Act Now launches Law Enforcement Data Processing Policy Pack (Part 3 DPA 2018)

LED Policy PackOrganisations with a role in preventing and detecting crime (e.g. councils, police, regulatory bodies etc.) not only have to comply with GDPR but also Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) which applies to the processing of personal data for law enforcement purposes. This is a complex task requiring, amongst other things, a set of policies, procedures and notices; a daunting task especially for organisations “starting from scratch”.

Act Now has applied its 16 years of information governance experience to create a policy pack containing essential document templates to help you meet the requirements of the DPA 2018. It will save you hours of drafting and research time. The pack includes, amongst other things, template privacy notices as well as procedures for data security and data breach reporting. Security is a very hot topic after the recent ICO fine notices issued against British Airways and Marriott International.

We have also included template letters to deal with Data Subjects’ rights requests, including subject access. This is another hot topic. On 25thJune 2019, Enforcement Notices (under Part 3 of the DPA) were served by the ICO on the Metropolitan Police, for sustained failures to comply with individuals’ rights in respect of subject access requests.

Contents

Template policies

  • Data Protection Policy – providing an overarching framework for compliant processing of personal data for law enforcement purposes as required under s56 DPA 2018
  • Sensitive Data Processing Policy – as required under s42 of DPA 2018

Procedures

  • Data breach reporting
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment template
  • Data Subject rights request response templates
  • System requirements specification – Summary of requirements to meet the audit and record keeping requirements of Part 3 of DPA 2018
  • International transfers

Privacy Notice templates

  • General (for publication)
  • Specific (for tailoring privacy information to particular individuals as required by s 44(2) of DPA 2018)

Records and Tracking logs

  • Information Asset Register
  • Record of Processing Activity (s 61)
  • Record of Sensitive Data processing
  • Data Subject Rights request tracker
  • Information security incident log
  • Personal data breach log
  • Third country transfer logs
  • Data protection advice log

The above documents are inter-related and contain cross references, particularly across the various tracker logs.

The documents are designed to be as simple as possible while meeting the statutory requirements placed on Data Controllers. They are available as an instant download (in Word Format) following payment. Sequential files and names make locating each document very easy.

Click here to read sample documents.

For only £249 plus VAT (Special Introductory Price), the policy pack gives a useful starting point for organisations of all sizes who have a law enforcement function and will save hours of drafting time and research time.

This LED processing policy pack complements the Act Now GDPR Policy Pack which covers the general processing of personal data. The GDPR policy pack has been bought by public and private organisations including local authorities, utility companies, universities and charities

To learn more about Part 3 of the DPA 2018, see our full day workshop and webinar on this topic. For a full GDPR update please see our new advanced workshop.

GDPR Practitioner Certificate: New Course For London

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By popular demand Act Now Training has added an extra course in London for its GDPR Practitioner CertificateThis course is aimed at those undertaking the role of Data Protection Officer under GDPR whether in the public or the private sector.It will teach delegates essential GDPR skills and knowledge.

The course takes place over four days (one day per week) and involves lectures, assessments and exercises. This is followed by a written assessment. Candidates are then required to complete a practical project (in their own time) to achieve the certificate.

The new London course starts on 1st April 2019. Subsequent dates are 8th April, 15th April and 29th April.

This course has been super successful since launch. We ran it over 60 times in 2018 alone with over 900 delegates being trained. You can read some of the feedback here.

Make 2019 the year you achieve a GDPR qualification. Book early to avoid disappointment. 

BREXIT UPDATE: If you want to know more about how a No Deal Scenario will impact on GDPR and the DPA 2018, Ibrahim Hasan is presenting a webinar on 18th March 2019. We also have a new webinar on international transfers pre and post Brexit.

The Data Protection Act 2018: A Summary

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The much-publicised Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) came into force last week (25thMay 2018), alongside the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I recently wrote a blog post explaining the aims of the new Act and busting some of the myths.

Part 2 of the Act supplements the GDPR i.e. it fills in some of the gaps by enacting “derogations”; where Members states are allowed to make their own rules e.g. about exemptions and children’s consent. This part has to be read alongside the GDPR.

Much of the Act is the broadly the same as the Bill when it was introduced to Parliament e.g. children’s consent, automated decisions, Special Category Data etc. Read a summary of the Bill here.

Exemptions

Articles 6(3) and 23(1) of GDPR allow member states to introduce exemptions from various GDPR obligations e.g. transparency and individuals’ rights. All of the familiar exemptions from the old Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998)(see S.29-35and Schedule 7) are set out in Schedules 2 – 4 of the new Act e.g.crime and taxation, legal proceedings, management forecasts, public functions, negotiations etc. There are some new exemptions and others have been changed.

