UAE ADGM GDPR Data Protection Laws

Five Key Things to Know about UAE ADGM Data Protection Law 2021

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Data Protection Law 2021 (DP Law) applies to the ADGM international financial centre free zone in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The law was adopted on 14 February 2021. The new law updates and replaces the 2015 law. The ADGM DP Law protects the personal data held and processed by organisations that are registered in the ADGM as well as linked external organisations. New data protection principles include lawfulness, fairness, transparency and accountability. Individuals have new rights relating to data portability, automated decision-making and profiling. Businesses must be accountable and demonstrate compliance with expanded data protection principles. The ADGM Office of Data Protection, Commissioner of Data Protection, is the regulator. Enforcement starts on 14 August 2021, for organisations that registered at ADGM after 14 February 2021. ADGM organisations that were registered before 14 February 2021, must comply with the new law by 14 February 2022.

  1. What types or organisations are covered by ADGM DP Law?

The law applies to businesses (controllers) that are registered in the ADGM and that process personal data or sensitive personal data. Businesses that process data on behalf of these organisations, such as their suppliers, are also covered by the law. Personal data used and stored outside of ADGM, but concerning ADGM registered organisations are covered by the law. Processors registered in ADGM who process personal data for controllers outside the ADGM are also covered by the law, to a limited extent.

2. What types of data or information are covered by ADGM DP Law?

The ADGM DP Law protects personal data, which is defined as any data relating to an identified natural person or identifiable natural person. This also includes data containing opinions and intentions about identified or identifiable individuals. The ADGM DP law also applies to sensitive personal data which is personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, genetic data, biometric data (where used for identification purposes), data about health, data about a person’s sex life or sexual orientation, personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences or related security measures.

3. What are the main ADGM DP Law obligations for businesses?

ADGM registered businesses must:

  • Register as a Data Controller with ADGM Office of Data Protection ($300 USD) and renew the registration every year ($100 USD)
  • Apply for permits to process sensitive personal data ($100 USD), apply to transfer personal data ($100 USD) and to register data processors.
  • Comply with the ADGM DP Law data protection principles of lawfulness, fairness and transparency, purpose limitation, data minimisation, accuracy, storage limitation, security and accountability.
  • Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO), if high risk data processing takes place on a systematic or regular basis.
  • Report personal data breaches to the Office of Data Protection within 72 hours of becoming aware of it
  • Complete Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) for high risk data processing and report these to the ADGM Office of Data Protection. Put in place an appropriate policy for processing sensitive personal data.
  • Respond to the exercise of data protection rights from individuals within 2 months of receiving these requests.

4. If businesses comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will they automatically comply with ADGM DP Law?

Yes, in large part, but not completely. GDPR and ADGM DP Law have different scopes, definitions, special provisions and compliance requirements. However, there are important similarities. ADGM DP Law was enacted to include provisions that largely mirror the EU’s GDPR requirements. GDPR data mapping and records of processing activity logs can help to identify ADGM DP Law impacted personal data. GDPR Data Protection Notices, policies and GDPR processes used to respond to GDPR rights can assist ADGM DP Law compliance, but these must be tailored. Data processing agreements and online notices must be specifically updated. ADGM has published its own data protection standard contractual clauses, for personal data transfers outside of the ADGM.  

5. Does the ADGM DP Law apply to foreign based companies and what are the penalties for breach of the law?

Yes, it can. If foreign businesses are registered in ADGM and process personal data in the ADGM then the ADGM DP Law will apply. The law also applies to foreign businesses that process data on behalf of organisations registered in the ADGM. The ADGM Commissioner of Data Protection can impose administrative fines of up to $28 million (USD).

Coronavirus Covid-19 and GDPR Data Protection Privacy

Covid-19 Vaccine Passports, Work, Travel and applying GDPR Principles


The global coronavirus pandemic has become far more than an international public health issue. The effect of Covid-19 on economic life, employment, politics, social interaction and the environment is wide-ranging and evolving. Work and travel have become the testing ground for countries and communities to prove their resilience and ability to bounce back. Vaccine passports and vaccine certificates allow vaccinated people to gain re-entry to the workplace, social spaces and travel. These certificates can appear as software applications, paper certificates, official stamps, Barcodes, Quick Response (QR) Codes and verifiable tokens. Technology has led the way in providing vaccine confirmation solutions and the data collected and stored are seen as crucial to effectiveness and an evidence-based approach. The use of vaccine passports for employment and travel raises complex issues and require full consideration of the law, public policy, public health, political priorities, human rights, economic considerations and social norms. These considerations directly impact trust, effectiveness and safety.

Focussing on the Key Data Protection Principles

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a useful tool to analyse and balance the competing priorities of vaccine passports and certificates. As a legal and policy framework, the GDPR does not provide all the answers. A focus on Article 5 of the GDPR, however, can be used to identify the most important issues, agree priority outcomes, highlight information governance gaps, introduce ethical data use ideas and apply a risk-based approach to data collection and use. 

Much of the information in Covid-19 data systems and vaccine passport databases will be special categories of personal data, such as information about physical and mental health, sexual life, sexual orientation, race or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, genetic data and biometric data. These systems carry out high risk data processing, which is further complicated by also using other data such as geolocation data, financial information, name, address, date of birth, workplace address and details about family members.

