Data protection. Utter the words and the immediate response from many people will be “GDPR”.
The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, the Law Enforcement Directive and the Data Protection Act 2018 was a once in a generation event. The old regime received a significant face-lift, with the repeal of the existing 1995 Directive and Data Protection Act 1998. Organisations of all shapes and sizes are impacted as a result of these changes in law and would be well advised to take legal advice from expert solicitors who specialise in data protection and privacy matters.
We have advised clients across the public, private and third sectors on data protection, privacy and freedom of information matters for many years. Recently, a large focus of our work has been on supporting clients with their GDPR compliance programmes, including:
Whilst there is so much focus on the GDPR, it is also important to remember that there are other data protection, privacy and information law matters to consider carefully as well. Case law in these areas is constantly changing the legal landscape, and as individuals become more closely acquainted with – and willing to enforce – their data rights, organisations need to ensure that their policies, processes and people are equipped to deal with issues as and when they arise. More broadly, developments in technology such as artificial intelligence, biometric solutions and complex big data sharing arrangements, particularly in the public sector, present novel questions for which bespoke legal solutions may be required.
We have a particular expertise in advising on the Law Enforcement Directive and Part 3 of the Data Protection Act. Often overlooked and left in the shadow of the GDPR, this legislation is fundamentally important to “competent authorities”, including central Government departments, police forces, regulators, other law enforcement agencies and authorities processing personal data for law enforcement purposes (including local authorities).
As a firm which has deep roots in the public sector, we also frequently advise on compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Environmental Information Regulations and similar legislation, and on responding to Parliamentary Questions. This ranges from advising on responses to requests for information, conducting audits of information which is potentially disclosable, advising on the applicability of statutory exemptions, responding to Information Commissioner investigations/complaints handling and dealing with vexatious requests.
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“I would just like to place on record my thanks to both you [Gareth] and Charlotte for your support and guidance throughout the process which has resulted in good outcomes for the Council. The route has not been easy…and I thank you for seeing the process through to its pleasing conclusion.”
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