Immigration: Paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 of the Act introduces a new exemption for personal data processed for the purposes of effective immigration control. This removes most of the Data Subjects’ rights (incl. subject access) where they would prejudice such matters. Campaigners have argued that this exemption means thatimmigrants, including the 3 million EU citizens in the EU, (and those affected by the Windrush scandal) will not have access to data and information regarding how the Government decides on their fate, including their potential deportation.  This makes any defence and legal action against unlawful deportation by the Government extremely difficult. Open Rights Group and campaigners for EU citizens’ rights (the3million) are preparing to challenge this exemption in court. (More here.)

References: The DPA 1998 contained an exemption from the right of subject access for confidential references about a Data Subject given by, amongst others, an employer. However no such exemption applied to a request made for the same reference to a prospective employer. Thus employees could still see what their employer had written about them and challenge it.

Paragraph 24 of Schedule 2 of the new Act has undergone a fundamental change since the Bill stage. It now allows confidential references to be kept secret in all circumstances not just in the hands of the employer/giver of the reference. It also gives an exemption from the right to be informed under Article 13 and 14 of GDPR i.e. the need to mention it in a privacy notice.

This new blanket exemption (which now incudes volunteering) takes away important rights of employees and volunteers. It should concern everyone, not just the unions, especially as it was passed without any debate or discussion.

Legal Professional Privilege: Paragraph 19 of Schedule 2 of the Act contains an exemption for personal data that consists of legally privileged information (LPP). It is similar to the one contained in the DPA 1998 but slightly broader in that it also covers personal data which is subject to a duty of confidentially owed by a professional legal adviser not just that information covered by LPP. The latter will apply to a much narrower range of information than the former. This exemption allows lawyers to refuse subject access requests and disregard the duty to inform (Article 13 and 14 of GDPR).

Barristers have warned that the Act could hand ‘big brother powers’ to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) by granting it access to privileged material without client consent and subsequently disclosing it. However Section 132 of the Act (Confidentiality of Information) seems to guard against this. 

Freedom of Information

Part 1 of Schedule 19 of the Act amends the personal data exemption/exception under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000(FOI) and Regulation 13 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (as well as the equivalent Scottish legislation). These are consequential amendments designed to ensure that the correct provisions of the GDPR and the new Act are referenced instead of the now repealed DPA 1998. They will not fundamentally impact when personal data can, and cannot, be disclosed in response to an FOI or EIR request.

Public Authorities

GDPR mentions public authorities in a number of places e.g. when stipulating who needs to appoint a Data Protection Officer in Article 37. Furthermore the ‘legitimate interests’ condition (Article 6(1)(f)) cannot be relied upon to justify data processing by public authorities in the performance of their public tasks. Section 7 of the Act defines ‘public authority’ as any organisation that is covered by FOI (or its equivalent in Scotland) as well as bodies specified by the Secretary of State. Certain bodies, pursuant to section 7(3), despite being subject to FOI, will not be deemed public authorities for GDPR purposes. Most notably this includes parish councils. Consequently parish councils do not need to appoint a DPO and can rely on the legitimate interests condition without restriction.

Criminal Offences

The Act creates two new criminal offences. Clause 171 makes it an offence for a person knowingly or recklessly to re-identify information that is de-identified personal data without the consent of the Data Controller responsible for de-identifying the personal data. Offenders will be liable on summary conviction or on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

Clause 173 makes it an offence for the Data Controller or a person employed by it to alter, deface, block, erase, destroy or conceal information with the intention of preventing disclosure of information that a Data Subject enforcing his/her rights would have been entitled to receive. Offenders will be liable on summary conviction to a fine. This is similar to the offence under S.77 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

The offence under section 55 of the DPA 1998 is now to be found in Section 170 of the new Act; obtaining or disclosing personal data without the consent of the Data Controller and procuring a disclosure to another person. It is extended to include retaining personal data after obtaining data it, without the consent of the Data Controller.

Complaints

Section 165 sets out what individuals can expect if they submit a complaint to the ICO about the way their personal data has been procesed under GDPR.  Clause 166 sets out a mechanism for a complaint to the Tribunal if the ICO fails to address it adequately.The ICO is currently consulting on its Draft Regulatory Action Policy.

Compensation

Article 82 of GDPR states that any person who has suffered material or non-material damage as a result of an infringement of GDPR shall have the right to receive compensation from the Data Controller or Data Processor for the damage suffered. Section 169 of the Act explains that damage includes financial loss and damage not involving financial loss, such as distress. This is in marked contrast to the DPA 1998 which only allowed compensation for distress where it was linked to damage; although the Court of Appeal decision in Vidal-Hall v Google [2015] EWCA Civ 311 allowed claims for distress alone.

Notification and Fees

Under the DPA 1998 most Data Controllers had an obligation to register with the ICO (known as Notification). There is no such requirement in GDPR. However, as predicted on this blog last year, the Government has introduced a new charging structure for Data Controllers to ensure the continued funding of the ICO. The Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 also came into force on 25thMay 2018 and imposes different levels of fees depending the size of the Data Controller. Data Processors do not have to pay any fee to the ICO but then many will be Data Controllers in their own right.

