Global Data & Privacy Update - 2 July 2015

Author:Ms Margaret Tofalides
Profession:Clyde & Co

ICO releases annual report

The UK's privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioners' Office, has released its annual report for 2014/15. It considers the main developments in data protection for the period, including a change in the law to allow companies to be fined for nuisance calls and texts, and new powers which allow the ICO to carry out audits of the National Health Service records. The report also notes the contribution of the ICO to efforts to update the EU's privacy regulations.

GCHQ staff subject to excessive monitoring

The UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), was last week criticised for exceeding its authority to monitor the communications of its own staff. In its annual report, the ICO confirmed that the intelligence agency acted in error rather than deliberately spying on staff. Information Commissioner Sir Mark Whaller explained there had been a lack of understanding regarding the capability of monitoring systems. Forty-two other breaches of data privacy law by the UK's security agencies were also highlighted in the report.

ICO raids suspected cold-calling company

The ICO has carried out a raid at a company suspected of making thousands of unwanted marketing calls, it emerged last week. ICO staff entered the premises in Manchester in search of a machine capable of placing 100,000 of automated calls a day in breach of the UK's data protection laws. It followed 7,000 complaints from members of the public about the company making unwanted calls containing messages about pension schemes or payment protection insurance.

MoD targeted by "hundreds, if not thousands" of attempted hacks per day

The head of the UK Ministry of Defence's (MoD) cyber-security branch told the Financial Times this week that the ministry detects up to a million suspicious incidents on its systems every day. Brigadier Alan Hill said "hundreds if not thousands" of these incidents were attempted hacks that could lead to a serious breach of MoD systems. He also commented on the increasing complexity of attacks.

Suspect in USD 55 million ATM thefts appears in New York courts

A man accused of mounting cyber attacks which netted USD 55 million from ATMs around the world has appeared in court in New...

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