Corporate and commercial round-up April 2020
Data minimisation, less is more
We are quickly approaching the second anniversary of the introduction of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, which completely altered the landscape on data protection.
It has become nearly a weekly occurrence where we hear that another company has fallen foul of incorrect data practices and have incurred the wrath of the ICO. This will only continue with the exponential increase in big data (an average of 1 million new users joining the internet every day).
The importance of data minimisation will also increase. The ICO have made it clear that personal data should only be stored when it is ‘adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is processed’.
Are you confident with your business’s data protection practices and policies?
The risks of using electronic signatures
The recent case of Neocleous v Rees has once again highlighted the potential risks with commercial entities using electronic rather than wet signatures.
The Court held that the automatically generated email footer containing the name and contact details of the sender met the requirements for a signature under the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1898.
This is one of the first cases to be tried on this issue and it is interesting to note that the approach adopted in the judgement mirrors that of the Law Commission in their 2019 report on electronic execution of documents.
Therefore, parties negotiating by email need to be careful and alive to the possibility that contractual relations can be formed electronically. This also poses the interesting question as to whether other forms of electronic communication (Skype, WhatsApp, SMS or LinkedIn) could form a valid execution of a document.
If you would like to discuss these subjects further, please contact us.