The new regulations are made under a power contained in the Digital Economy Act 2017 (which is itself a controversial piece of legislation due to the wide ranging provisions about data sharing.) The ICO website has more details to help Data Controllers work out what fee is payable (See also our blog post here.)

Section 137 of the new Act goes further in that it allows regulations to be made which require Data Controllers to pay further charges regardless of whether the Commissioner has provided, or proposes to provide, a service to Controllers.

It’s never too late to put steps in place to comply with the DPA 2018 and GDPR. The Information Commissioner writes in her recent blog:

“The creation of the Data Protection Act 2018 is not an end point, it’s just the beginning, in the same way that preparations for the GDPR don’t end on 25 May 2018. From this date, we’ll be enforcing the GDPR and the new Act but we all know that effective data protection requires clear evidence of commitment and ongoing effort.”

STOP PRESS – JAN 2019 – GDPR and the DPA 2018 will be amended by the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Read more here.

We are running DPA 2018 workshops throughout the UK. If you want a brief summary, Ibrahim is doing a webinar next week.

Our ever popular GDPR Practitioner Certificate has availability in Leeds starting on 9th July. Book now.

Need to train frontline staff quickly? Try our GDPR e learning course . Our next two GDPR Practitioner Certificate courses are fully booked!

GDPR: What’s Happening?

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If you want to avoid watching Grandad murdering “Mistletoe and Wine” over the festive season, you could escape to a lesser evil; catching up on your GDPR reading! You may have missed some of the recent GDPR publications.

The Article 29 Working Party (A29WP) started handing out its Christmas presents early. Its Guidelines on Personal Data Breach Notification  was published for consultation a few weeks ago. Once finalised this document will offer valuable assistance to Data Controllers when deciding when to report a data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office and to Data Subjects under Articles 33 and 34 of GDPR. (See also our previous blog post on this subject.)

23rd January 2018 is the deadline for commenting on the A29WP’s Guidelines on Consent  and Transparency.

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion out there about consent. As the Information Commissioner has pointed out in her myth busting blog post, consent is only one way to justifying processing of personal data under Article 6 (and 9) of GDPR. What is consent? When is it explicit? When is it freely given? These are just some of the questions addressed in the draft guidelines.\

Transparency is a key requirement of the First Data Protection Principle in Article 5 of GDPR. It is also the theme of the Data Subject’s rights in Article 13 and 14; the right to information.Amongst other things, the draft guidelines on this topic address the important issue of privacy notices, their content and timing.

The Data Protection Bill is currently being scrutinised by the House of Lords in the Committee Stage. One important amendment has been agreed which will be good news for public authorities (defined by clause 6 of the Bill as those subject to Freedom of Information laws). “Legitimate interests” is one of the conditions for processing personal data under Article 6. However GDPR states that it is not available to “public authorities in the performance of their tasks.” This caused concern amongst some public authorities who felt that some of their personal data processing, especially when involved in commercial activities, did not always fit the other conditions in Article 6. In particular it was not “a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority” as per Article 6(1)(e).

The amendment to the Bill resolves this issue by saying that a Data Controller will only be a public authority “when performing a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority” vested in it. Therefore where a Public Authority Data Controller is processing personal data for other reasons it will still be able to rely upon legitimate interests. We will be covering this in our Data Protection Bill webinar in January 2018.

And Finally…

  • We have finalised our 2018 course programme.
  • Our GDPR Practitioner Certificate is proving very popular with those who need to get up to speed with GDPR as well as budding Data Protection Officers. Read about the last set of results 2 out of the first 3 courses in 2018 are fully booked.
  • If you require tailored GDPR training delivered at your premises, please get in touch.
  • We have sold over 350 copies of our GDPR handbook. We are donating £1 from each sale to the DEC Rohingya Crisis Appeal.

image credits: https://londonist.com/category/things-to-do/christmas-in-london

Act Now Launches GDPR Handbook

We all know that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) cannot be read in isolation.

In September, the DCMS published the Data Protection Bill. Amongst other things, it sets out how the UK Government intends to exercise its GDPR “derogations”; where Members states are allowed to make their own rules.

There are also a number of guidance documents from the Information Commissioner’s Office as well as the Article 29 Working Party on different aspects of GDPR. Wouldn’t it be useful to have one version of the GDPR containing clear signposts to the relevant provisions of the Bill and official guidance under each Article/Recital?

Act Now is pleased to announce the launch of its GDPR Handbook. This is a B5 size colour document. It is designed for data protection practitioners who want a single printed resource on the GDPR. It contains the full text of the GDPR together with:

  • Corresponding GDPR Recitals under each Article
  • Notes on the relevant provisions of Data Protection Bill
  • Links to official guidance and useful blog posts
  • Relevant extracts of the Data Protection Bill (in the Appendices).

