On April 3, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) released a statement setting out its priorities for protecting children’s privacy online. The priorities reflect the ICO’s strategy for the next phase of implementing its Children’s code of practice (also known as the “AADC”) and signal a focus by the regulator on the operations of social media and video-sharing platforms (platforms). The ICO will look at platforms’ default settings for children’s profiles, recommender systems and how they obtain consent to the processing of children’s data. The statement also indicates that the ICO will conduct audits of EdTech providers to identify privacy risks and potential noncompliance with applicable legislation.Continue Reading UK Privacy Regulator Details Next Stages of Its Strategy to Protect Children Online

On February 28, 2024, the UK’s Information Commissioner (commissioner) confirmed that the regulator’s focus areas in 2024 will include artificial intelligence (AI), cookies, biometrics, and children’s privacy.Continue Reading UK Privacy Regulator to Focus on AI, Cookies, Biometrics, and Children’s Privacy, and Consult on “Consent or Pay” Models

The Online Safety Bill (OSB or Bill) passed its final reading in the UK’s Parliament in September 2023. The Bill will become law in the coming weeks, ushering in a new era for the regulation of digital services in the UK. Online platforms and search services that fall within the scope of the legislation will be subject to proactive content risk assessment and mitigation duties oriented at protecting users, regardless of where those services are established. The Bill has attracted considerable media attention due to its anticipated impact on the operation of online services in the UK, as well as the potential for it to interfere with freedom of speech.Continue Reading Flagship Online Safety Bill Moves Closer to Enactment in the UK: Who Will Be in Scope and What Will It Require?

On September 21, 2023, the UK Government announced the establishment of the “UK-US data bridge” (the Bridge), also known as the UK Extension to the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (the DPF). The announcement promises to simplify compliance issues surrounding the transfer of personal data from the UK to the U.S.Continue Reading UK-U.S. Data Bridge Commencement Date Announced

On August 24, 2023, some members of the Global Privacy Assembly’s International Enforcement Cooperation Working Group published a joint statement on data scraping (Statement). Signatories to the Statement include the privacy regulators of the UK, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Jersey, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.[1] Notably absent from the list of signatories were the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the California Privacy Protection Agency, both of which are accredited members of the Global Privacy Assembly. This seems likely due to First Amendment considerations in the U.S. regarding data scraping, which have led to “publicly available” information being broadly excluded from recent U.S. state privacy laws.Continue Reading Global Regulators Highlight Potential Harms of Data Scraping and Best Practices

On August 9, 2023, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) released a joint position paper (the Paper) focused on “harmful” website design practices that may “trick” consumers into giving more access to their personal information. The Paper is targeted at web designers and developers, and it will be particularly relevant to consumer-facing organizations that target the UK market. It builds on joint work that the ICO and CMA have been engaged in since May 2021, when the regulators issued a joint statement promising a “joined up approach to regulation.” Announcing the Paper’s release, the ICO also revealed that it will be assessing cookie banners of the most frequently used websites in the UK, with a view to taking action against harmful designs.Continue Reading UK Regulators Signal Increased Focus on “Damaging” Website Design Practices