How can we help?


Data Protection Round-up: Data privacy and Online Safety Bill

Lost employment records 

Employers with longstanding employees are likely to have changed record/filing systems over the employee’s length of service. Outside of the tribunal context, the increasing use of data subject access requests is leading to unwanted exposure of employers’ record keeping habits.

A recent case demonstrates the potentially costly outcome. In this case, Tesco and a former employee have settled a data breach claim for £3,000.00. During tribunal proceedings the employee requested copies of their employment records going back some 15 years.

These records included sensitive medical information such as notes from counselling sessions. However, when Tesco (her employer) attempted to find the information, they were unable to, despite extensive searches.

When it was discovered that the records were lost, the employee issued separate proceedings for a data breach. How can employers avoid costly claims?

Employers should ensure that their employee records and databases are kept in good workable, and retrievable, order.

Privacy expectations of video teleconferencing

The ICO has issued a joint statement on privacy expectations of video teleconferencing companies.

In July 2020, six global data protection authorities (those of Australia, Canada, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, China, Switzerland, and the UK) signed an open letter to five of the biggest video teleconferencing companies (inc. Microsoft, Google, and Zoom).

Given the rapid rise in use of such technology and the consequential exposure of personal data and the potential negation of other privacy rights, the signatories were keen to understand the measures and privacy safeguards the companies had in place.

The letter set out five guiding principles necessary to address the key privacy risks: Security, Privacy-by-design and default, Know your audience, Transparency and fairness, and End-user control.

The joint statement confirms that the letter has led to constructive engagement with each company setting out their approach to data protection and privacy and how they take each of the principles into account and the risks involved.

The joint statement further explores the privacy principles, and sets out further commentary and observations the signatories hope the companies will implement. Video teleconferencing is here to stay and we expect facilitators of such technology to be under increasing scrutiny.

Jacob Montague


View profile

+44 118 960 4613

Tesco and a former employee have settled a data breach claim for £3,000.00. During tribunal proceedings the employee requested copies of their employment records going back some 15 years.

DCMS responds to Freedom of Expression report

Back in May of this year, the Government published its Online Safety Bill. The purpose of the bill is to impose a duty of care on the companies that host user-generated content, and facilitate interaction between its users, to prevent exposure to illegal and harmful content.

Subsequently, in July, the House of Lords published its own report responding to the Bill and now the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has responded to the report. The response is comprehensive and thorough; read the full DCMS response to the House of Lords Communications Committee’s report on Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age ( summary: 

  • On the subject of removing content, The House of Lords stated that they believe platforms’ approaches to misinformation are stifling freedom of speech and that posts should only be removed in exceptional circumstances. The DCMS confirmed that it would be up to the platforms to decide what is and is not acceptable on their services.  
  • The DCMS disagreed with the House of Lords that OFCOM should set strict timeframes for the removal of content that is clearly illegal. The DCMS believes that timeframes could have a negative impact on freedom of expression by incentivising over-removal of content without proper review.
  • The DCMS agrees with the House of Lords in that robust privacy standard should form part of a design duty. The DCMS goes onto confirm that such obligations are intended to work alongside existing data protection obligation.

The above, whilst only commentary on a draft bill gives us a good indication as to the Government’s digital direction, in particular their views on how online content is reviewed. 


About this article

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Jacob Montague


View profile

+44 118 960 4613

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

  • 03 October 2023
  • Construction

Proposed Reforms To The Arbitration Act 1996

The Law Commission has published its Final Report (the Report) on proposed reforms to the Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act).

  • 27 September 2023
  • Employment

10 top tips for negotiating a redundancy settlement agreement

In today’s financial market, redundancies are unfortunately becoming a reality for many businesses and employees.

  • 22 September 2023
  • Employment

Talking Employment Law: New family friendly rights

In this first podcast in the ‘Talking Employment Law’ series, Lucy Densham Brown and Rebecca Dowle, members of the employment team summarise some of the big new family-friendly Bills that are working their way through parliament.

  • 21 September 2023
  • Immigration

Immigration Fees Surcharge – 04 October 2023

The Government has published details of the previously announced increase to visa and sponsorship fees, with the aim of increasing revenue across a range of immigration and nationality visa pathways and associated services.

  • 20 September 2023
  • Commercial Real Estate

Is your property mixed use? Commercial buyers beware of higher residential SDLT

This article discusses a recent case in which a property buyer calculated the Stamp Duty Land Tax due on the purchase at a lower rate, due to the mixed-use purpose of the property.

  • 19 September 2023
  • Privacy and Data Protection

Organisations’ use of social media: Data protection

Social media applications (or commonly known as ‘apps’) are being developed all the time and we are constantly being introduced to new social media platforms, some of which take almost no time to gain huge popularity.