A lot of the useful explanation of the provisions (Articles) is contained in the Recitals, which are at the front of the official text of the GDPR. Consequently, the reader has to constantly flick back and forth between the two. By placing the corresponding Recitals under each Article, the Act Now GDPR Handbook allows a more natural readying of the GDPR.

The Act Now GDPR Handbook is currently on sale at the special introductory price of £29.99. There is a 33% discount for the public sector and charities.

This will be a very useful document for those acting as Data Protection Officer under GDPR as well as data protection lawyers and advisers.

CHARITY DONATION

In recent weeks, half a million people, mostly Rohingya women and children, have fled violence in Myanmar’s (Burma) Rakhine state. They are seeking refuge in Bangladesh, where they urgently need food, water, shelter and medical care.

For each copy of the GDPR handbook you order, Act Now Training will donate £1 to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Emergency Appeal.

By popular demand, we have added an extra course in Manchester for our GDPR Practitioner Certificate. Our first workshop on the Data Protection Bill course is fully booked. We have places left in London and Manchester.

GDPR Practitioner Certificate: New Course For Manchester

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By popular demand Act Now Training has added an extra course in Manchester for its GDPR Practitioner Certificate.

Autumn 2017 has seen a massive upsurge in bookings for this course leading to every course being fully booked until the end of January 2018. This new Manchester course, starting on 14th November 2017, will give DP practitioners and advisers a chance to complete their training before the end of the year.

Candidate results and feedback so far has been excellent. Our first set of results came out back in May. Since then we have run many courses. Our latest results saw 10 delegates pass of whom 6 achieved a distinction.

The GDPR Practitioner Certificate is aimed at those undertaking the role of Data Protection Officer under GDPR whether in the public or the private sector.

This course will teach delegates essential GDPR skills and knowledge. The course takes place over four days (one day per week) and involves lectures, assessments and exercises. This is followed by a written assessment. Candidates are then required to complete a practical project (in their own time) to achieve the certificate. Our course now takes account of the provisions of the Data Protection Bill, which was published a few weeks ago.

As the GDPR implementation date gets closer, more organisations are recruiting Data Protection staff. Now is the time to ensure that you are fully up to date with the new law.

 

More information about our GDPR Practitioner Certificate course as well as other GDPR offerings are on our website. If you would like to have this course delivered at your premised, please get in touch.

 

Image credits: www.paulgroganphotography.com

GDPR Practitioner Certificate: Another Set of Great Results

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Act Now Training would like to congratulate the 10 delegates who have successfully completed our intensive one-week course leading to the GDPR Practitioner Certificate.

The course was delivered in London in August 2017. All 10 delegates passed with 6 achieving a distinction.  This is an even better than our first set of results back in May.

The GDPR Practitioner Certificate is aimed at those undertaking the role of Data Protection Officer under GDPR whether in the public or the private sector.

This course will teach delegates essential GDPR skills and knowledge. The course takes place over four days (one day per week) and involves lectures, assessments and exercises. This is followed by a written assessment. Candidates are then required to complete a practical project (in their own time) to achieve the certificate.

The August course delegates represented a diverse range of organisations including councils, universities and government departments from the UK as well as the Isle of Man and the USA(see comment below and at the end of this post). They all enjoyed the course and gave us some very positive feedback about the course and the trainer:

“Thank you very much and this is great news. Close to distinction I was and I am pleased for being the only American in the class. I have a solid foundation on GDPR and look forward to future trainings that will lead to a role as a DPO” Domenic DiLullo, USA

“The course content was comprehensive and the course material have real continuing value back in day-to-day work. The trainer’s expertise and experience was obvious but he also created a really fun, discursive environment to learn in.”  KG, University of London

“I feel well equipped to provide relevant advice and guidance on the GDPR as a result of taking this course. It was well presented with good quality, practical course material and access to a resource lab for articles, webinars and exam practice, all of which proved invaluable.” JD, East Sussex County Council

“Undertaking the Act Now GDPR practitioner course has reinforced my understanding of Data Protection and Privacy.  The training provided by the trainer has given me new strategies relating to implementing GDPR and privacy measures, achievable with much more confidence. I can now help my organisation understand, categorise and evidence risks associated with privacy and GDPR in more practical and robust way.” RS, Boston Council

“The course was excellent and well presented. I found the trainer approachable and entertaining and he helped to make what could be a dry subject come to life. Pre attendance the admin was excellent and everything went ahead without any glitch at all. Act Now have responded to me really quickly and efficiently every time.” SH, Swansea University

Demand for these courses has been phenomenal as have the testimonials. Due to this demand we have now added some further dates! Book early to avoid disappointment. Course starting on 21st November in Manchester!

