UNITED KINGDOM 

The Bank of England issues warning over data sharing after Brexit

The Bank of England has warned that many firms are unprepared for certain forms of disruption that could materialise in the financial sector post-Brexit. This extends beyond relocation fears.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) issued a statement which focused on data sharing between Britain and the EU after Brexit and stated that firms "lack robust contingency plans". The FPC does not discuss what the possible impacts of an end to data sharing between the UK and 27 EU countries would be, just that it could have a major impact on UK financial stability.

Earlier in the year, Governor Mark Carney said that the Bank of England is putting contingencies in place in preparation for Britain leaving the EU without any deal. He said they are making plans for all possible Brexit scenarios and the impact it may have on financial stability.

Resolution passed on contracted-out public services

A resolution aimed at tackling a key challenge for access to information frameworks around the world has been passed at the 10th International Conference of Information Commissioners in Manchester.

The resolution was agreed by the commissioners following discussions with civil society groups about accountability and transparency challenges with public sector contracts. Over time, contracted-out public services have become more complex which has led to key questions regarding information rights in this area.

The commissioners agreed that the next steps in the resolution will look at promotion of global open contracting standards, as well as a new conference working group to share practice about various initiatives for confronting the issue.

This comes at an important time for public authorities who, after the first reading of the UK's new Data Protection Bill on 13 September 2017, may be given broader powers for processing data. The Bill suggests that public bodies can depart from their obligations in the General Data Protection Regulations by creating a new legal basis for the process of personal data in the public interest, which could allow it to be used for purposes other than that for which it was intended. At a time where public authorities are being granted more power, information commissioners are keeping an eye on the important democratic value of transparency.

ICO Big Data report

The Information Commissioner's Officer (ICO) has updated its report on big data to take into account advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, as well as the imminent implementation of the GDPR.

Capability of big data analytics has spread rapidly throughout the public and private sectors. This has been fuelled by vast and disparate datasets of personal data that is continually being added to. This can be anything from forms for car insurance quotes to the statistics generated by your fitness tracker.

The ICO's latest report provides a discussion of big data, AI and machine learning and how these differ to other forms of processing data. It provides organisations with tips on how to ensure they stay compliant with data protection laws in this new wave of data processing but appreciates arguments that current data protection legislation can be inconsistent with big data analytics.

It is clear that the continuing development and use of big data (despite its benefits) will have great implications for privacy, data protection and individual's rights. The ICO has attempted to add its views to the topic with this updated report.

The ICO's Big Data report recently won a Global Privacy and Data Protection Award at the 39th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Hong Kong.