Comment: AI is a rare Brexit winner

The UK wants to be a world leader in AI, and start-ups may be pleased that the country can now pursue its independent policy. However, while the deployment of AI systems accelerates, there is a danger that the general public do not understand how their data is being used, or why informed consent is not being sought. The House of Lords has recently issued a report that explores these issues.

For now, any changes to the UK’s data protection regime will have to be notified to the Partnership Council as per the EU-UK interim data protection agreement. Whilst it is good news for business that adequacy is still on the cards, with a possible extension of the Transition period until 30 June on this point, it can be also argued that the UK may wish to opt out of some of the most onerous GDPR provisions.

Now that the UK has left the EU, the UK GDPR applies. Organisations should now review and update their privacy policies, for example to describe what data flows take place between the UK and the EEA.

The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of data sharing. The ICO has now issued its new Data Sharing Code which will be discussed in Parliament later this year. At EU level, a Data Governance Act has been proposed to enhance data-driven innovation by easier data sharing.

In October last year, the ICO issued its Enforcement Notice on Experian for some direct marketing-related issues. It may be that the regulator was seeking different actions than would result from a fine. Read on p.1 what other organisations should learn from this case.

The role of social media has been in the spotlight regarding President Donald Trump and the violent events on Capitol Hill. For market research professionals, using social media intelligence is part of the job, but the importance of ethics should not be forgotten. Our correspondent analyses developments over a 20-year period.

Laura Linkomies
Editor, Privacy Laws & Business

January 2021