GDPR: Notification and the future of ICO Charges

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By Jon Baines

Data Protection law has, since 1984 in the UK (with the first Data Protection Act), and since 1995 across Europe (with the Data Protection Directive), contained a general obligation on those who process personal data to notify the fact to the relevant supervisory authority (the Information Commissioner’s Office, or “ICO”, in the UK) and pay a fee for doing so. For many organisations it has in effect meant the payment of an annual fee in order to deal with people’s personal data.

Currently, in the UK, under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), data controllers (those organisations who determine the purposes for which and the manner in which personal data are processed) pay either £35 or £500, according to their size (data controllers whose annual turnover is £25.9m or more and who have more than 249 staff must, in general, pay the larger amount). There are various exemptions to the general obligation, for instance for some controllers who are not-for-profit and for those who process personal data only for staff administration (including payroll), or advertising, marketing and public relations (in connection with their own business activity), or for accounts and records.

Failure by a controller to make a notification, unless it has an exemption, is a criminal offence under sections 17 and 21 of the DPA, punishable by a fine. However, only one successful prosecution appears to have been brought by the ICO in the last calendar year – a surprisingly low figure, given that, anecdotally, the author is aware of large numbers of controllers failing to make a notification when they should do so.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does away with what has often been seen as a fragmented and burdensome notification requirement, substituting for it, at least in part, an accountability principle, under which relevant organisations (“data controllers”) will have to keep internal records of processing activities. As far back as 1997 the Article 29 Working Party, representing data protection authorities across the EU, recognised that excessively bureaucratic requirements in relation to notification not only represent a burden for business but undermine the whole rationale of notification by becoming an excessive burden for the data protection authorities.

And in its impact assessment in 2012, when the GDPR was first proposed, the European Commission explained some of the reasoning behind the removal of the requirement:

“[Notification] imposes costs and cumbersome procedures on business, without delivering any clear corresponding benefit in terms of data protection. All economic stakeholders have confirmed…that the current notification regime is unnecessarily bureaucratic and costly. [Data protection authorities] themselves agree on the need to revise and simplify the current system.”

However, in the UK at least the removal under the GDPR of notification fees would have had a catastrophic effect on the ICO’s existence, because, at the moment, all of the funding for its data protection work comes from fees income – almost £24m last year.

To address this impending shortfall, the government has aimed to provide powers (actually in the form of two pieces of legislation – first the Digital Economy Act and now the recent Data Protection Bill (DP Bill) (presumably the former will fall away given the introduction of the latter) to make regulations to create a domestic scheme for data protection fees. The explanatory notes to the Data Protection Bill state that”

“[Clause 132] provides the Secretary of State with a power to make regulations requiring data controllers to pay a charge to the Commissioner. Those regulations may provide for different charges in different cases and for a discounted charge. In setting the charge the Secretary of State will take into account the desirability of offsetting the amount needed to fund the Commissioner’s data protection and privacy and electronic communications regulatory functions. It also provides that the Secretary of State may make regulations requiring a controller to provide information to the Commissioner to help the Commissioner identify the correct charge.”

A clue as to how the charges might be set has now been provided by means of a questionnaire, sent on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to 300 lucky data controllers, seeking their views on what the fee structure might be. There is nothing on the DCMS, or ICO, website about this, so it’s not clear if it takes the form of a consultation, or, more likely, a scoping exercise. But what it appears to be putting forward for consideration is a three-tier scheme, under which data controllers would pay £55, £80 or £1000, based on the size of the data controller and the number of “customer records” it handles.

As drafted, the questionnaire doesn’t propose any exemptions. One assumes that these would follow, but even so, the proposal to levy a fee for data protection on business, at a time when the European legislature has removed it, must raise questions about how business-friendly this particular piece of law-making will be.

Additionally, it is not clear what the sanction for non-compliance, and what the enforcement regime, would be. As indicated above, the current criminal sanction does not appear to have prevented any number of data controllers from avoiding their legal obligations, with apparent impunity. One presumes, though, that enforcement would be left as a function of the ICO, and, given that Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has said on various occasions that her office needs to grow to cope with the demands of GDPR, it is to be supposed that she will aim to be strict on this matter.

There are estimated to be approximately 5.5 million businesses in the UK. If each of those paid only the bottom tier under the suggested fees structure, this could equate to a potential cost to business of about £3bn per annum. Even if only a proportion of businesses actually end up paying (bearing in mind the likely exemptions, and likely avoidance/ignorance of some – just like now), £55 is a 57% increase on the current lower fee, and, added to the administrative costs of actually making a notification marks a considerable overall burden on UK business and – indeed – other data controllers.

There is no easy answer to the question of how the ICO’s regulatory functions can effectively be funded, and on one view it makes sense to retain a similar arrangement to the existing one, despite the European legislature having determined it is both ineffective and burdensome. However, it would not be a great surprise to see business interests in the UK lobbying against a domestic measure which is in fact more costly for them than the measures of the European Union the UK is planning to leave.

