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 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.
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.
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).
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.