99.2 million for breaches of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Whatever comes of that intention, recent filings in the High Court reveal that Marriott now faces the additional threat of a customer class action which cites GDPR non-compliance in respect of the same security breach.

New UK regulatory regime on horizon to tackle digital platforms
United Kingdom | 24 July 2020

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently completed its market study into online platforms and digital advertising, building on the recommendations of the Furman review. Privacy was an important aspect of the CMA's study, which found that the collection and use of personal data by big online platforms for personalised advertising is another indication that these platforms do not face strong enough competitive constraints.

COVID-19 and games industry: opportunities and challenges
United Kingdom | 12 June 2020

In what was meant to be the biggest year ever for video games, there is now a question mark over the release date for the next generation of consoles and the many games being developed exclusively for them. There will inevitably be legal challenges ahead and commercial issues to be considered (eg, console manufacturers will be considering whether COVID-19 constitutes a force majeure event for the purpose of their contracts with component suppliers).

Online harms: government publishes response to consultation on proposals for internet regulation
United Kingdom | 21 February 2020

The government recently published its initial response to the public consultation on the Online Harms White Paper, in the first substantive update since its publication in April 2019. The consultation response is described as an indication of the direction of travel and it is clear that the policy development process is at an early stage. Certain things have been clarified, while much remains up for grabs. The government's full response to the consultation is expected in Spring 2020.

Information Commissioner publishes draft Code of Practice on Direct Marketing
United Kingdom | 17 January 2020

The Information Commissioner's Office recently published its draft Code of Practice on Direct Marketing. Covering traditional e-marketing but also newer tools increasingly relevant to marketers such as social media and adtech, the code is essential reading for those engaging in direct marketing activities in the United Kingdom. It includes important clarifications and updates to previous guidance, particularly in relation to in-app marketing messages, refer-a-friend schemes and marketing via social network platforms.

What a future without social media 'likes' could mean for industry
United Kingdom | 20 September 2019

From Facebook's 'thumbs up' to Reddit's 'upvote' and Instagram's and Tik-Tok's 'likes', so-called 'vanity metrics' used by social media platforms are ubiquitous. For these platforms, it is important to consider the impact that shifting engagement trends might have on user-generated content in the context of online harms. Platforms should therefore examine what can be done to improve self-regulation (eg, removing 'addictive' structures such as visual metrics) to ensure that the online world is a supportive place.

Cookies: ICO publishes new guidance
United Kingdom | 09 August 2019

The UK data protection authority, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), recently published new guidance on the use of cookies and a myth-busting blog post. The new guidance follows the ICO's June report into ad tech and real-time bidding, which raised substantial compliance challenges in relation to cookies.

AI and online harms: what does government's white paper mean for industry?
United Kingdom | 17 May 2019

The government recently released the much-anticipated Online Harms White Paper. Jointly authored by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Home Office, the paper sets out the government's proposals to address harms ranging from terrorism and child sexual exploitation to disinformation and harassment. It proposes fundamental changes to internet regulation in the United Kingdom and suggests that, among other technologies, AI may be both a source of the challenges and a means to resolve them.