Jon Baines, is chair of NADPO (www.nadpo.co.uk) and blogs in a personal capacity.

Many of our GDPR workshops are fully booked. We have added a new course on the Data Protection Bill to our programme. 

The GDPR, the Data Protection Bill and Complaints

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By Scott Sammons

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the recently announced Data Protection Bill (DP Bill) are bigger pieces of legislation than the old Data Protection Act 1998. We already know that remedies and complaints under the Regulation are more wide ranging and entities, in effect, are now to be seen as guilty until proven innocent (reference the need to be able to ‘demonstrate compliance’ in Article 5(2)).

Both the GDPR and the DP Bill give the Data Subject the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner if the Data Subject considers that, in connection with personal data relating to him or her, there is an infringement of the GDPR (GDPR Article 57 and DP Bill Section 156).

In Article 38 (4) of the GDPR, it implies that Data Subjects can raise matters (complaints) with the Data Protection Officer but doesn’t explicitly state that Data Subjects can ‘lodge a complaint with the controller or processor’. The GDPR outlines that they can exercise their rights on the controller/processor (some of which, like the right to object to automated decision making, are often only really used if the Data Subject is unhappy about something). Therefore, as with today, you will want to encourage Data Subjects (should they have a concern) to bring it to you directly rather than go to the Information Commissioner. It is likely that the ICO will continue their stance of referring complainants back to the organisation concerned first if they have just gone straight to the ICO, but I wouldn’t rely on this if I was you. The world is changing, and in order to truly embed the transparency and accountability requirements of GDPR it is far better to have a visible complaints process for Data Subjects up front.

Also, neither the GDPR nor the DP Bill explicitly states that the Data Protection Officer should be the one to investigate and resolve GDPR related complaints. They do however, in Article 39 (1)(b) and Section 69 (1)-(3) respectively, state that the DPO should ‘monitor compliance’ with the GDPR and DP Bill. Therefore the DPO should definitely be part of the complaints process, especially for ‘high risk’ complaints, but as for investigating every single complaint, I can’t see an explicit requirement for that. Therefore if you’re the DPO for your organisation reading this or the IG/DP team member that will investigate DP complaints from data subjects then this may be of use to you.

Due to the above, however, this does mean that when investigating complaints and/or accusations of non-compliance with the GDPR (or the DP Bill), you will need to be more thorough and more specific in determining exactly where a ‘breach’ may or may not lie.

For many of you this will be old news and you are most probably already doing this, but to many people formal training in ‘complaint handling’ and investigation is something new. Hopefully you’ll find this useful, and it should follow the same sort of process and standards many organisations (especially those that are regulated) will have in place.

Firstly, many people will accuse you / your organisation of wrong doing and often provide a list of areas where they believe you have gone wrong. Some will be genuine and some will be utter nonsense. But you will need to be thorough to ensure that you can genuinely separate out what is a valid complaint and what is someone’s misunderstandings/ventings/vendettas. Always start from a position of an ‘accusation is not a fact’, regardless of the ICO position of ‘guilty until proven innocent’, any failing in your compliance controls will need evidencing and a thorough complaint investigation will determine that. Each accusation should be taken seriously but it will need to be investigated and evidenced to determine whether or not it is a valid complaint and there is a ‘case’ to be answered.

When investigating the matter at hand start at the very beginning. What started this person down this path to lodge a complaint? What were the interactions with your service? Were things done correctly? Can you evidence that a particular action (either good or bad) was actually carried out or is it a case of a staff member’s word vs the complainants? As you would with a legal case look for evidence to establish facts, the less evidence you have the more likely you are to have a weak case to defend. The more evidence you have the more you can prove one way or another what occurred and if the complaint has merit.

It is likely that during your investigation you’ll determine that x process was not followed or y system failed resulting in the errors causing the complaint. If you are able to come to the conclusion that processes, systems or any controls have indeed failed it may also be worth logging an ‘adverse incident’ on the controls that have failed.

For those that have seen any of my previous post on Information Risk, when you put things in place to prevent your risks from materialising these are referred to as “controls”. These controls can range from policies, procedures, training, technical solutions, and system design to anything really that helps you control that risk. When a control or controls fails this should be recorded as an ‘incident’ so that  you can monitor the effectiveness of your controls and ensure whatever remedy you put in place to stop it re-occurring, actually helps that control (and isn’t just a default response of punish or train the staff member).

But I digress; let us go back to the complaint. Once your investigation is complete and for each aspect of the complaint you can conclude what has and what has not occurred you can start to draft a response and determine what parts of the complaint are ‘upheld’, ‘not upheld’ or ‘partially upheld’. If you imagine the ‘shopping list’ of accusations I referenced above, for each item on that list you should have a position of upheld, not upheld or partially upheld. If at any point:

Upheld is where you agree with the complainant and there is a case to be answered for. It is then up to you how you want to proceed with that complaint based on what standards and approach your organisation takes to resolving complaints. Where a complaint does look like it is to be upheld (and indeed with any ‘high risk’ complaints) you will also need to agree the outcome and actions with the Data Protection Officer.

