Comms and Data Protection: What Changes are Ahead?

On Thursday 20 July 15.00 - 17.00 techUK will be holding a roundtable to discuss how upcoming changes to data protection will impact the telecoms sector. 

The General Data Protection Regulation is now less than a year away. This new legislation, which will apply in UK law from 25 May 2018, regardless of Brexit, will have significant implications for organisations of every size and sector. However there are further changes ahead specifically for communications data in the shape of proposed reforms to the ePrivacy directive.

The GDPR, which will replace the Data Protection Act 1998, contains many requirements from existing rules. However, there are significant changes and additional obligations for organisations. Among these are an expanded definition of personal data, additional requirements for collecting consent, changes to data breach notifications, a new extra-territorial reach and the introduction of significant fines for non-compliance.

techUK has been following the changes to the Data Protection landscape closely and is now holding a series of events to look at how the implementation of GDPR will affect different parts of the UK tech sector. Following on from a successful event looking at the impacts of GDPR on the cyber security industry, techUK is hosting a roundtable discussion on what changes are ahead for the telecoms industry (fixed line, wireless and satellite) which transports the data both within national borders but across them.

However, communication data will not only be governed by the GDPR. The European Commission has proposed a reform of the existing ePrivacy Directive, which sets out rules and requirements for the processing of communication data. This will be in the shape of a regulation, rather than a directive.

The European Commission’s aim is to implement the reformed ePrivacy Regulation at the same time as GDPR i.e. on 25 May 2018. This is a remarkable challenge given the GDPR took almost five years to negotiate. The proposed ePrivacy Regulation contains changes to cookies and consent, and expansion of scope of services covered and introduces fines in level with the GDPR.

This roundtable, bringing together industry experts to provide opening thoughts, will be an opportunity to discuss the impacts that both the GDPR and proposed ePrivacy Regulation will impact the UK’s telecoms industry.

Specifically, discussions will address some of the following issues:

  • How will changes to consent impact telecoms providers?
  • Is the telecoms industry and wider ecosystem ready for GDPR?
  • Are there specific sectoral issues for the industry that should be considered?
  • What more needs to be done to ensure organisations are compliant in less than one year?
  • What would be the impacts of the proposed ePrivacy Regulation on the sector in its current form?
  • Should the ePrivacy Regulation proposals include legitimate interest as a legal basis to process communications data?
  • Will there be an impact on innovation under GDPR and the proposed ePrivacy Regulation?

Speakers at the roundtable include:

  • Kuan Hon - Director, Privacy, Security and Information, Field Fisher Waterhouse
  • Jane Hill - Chief Counsel Security, Privacy & Internet (International), BT Group
  • Simon Loopuit - CEO, Trust Hub

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