CookieLaw Blog December 7, 2015

Data Privacy in 2016 – A Look Ahead

2015 has been a big year for privacy.  There has been an almost continual stream of data breaches, significant not just in sheer numbers of people whose data has been lost, but the types of companies and the serious nature of the data involved. 

There have also been stories about abuses of personal information by perfectly legitimate and otherwise well-meaning organisations.  Charities in particular came under scrutiny in the UK after it emerged that vulnerable people appeared to have been deluged with requests for money and contact lists of donor targets had been actively traded.

Data Protection Authorities have been flexing their muscles with increased confidence.  In the UK the ICO has handed out record fines for cold calling and spam texts, and is asking a lot of questions of the UK data broker industry.

We have also seen the unravelling of the Safe Harbour regime as a result of the Schrems decision, threatening the significant flows of data from the EU to the US.  The issue of surveillance, and particularly the mass retention of data for use by law enforcement and national security services, remains a hot topic.

Of course, overshadowing this all, or perhaps encompassing it, has been the continued negotiations around the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the will-they-won’t-they questions about their conclusion by year end.

So what can we expect next year? These are my three to watch out for.

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