Partially upheld are, as it says on the tin, areas where there is some merit to their complaint but it didn’t occur as they outline and/or the impacts they describe are heavily inflated / incorrect. This may still be a ‘high risk’ area even though it may only be partially upheld, therefore you may still need to ensure you have DPO sign off before issuing the response.

Not upheld are simply where you cannot evidence that what the complainant says occurs actually occurred or you have evidence to the contrary therefore their complaint is unfounded and can be, for want of a better word, rejected.

When responding back to the complainant you will need to run through each aspect of their complaint and outline your findings and why you have upheld or not upheld that aspect of their complaint. There could, for large complaints, be a mixture of upheld, partially upheld, and not upheld for the various different areas they are claiming you have not complied with the law.

If you can record all of the above, with the supporting evidence, should the complainant indeed then take their complaint to the ICO the majority of your investigative work should be complete. It can then be quickly investigated or even ‘reviewed’ by another party if that’s what your organisation prefers. In any event, if you’re the DPO or the person supporting the DPO in their tasks, this should make it easier to log, track, resolve and learn from complaints if and when you get them. Of course the ideal would be to not get any complaints, but in this world however that is never going to happen.

Life is far too imperfect, but a ‘close to perfect’ complaints and incidents process should help you manage your GDPR compliance and give you useful insight into what is going right and wrong in your organisation.

 

Scott Sammons FIIM, CIPP/E, AMIRMS is Chair of the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) and sits on the Exam Board for our GDPR Practitioner Certificate courses (3 out of the next 5 are fully booked).

 

We have added a new course on the Data Protection Bill to our programme.

The Data Protection Bill: A Summary

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By Lynn Wyeth

The text of the new Data Protection Bill has finally been published by the Government and at 218 pages, 194 clauses, 18 schedules and 112 pages of explanatory notes, it is a huge chunk of legalese spaghetti. You can find the main Bill in pdf form here.

As with the 1998 Data Protection Act (DPA98), the Bill is cumbersome and repeatedly refers to clauses within itself. This is compounded this time by references also to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other pieces of European legislation. To translate all this and join all the dots you need to flick between many texts and screens, but here’s a quick summary of some of the key issues and where to find them in the Bill:

Structure of the Bill

There’s nothing hugely unexpected in the Bill, as long as you are familiar with the DPA98, additional orders added to the DPA98 over the years, the GPDR and the Law Enforcement Directive (EU) 2016/680! This has all been merged into one large Bill to try and keep what we have now plus any new requirements of GDPR and the Directive. The Bill is set out in Parts, some of which may not be relevant to all organisations.

Part 1 & 2 – Definitions and General Processing

Part 3 – Law Enforcement

Part 4 – Intelligence Services

Part 5 – Information Commissioner’s Office

Part 6 – Enforcement

Part 7 – Miscellaneous!

Law Enforcement 

Part 3 of the Bill deals exclusively with Law Enforcement under Clauses 27 -79. Organisations will only be subject to these clauses if they are

  • a Competent Authority, or
  • processing for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security.

Schedule 7 lists the Competent Authorities and this includes organisations such as Government departments, Police, Fraud Office, Probation, Youth Offending Teams etc. If you don’t meet the criteria above, you don’t need to worry about this large part of the Bill.

There are some differences in Part 3 that organisations do need to be aware of if they fall into the law enforcement category. The Data Protection Officer (DPO) has extra specified tasks in clause 69, namely the ability to assign responsibilities, promote policies, undertake audits and deliver training. There is also an additional requirement to have specific audit trails (clause 60 – logging) on automated processing ensuring a log of who collected, altered, erased and transferred data amongst other things.

Public Authorities

The Bill confirms in clause 6 that where it refers to public authorities or public bodies, it means those organisations that are currently subject to Freedom of Information Act provisions. Interestingly it means any organisations brought under FOI in the future may need to consider issues such as DPOs and use of legitimate interests in future too. Housing associations and companies delivering public contracts may need to watch the FoI Private Member’s Bill going through parliament next year or the ICO’s push for extending FOI through its reports to Parliament.

Data Protection Officers

For those organisations not involved in law enforcement, their DPO will only have to undertake the tasks set out in GDPR, not the additional ones set out in clause 69. There are no extra surprises here and the Article 29 Working Party guidance on this is comprehensive about when one is required by law, the tasks it carries out and on the issue of conflict of interest. Senior managers, SIROs, Caldicott Guardians, Heads of IT or HR… none of them can be the DPO.

