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  • UK ICO Fines Parenting Club £400,000 Over Breach Involving PII of Mothers and Babies

    The ICO first began its examination of Bounty UK Ltd. (a support club for parents) when the ICO was investigating the data brokerage industry generally, of which it viewed Bounty as taking part (given that it shared member information with third parties like Acxiom and Equifax). Here, in reaching its conclusion that the company had...

  • INTERNATIONAL TECH INVESTMENT ISSUE – A Wave of Export Regulation to Hit US Technologies

    This article originally appeared in Risk & Compliance magazine in the UK, a publication of Financier Worldwide. The piece includes UK spelling and grammar. Key Takeaways: A wave is coming. An enormous wave of regulation will soon crash on Silicon Valley, Boston and other tech centres around the United States, and very few people have...

  • UK ICO Settles with Marketer Over Unsolicited Email Messages

    Grove Pension Solutions Ltd is a UK-based company that helps people get “pension releases,” i.e. getting money out of their pensions. The company uses a vendor to conduct lead generation. That vendor would identify individuals who had given consent to get messages on a variety of third party websites (including for example, soapboxsurvey.co.uk). None of...

  • UK’s ICO Brings Texting Enforcement Action, Fines Vote Leave 40,000 Pounds

    Prior to the “Brexit” vote in 2016, the pro-Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, sent almost 200,000 unsolicited texts in violation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), according to a recent settlement it reached with the ICO. Under those regulations, as the ICO outlines in its PECR guidance, consumers must either have opted into receiving...

  • UK Regulator Issues Guidance About Encryption Under GDPR

    The UK Information Commissioner’s Office recently released helpful encryption guidance. Although released to address the GDPR security requirements, this document may be helpful more broadly because of the detail around encryption the ICO provides. In the guidance, the ICO points to certain types of encryption (symmetric and asymmetric) and when to use the different methods....

  • Supermarket Held Vicariously Liable in UK’s First Data Leak Class Action

    UK supermarket chain Morrisons has been held vicariously liable for the acts of a malicious employee in the UK’s first data leak class action. The issue began in 2014, when a disgruntled Morrison’s internal IT auditor posted to a public file-sharing website the payroll data of nearly 100,000 employees (including names, addresses, dates of birth,...

  • UK Issues Fine for Unsolicited Funeral Marketing Emails

    The U.K. data protection authority recently fined a lead generation company £90,000 ($118,000) for a 2017 unsolicited email marketing campaign. The company, Boost Finance Ltd, sent over 4 million emails promoting pre-paid funeral plans under the name findmeafuneralplan.com. In reaching its decision, the ICO (the UK data protection regulator), said that the company violated the...

  • UK’s ICO Fines Marketing Company Over Unsolicited Emails

    The UK’s data protection authority, the ICO, recently fined marketing firm Everything DM Ltd for sending almost 1.5 million marketing emails without obtaining sufficient consent as required by the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. In particular, the company sent messages on its clients behalf, the messages appeared to the recipient to come from the...

  • New Lower UK Thresholds for Scrutiny of Mergers Affecting National Security

    Following the publication and consultation on a green paper earlier this year the UK Government has now published new takeover rules, adding new thresholds to the relevant provisions of the UK Enterprise Act giving the Secretary of State (SoS) additional powers to scrutinize mergers taking place after July 11, 2018. These powers are based on...

  • The Legality of Loot Boxes – Update

    We recently blogged on legal issues with loot boxes as a game mechanic, and some of the scrutiny to which they are being subjected. The debate continues on whether loot boxes are an illegal gambling mechanic, but at least for now, they likely remain legal in many jurisdictions. The following is an update on recent...

  • Are Loot Boxes An Illegal Gambling Mechanic?

    A member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament has opened an inquiry into the legality of loot boxes. Loot boxes are virtual items that may be redeemed to receive a randomized selection of additional virtual items. Various countries around the world have recently moved to regulate the provision of loot boxes in video games, often in response to...

  • A New Sleuth in Britain: The UK Quietly Empowers a Sanctions Enforcement Office

    On April 3, 2017, the UK Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) announced new penalties for economic sanctions violations of £1 Million or 50% of the value of the transaction, whichever is higher. As a result, this new detective has a powerful new enforcement tool, and it may be taking notes from the aggressive U.S....

  • The Kardashians Can’t Keep up with Copyright Law

    Khloe Kardashian is the latest Kardashian to find herself in court over her activities on social media. The youngest Kardashian sister was sued by a photographer for copyright infringement in Xposure Photos UK Ltd v Khloe Kardashian et al, 2:17-CV-3088 (C.D. Cal). Xposure alleges that Ms. Kardashian posted a photo it owned on her Instagram...

