EU Data Protection Directive – London

On 23 September 1980, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development adopted a set of guidelines concerning data protection and transborder data flows. Following on from those guidelines, the EU enacted the Convention for the Protection of Individuals With Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (the “Convention”) in 1981. Within the EU, Member States had divergent laws on data protection and the EU took the view that it would be better to harmonise the laws of all Member States so that people could look to one standard when conducting Processing activity within the EU. At least, that was one of the aspirations. In 1995, after years of discussion the European Data Protection Directive 95/46 EC (the “Directive”) was eventually adopted.

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EU and UK Regulation of Linking, Framing and Metatags

Businesses which use their own websites to carry on ecommerce need to be aware of the intellectual property rights which can be used to protect the contents and the investment made in their websites. In particular, businesses need to be aware of the intellectual property issues surrounding certain Internet practices, namely linking, framing and the use of metatags.

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The Data Protection Act of 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998 (the “DPA”), which implements the European Data Protection Directive 95/46 EC (the “Directive”), came into force on 1 March 2000. The DPA allowed for two periods of transition, the first of which ended on 24 October 2001. The second transitional period ends on 23 October 2007, but only applies in limited circumstances to eligible manual data held immediately before 24 October 1998. Most businesses which are Processing data in the UK will now need to comply with the provisions of the DPA.  

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UK Regulation of Online Financial Promotion

This paper will deal with the application of:

  • section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (the “FSMA“);
  • the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2001 (the “Financial Promotion Order“) and amendments thereto; and
  • the financial promotion rules in the Conduct of Business Sourcebook (“COBS“).

This paper is intended to give an overview of the main aspects of the above rules and how they apply to online financial promotions.

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Regulation of Jurisdiction and Cross-Border Liability in the EU

The global nature of the Internet means that any business trading online is opening itself up to the possibility of trading with other businesses or customers based abroad. This is one of the enormous attractions of the Internet. However, the introduction of a foreign element to a business’s activities exposes it to issues of conflict of laws. Regardless of the business’s choice of law governing its activities and choice of court for handling any disputes, it may find that the laws of other countries apply or that the courts of other countries claim jurisdiction. So, it is important that any business engaged in e-commerce considers the implications of a global marketplace on its activities. This briefing note examines which courts have jurisdiction over a contract resulting from e-commerce and which law will be applied.

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Privacy Policies

Most organisations that conduct their business online will collect data relating to individuals at some stage during their operations, whether in relation to customers, target clients, or even their own employees. Personal data can be collected on websites by a variety of means: registration pages, requests for details when goods or services are ordered, competitions and surveys, or by the use of various tracking devices such as cookies. Whenever personal data is collected, the organisation responsible for the use of such data (known as the ‘data controller’) will need to comply with various legal requirements, and may be advised to follow certain good practice guidelines, all of which are designed to protect the privacy of the individual whose data is being collected.

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Regulation of Transborder Data Flows

As markets become more global, data protection awareness and compliance in transborder data flows is becoming increasingly important. There are important issues for companies wishing to send personal data to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). This paper considers in detail the Eighth Principle under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) and the ways in which compliance with its requirements may be achieved.

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