 Data Breaches

As expected in order to implement the GDPR requirements, any personal data breaches must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), where there is a risk to an individual, within 72 hours unless there is reasoned justification (breach notification). The potential derogation for public authorities has not been taken advantage of and they, like all other organisations, could face Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) of up to £17m or 4% of the equivalent of annual global turnover (although the ICO can change this – perhaps due to currency fluctuation or after Brexit). The reality is that the ICO, as stated in its myth busting blog, will continue to use CMPs as a last resort and they will be proportionate.

 Children

The Bill also confirms that in the UK the child’s age in relation to information society services will apply if the child is under 13 years old rather than 16 years old. Providers of such services will have to take reasonable steps to get the consent of a parent or guardian to offer a child under 13 years the service. The definition of information society services can be found in the E-Commerce Directive and it should be noted this specific age of consent is only for this type of service. For all other data protection issues, children can make their own decisions if they have capacity or Gillick competency. Data Protection practitioners in Scotland have the added complexity in clause 187 of separate rules for age of consent for Scottish children to reflect the existing provision there now that “a person aged 12 or over is to be presumed to be of sufficient age and maturity to have such understanding, unless the contrary is shown”.

 Fees

As previously discussed on this blog, GDPR removes the obligation for data controllers to notify with the ICO. The ICO had expressed concerns about this and the loss of income if they could not continue with notification fees (currently £500 per annum for large organisations, £35 per annum for smaller data controllers). The Data Protection Bill therefore makes provision for the ICO to continue to require a form of notification fees under clause 129. In fact, the Bill looks like it allows the ICO to charge fees for other services too. The ICO will have to publish these fees and have them agreed by the Secretary of State. The DCMS is currently consulting on a 3-tier system with the top tier (businesses with over 250 staff) having to pay up to £1000 (with a direct marketing top up of £20).

 Conditions for processing

 The ICO has already stressed in its myth busting blog that consent is not the only condition for processing despite misleading stories elsewhere. As before, the Bill lists several conditions for processing non-sensitive personal data and sensitive (now called special category in GDPR) personal data. As we already knew from GDPR, Public Authorities can no longer rely on legitimate interests but all of the other conditions from the existing DPA98 have been brought across e.g. counselling, insurance. There’s even one explicitly for anti-doping in sport. Schedule 1 lists all of these conditions for processing special category data.

 Complaints and compensation

Clause 157 sets out what individuals can expect if they submit a complaint to the ICO and the ICO fails to address it adequately, and how the Tribunal can then become involved. Clause 159 provides for compensation claims for ‘damage’ and that can include financial loss, distress and other adverse effects. Consumer support groups are disappointed that they are not able take class actions and seek redress without the data subject’s consent, as the Government has decided against the use of that derogation.

 New Criminal Offences

There will be a new criminal offence under the Bill where anyone uses anonymised data “knowingly or recklessly to re-identify information that is de-identified personal data”. Researchers and IT testers will need to be careful that they can demonstrate anything accidently re-identified or deliberately tested is done in the public interest and doesn’t trigger this offence. Data theft will also be a recordable offence on the national police computer, as will unlawfully obtaining personal data and altering personal data in a way to prevent it being disclosed.

 Certification

Clause 16 allows for the accreditation of certification providers. The only organisations that can award certification are the ICO and the National Accreditation Body (which looks set to be UKAS). No organisation has been awarded certification yet so beware of organisations claiming they can make you a ‘certified’ GDPR practitioner at this time!

 Exemptions

 All of the familiar exemptions have been brought across from the current DPA98 e.g. crime and taxation, journalism, references, examination marks, honours, parliamentary privilege, management forecasts, legal professional privilege and negotiations. Also added is immigration, and clarity is given on archiving and research. They can all be found in Schedules 2-4, with Schedule 3 focussing on detail on health and social care, and schedule 4 on education, child abuse and adoption.

Subject Access Requests

The Bill confirms the requirements in the GDPR. You cannot charge for a Subject Access Request unless repeated or manifestly unfounded or excessive, and you must answer in one month (unless it’s excessive and it can be extended for another two months).

 What happens next?

The 2nd reading of the Bill will take place in the House of Lords on October 10th 2017. Its passage through Parliament can be tracked here. There may be some amendments made as it works its way through the parliamentary process. Several Regulations will also need to be made by the Secretary of State to implement some parts of the Bill.

STOP PRESS – 25th May 2018

The Data Protection Act 2018 received Royal Assent yesterday afternoon and comes into force on Friday.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/12/contents/enacted/data.htm

We have a workshop in Leeds in July:

http://www.actnow.org.uk/courses/2618

If you want a brief summary, I am doing a webinar soon:

http://www.actnow.org.uk/courses/2601

Lynn Wyeth is the Head of the Information Governance function of a large unitary public authority and has over 10 years’ experience as a Data Protection and FOI practitioner. She also delivers some of our external GDPR and GDPR Practitioner Certificate courses.

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