  • The Kardashians Can’t Keep Up With Copyright Law

    Khloe Kardashian is the latest Kardashian to find herself in court over her activities on social media. The youngest Kardashian sister was sued by a photographer for copyright infringement in Xposure Photos UK Ltd v Khloe Kardashian et al, 2:17-CV-3088 (C.D. Cal). Xposure alleges that Ms. Kardashian posted a photo it owned on her Instagram...

  • European Commission Blocks Merger of London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse

    On 29 March 2017, the same day that United Kingdom has officially launched the Brexit process, the European Commission (Commission) blocked the proposed 29 billion Euro merger between Deutsche Börse AG (DBAG) and London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) under the EU Merger Regulation; however, the Commission decision (M.7995) has not been published yet. DBAG and...

  • Don’t Game Your Players with False Advertising

    Advertising for new games can present some troublesome legal issues, if due care is not taken. A recently concluded matter in the UK highlights an example of the potential issues. Hello Games was investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), based on complaints from customers that advertised features of its game (No Man’s Sky) either...

  • Company Directors Beware – the CMA’s Disqualification Order

    Today, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a 60-second summary for company directors to avoid disqualification for breaches of competition law. Please see the full text of the guidance here. This is part of a series of CMA short and simple guides on competition law and is relevant to all directors whose companies...

  • Bre(xit)aking News

    The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom by a majority of 8 to 3 has today confirmed that triggering the exit procedure from the European Union requires an Act of Parliament. As such the Supreme Court disagreed with the current UK Government which had argued that Government ministers could rely on their prerogative powers to...

  • Brexit News: UK Judges Throw a Block in the Road of Article 50

    Invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union requires participation of the UK Parliament say Lord Chief Justices Lord Sales and Lord Thomas of the Royal Courts of Justice in London who handed down their judgment today. This is a significant step, but only a step along the way. The final outcome remains...

  • Delivery Dilemma

    Blue Art Limited, a UK company (“Blue Art”), is suing art dealer David Zwirner and his gallery, a contemporary art gallery in New York and London, for breach of contract and fraudulent concealment and inducement, regarding an unnamed piece by an undisclosed artist.  Blue Art is owned by Old Master art dealer Fabrizio Moretti who...

  • Brexit, Here We Come (or Go)

    한국어 번역문은 이곳을 클릭해주시기 바랍니다. The UK people have voted to leave the European Union. Although there is no constitutional duty to leave the Union as a result, politically this is likely going to happen. Change will not be immediate and happen over time. Companies are well advised to react quickly to assess the impact...

  • Weekly Web Wrap-Up: May 17, 2016

    Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team.  Here are some of the stories that we’ve been reading: The Cheapest Way to Experience VR Heads to Europe Google Cardboard—Google’s...

  • Briefing note on the OFT’s Principles for online and app-based games

    Recent updates to consumer protection regulations may change the way web and mobile applications are monetized in the United Kingdom.  Developers, particularly those developing promotional or paid-for content directed toward children, may want to know about how UK regulators are ensuring content is transparent, accurate, and fair to consumers. We are pleased to share an...

  • New York High Court Holds That State Blue Sky Law Does Not Preempt Common Law Claims Involving Securities

    In Assured Guaranty (UK) Ltd. v. J. P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 09162, 2011 WL 6338898 (N.Y. Dec. 20, 2011), the New York Court of Appeals held that the Martin Act, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law art. 23-A — New York’s “blue sky” law designed to address fraudulent practices in the marketing...

  • About Face: Lancôme’s Airbrushed Makeup Ads Banned in the UK

    Makeup ads in the UK for products by L’Oreal have been banned after the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) deemed the airbrushing used in post-production to be misleading to consumers.   The ASA issued the ban after British Liberal Democrat politician, Jo Swinson, lodged complaints about two ads for foundation products made by L’Oreal-owned brands,...

  • International Antitrust Highlights

    On December 30, the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced the clearance of the proposed acquisition by BSkyB Broadband Services Limited (“Sky”) of Easynet Group Plc (“Easynet”) and the merger of NTL Incorporated (“ntl”) and Telewest Global, Inc (“Telewest”). Both cases relate to the emergence of Digital Subscriber Line (“DSL”) as an alternative means...

  • UK Consults on Whether To Widen Public Agencies’ Disclosure Obligations to Encourage Private Litigation

    On August 23, 2005, the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published a consultation document on the possible reform of Part 9 of the UK’s Enterprise Act 2002, which governs the release of consumer and competition information, and outlined options for disclosing currently confidential commercial information held by public authorities to consumers and businesses...

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