Information is key and data protection a human right

Law enforcement agencies, in the US especially, have for years criticised end-to-end encryption. Yet it is a surprising move that the UK government is advocating radical changes. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is already used in WhatsApp, iMessage and Signal apps. Now Meta plans to add it to Facebook Messenger and Instagram direct messages in 2023. The UK’s No Place to Hide campaign, backed by the Home Office, states that online privacy and cyber-security must be protected, but how they can be balanced with safety measures? The immediate focus here is the detection of child sexual exploitation and abuse but it is certain that reasons extend to other criminal activities. Read our correspondent’s views.

Warfare today, whether in Ukraine or elsewhere, is also a cyber war – fake news, destroying communications capabilities etc. Websites of several Ukrainian banks and government departments became inaccessible immediately after Russia’s attack.

The European Union was already planning to help Ukraine fight off cyberattacks from Russia before the conflict started. In the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre has called on organisations in the UK to bolster their own online defences.

Cyber-security incidents within the UK are on the rise and get reported (sometimes) to the ICO, which issues regular statistics. Data protection and cyber-security are of course interlinked. The new National Cyber Strategy aims to ensure that the UK remains confident, capable and resilient in the fast-moving digital world.

In this edition, we report on the marketing aspects of the government’s proposal for a revised data protection regime and what the future holds for this consultation.

Data Protection Officers can find comfort in the recent indications that low value privacy claims will be dismissed in the High Court. It does seem a waste of expensive court time which could be used for more serious and high-value cases.

I hope you find this issue informative and useful for your role. Any feedback is always very welcome.

Laura Linkomies
Editor, Privacy Laws & Business

March 2022