Subject to the deadlock in parliament being broken, or an extension of the Article 50 Brexit process, the UK’s 46-year European Union membership will cease in a matter of days. In the privacy world, the primary focus for most companies to date has, quite rightly, been on ensuring that data flows in and out of the UK can continue lawfully after that date. But for companies operating across Europe, and indeed across the world, with establishments or customers in the UK, Brexit also has implications in terms of the applicability of the UK data protection framework to their operations. The UK government has published its catchily-titled draft Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which amend the territorial applicability provisions of the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 to ensure the law applies appropriately after the exit day.
The UK and Canadian data protection regulators have written to webcam manufacturers to highlight concerns about the safety of internet-connected devices and to enlist their assistance in reducing the risks posed by their products. In particular, the regulators call for manufacturers to roll out privacy-friendly default settings, implement “privacy by design” – whereby data protection and privacy considerations are built into the design and manufacturing process – and provide increased guidance to consumers about ensuring the security of devices.