UK Privacy Watchdog Faces Legal Action

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The Legal Journal has revealed that the ICO is facing a legal battle after failing to take action against nefarious practices in the Adtech Industry.

The Information Commisioner’s Office is facing legal action due to their failure to hold the Adtech industry accountable for privacy violations against the General Data Protection Regulation. Concerns were raised around the industry's use of real-time-Bidding auction systems in June 2019.

After these concerns were raised, the ICO provided the industry with six months to correct its violations before regulatory action would be launched. However, by 2020, the ICO announced it had closed the investigation after taking no substantive action.

The Open Rights Group (ORG) have now begun legal action against the ICO. The group first launched a complaint against the Adtech industry in 2018. Now they are arguing that the ICO has failed to perform it’s duty and protect the key rights of UK citizens.

In September 2018 executive director of ORG Jim Killock of the ORG, said:

“The online ad industry is opaque and needs investigation. People do not – and cannot – fully understand or know how and where their data is used. This seems highly unethical, and does not square with Europe’s data protection laws”.

Following the group’s complaints of a colossal data breach, the ICO commenced its investigation into the Adtech industry.

The ORG filed legal action against the ICO on 21 October 2020 over the regulator’s failure to stop the unlawful practices of the industry.

Dr Michael Veale, who sits on the Advisory Council of the ORG, said:

“The ICO is expected to protect individuals against complex misuses of their sensitive data by entire industries acting outside the law, not just the simple, low-hanging fruit it can easily enforce against. This lawsuit is about stopping the ICO sweeping the most difficult cases under the carpet. Adtech isn’t simple — but dealing with illegal adtech is the ICO’s job”.

Ravi Naik, Legal Director of the data rights agency AWO, acting on behalf of the complainants, said:

“Our clients simply want [the] ICO to act to prevent widespread and systemic abuses of human rights; abuses that the ICO has acknowledged occur. Rather than take steps to address those problems, the ICO [has] acted against our clients and closed their complaints because our clients asked them to take action. This appalling state of affairs has left our clients with little option than to take the Commissioner to the Tribunal. That the Commissioner is being taken to the Tribunal because of a refusal to act to protect our rights speaks volumes of the Commissioner’s record”.

According to a report by Politico the legal challenge could be resolved some time in 2021.

More information about the legal proceedings can be found in this article.

Madaline Dunn
The Legal Journal
12 The Square,
Market Harborough,
LE16 7PA

Contact Info:
Name: Madaline Dunn
Email: Send Email
Organization: The Legal Journal
Address: 12 The Square, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7PA
Phone: 08451233882

Release ID: 88991258

Name: Madaline Dunn
Email: Send Email
Organization: The Legal Journal
Address: 12 The Square, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7PA