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Thursday Thoughts - 25th March 2021

Thursday thoughts this week has news of data protection authorities from across Europe taking action. Over the last few days fines and rulings have been issued for holding too much data, contacting customers even when consent has been withdrawn (€8M), a warning for using Mailchimp (I’ll be watching to see how that pans out in UK). The EU has also warned the National Authorities they should stop “squabbling” or face a centralized Data Protection Authority being imposed above them.

Also a great example of what NOT to do if you are hacked (AKA known as the FatFace cyber-attack). Cyber-attacks seem to be on the increase at the moment as 2 more examples this week from Molson Coors (the Multinational Brewer) and Birmingham’s South and City College. Both of which have badly affected normal business.

In “local news” there are details of Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council’s virtual public consultation on their long-term vision for Altrincham’s Stamford Quarter. I have included links to the masterplan and their feedback form. I know like many others there is more that I should do to take time for myself (including to say no occasionally). A step in the right direction will be attending next Thursday’s Altrincham & Sale Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Matters with Andy Graham and Sara Kay. If you would like to attend there are still spaces (it's free and open to non-members as well as members). Just DM me and I will provide details.

Blogs of the Week

  • Nikki Geddes - How to Stay Fit and Healthy as a Family

  • Susan Leigh – Who looks after you?

National Data Protection Authorities on Notice to Stop Fighting

Since 2018 there have been a number of public rows between the EU Data Protection Authorities over how GDPR rules should be enforced. Most notably the tensions between the Irish DPA and other data protection watchdogs who are concerned about how long Ireland is taking to complete the evaluation of “big tech companies” (Facebook and Apple amongst others). There is a perception that public squabbles like this do not build an environment of mutual trust. The situation is now considered to be so bad that the EU may make “an intervention” and create a more centralized model to replace the current system. You can read more here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-25/eu-data-privacy-watchdogs-urged-to-sort-out-public-squabbles

Cyprus Telecoms Authority Hold Too Much Personal Data

The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority Employees Welfare Fund were found to collect more personal data than they needed to carry out their function (in particular they stored photos of members. The company also were not able to separate their employees and members databases. As a result they have been ordered to put appropriate security measures and practices in place.

Vodafone Spain Fined €8M

The Spanish Data Protection Authority has fined Vodafone España in excess of €8M because they continued to send communications to data subjects despite consent being withdrawn or after the individual had exercised their right to object. This constitutes “continuous and numerous {191 claimants this time} violations of several provisions, including Articles 28 and 44 of GDPR”. The size of the fine is in recognition that this is not the first such occasion in the last 2 years that Vodafone has been criticized for the same infringement. https://feweek.co.uk/2021/03/15/college-group-closes-all-campuses-for-a-week-following-major-cyber-attack/

Mailchimp – Don’t Just Rely on Standard Contract Clauses

The Bavarian DPA ruled this week that a German company’s use of Mailchimp was unlawful. In this instance Mailchimp could be designated to be an "electronic communication service provider" which would, under US surveillance law, mean that the email addresses held on Mailchimp could be potentially accessed by US intelligence services. In the light of the "Schrems II" decision the company concerned should have assessed if additional measures needed to be put in place to ensure that the transferred data was protected from US surveillance. One to watch!

FatFace Asks Customers To Keep News Of A Hack Confidential

Fashion retailer FatFace took 2 months to let customers know that they had suffered a cyber-attack and that names, email addresses, postal addresses and partial card details may have been compromised. They then asked the customers to keep news of the data breach “strictly private and confidential”. Not surprisingly the customers have taken to Social Media to call out their behaviour. It is believed that employee’s sort codes, account numbers and National Insurance numbers were also compromised.

Birmingham College Suffers “Major” Ransomware Attack

South and City College Birmingham had to shut it’s 8 sites and go back to online teaching while a team of “forensic specialists” work to recover from a major ransomware attack. This is just the latest in a long line of attacks on colleges. In the 12 months to the end of 2019, over eighty per cent of further/higher education institutions identified some sort of cyber security breach or attack had taken place.

Molson Coors (The Brewer) Suffers Cyber Attack

Molson Coors (the brewer of brands such as Carling, Cobra, Sharp’s and Staropramen) announced it was the victim of a cyber-attack and is unable to access a number of systems. Some core business activities are also being affected. You can read more here: https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252497712/Molson-Coors-targeted-in-cyber-attack

Vision for Altrincham’s Stamford Quarter

Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council have just launched a virtual public consultation on their long-term vision for Altrincham’s Stamford Quarter.

You can access the virtual public consultation page here: https://www.stamfordquarter.com/masterplan?fbclid=IwAR2qS83rC20_auAIPMnMVJl6RUZj6Yq8beZEoBKJ_9DV0sXkDQgyABms8r8

and provide feedback here:


Recycling Scheme For Disposable Face Masks

Wilko have announced that 150 of its stores will have special collection bins for disposable face masks as part of a trial of a recycling scheme. They would then be reused to make building materials or new furniture via the recycling specialist ReWorked. You can read more here: https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2021/03/wilko-to-offer-face-mask-recycling-scheme/

Blog of the Week

Nikki Geddes - How to Stay Fit and Healthy as a Family

In this blog Kiddy Cook take a look at prioritise your family’s health. Giving a few simple ways you can get started. The first one “Make meal prep a habit” struck me is a great way to combat the temptation to reach for the fast-food menu. Trying to combat the convenience and speed that takeaways offer. So, for the last couple of weeks I have gone all “ready steady cook” and prepared all the vegetables we need for the week while cooking Sunday lunch. That way we have something to grab and go and don’t reach for the take away menu. You can read the blog here: https://www.kiddycook.co.uk/latest-news/2021/03/16/how-to-stay-fit-and-healthy-as-a-family/

Susan Leigh – Who looks after you?

As someone who is confident and works well under pressure I know I am relied upon to help, comfort of find a solution.I don’t often think about the “But what about you?” question.This piece from Susan got me thinking.Mental and emotional wellbeing has had more of a focus recently and I like many others have learned to look after myself as well as saying “no” (sometimes).However, I know there is more that I should do.This is a really thought provoking read:https://www.icenimagazine.co.uk/who-looks-after-you/

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