For Limited Purposes

An important GDPR principle is that personal data should be collected for identifiable and limited purposes. Purposes should be clearly identified at start of data collection and follow through the life cycle of the project. Data collected for vaccine passports and Covid-19 status certificates can be attractive for a range of secondary uses, which may arise in the future. However, those collecting personal data should be cautious in sharing the information with parties that are not identified at the start of the data collection or are not compatible with the stated purposes. Vaccine passports and certificates give and confirm information about moments in time. Using this information for other purposes, in the future, could offer limited benefits when compared to the risks.

Lawful, Fair and Transparent

The use of personal data should be lawful, fair and transparent. The data processing involved in vaccine passports should be clearly understood by users and those who can be identified from the personal data collected. This simple principle can be neglected if the data project is rushed, the data use remains partially undefined, the system is a black box artificial intelligence system, machine learning is used without clear limits and ownership of the data system is divided among many parties with competing or vastly different interests.  These concepts are key to a data protection by design approach. Fairness is also about the necessity and proportionality of the data collection and use, as well as whether these meet the legitimate expectations of the individuals involved.


Personal data used should be accurate and kept up to date. Personal data should also be as accurate as possible at collection and high levels of data quality maintained. Covid-19 vaccines varying in both efficacy and effectiveness. Covid-19 status certificates, lateral-flow tests and other testing also vary in data quality. The accuracy question is about what the data says, when the data are collected and what effect the information has on both the individual and the Covid-19 data system. Accuracy changes with time and with adding or subtracting data from a data set. Accuracy also depends on who will access and read the personal data and the intended uses of the data. Accuracy is protected by both organisational methods (such as training) and technical systems. 

Data Minimisation

Covid-19 data systems and vaccine passports should use the minimum personal data necessary to fulfil the stated purposes. This can be difficult, because stakeholders often wish to retain the right to re-use these personal data and so encourage data maximisation. Public health and research stakeholders can also encourage greater volumes of data collection. Data practices such as big data, machine learning and deep learning also encourage data intensification. Data minimisation is a practical principle encouraging targeted data sets, reduced data storage costs, less information to secure, improved data analytics and reduced risks associated with cyberattacks and data breaches.

Limits to Data Retention

Personal data should not be kept, used and stored for longer than necessary. This data hygiene principle is also called the storage limitation data lifecycle principle.  When planned properly, the application of this principle can help with all other GDPR principles, acting as a practical lever. Covid-19 personal data systems should develop personal data retention schedules, which lay out the data lifecycle and include data review and data deletion dates. Data retention includes pseudonymisation, data masking, hashing, encryption and putting personal data beyond use. These concepts are important in helping to define data risk.

Information Security, Integrity and Confidentiality

Personal data should be collected and used in ways that ensure information security. These protections should reduce the risk of unauthorised access, unlawful use, accidental loss, destruction and damage to personal data. Covid-19 data systems and vaccine passports should be protected by risk-based and high quality technical and organisational measures. EU GDPR regulators are also keen to ensure that organisations adopt a proactive approach to information security and actively respond to emerging threats from cloud data, phishing attacks, ransomware, cryptocurrencies scams and social engineering attacks.    

Accountability: Demonstrating Governance and Compliance

The key principle for data protection excellence is accountability. This is the ability for covid-19 data systems and vaccine passports to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR to individuals, data controllers, data processors and all stakeholders. Accountability means following all the other principles, carrying out data flow mapping and maintaining Records of Processing Activities (ROPAs). It also means reporting data protection risks to the board or senior leadership, appointing Data Protection Officers and completing Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs). For individuals identified in covid-19 data systems, accountability includes clear GDPR notices, allowing data subject rights to be exercised and having a high-quality consent management system (where consent is being requested). Accountability is also a practical tool to build trust, engagement, effectiveness, good reputation and enhance the quality of the covid-19 data systems. Accountability also creates future-proofing and resilient systems and processes.

For further assistance with Covid-19 data, vaccine status verification systems and GDPR compliance, contact PrivacySolved:

Telephone (London): +44 207 175 9771

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PrivacySolved Ransomware Cyberattack solutions

The Ransomware Problem: Board and Leadership Priorities


Information security is vital for economic security, innovation and business continuity. Cybersecurity is becoming a high-impact board and senior leadership issue. Digital transformation efforts and cloud service adoption increases the reliance of business-critical functions on digital infrastructures. Malicious actors seek to exploit human and technical vulnerabilities, for profit. Increasingly, data breaches and cybersecurity incidents affect all parts of organisations, their value chains and supply chains. The human element, seen in employee errors, phishing and social engineering, are significant weak points in the fight for information security resilience. Now that boards are increasingly paying attention, their priorities, strategies and actions are crucial for sustainable impact and success. Priorities should be risk based, context-rich, applied in a multi-disciplinary way across the organisation and based on proactive analysis.  

The Increasing Problem of Ransomware

The information security landscape changing rapidly, but key indicators and trends can be identified and monitored. The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report 2021 reported that 85% of data breach incidents involved the human element, 36% involved phishing and 10% included Ransomware (the latter is double the rate of the previous year). The median breach cost per incident is $21,659 (USD), but most organisations can expect their costs to rise to $650,000 (USD) for large incidents.  The UK Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021, found that 39% of businesses and more than a quarter of charities (26%) report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the previous 12 months. For the organisations that have suffered breaches or attacks, around a quarter (27% of these businesses and 23% of these charities) experience these at least once a week. Phishing is the most common method for cyberattacks. Among the 39% identifying breaches or attacks, 83% had phishing attacks, 27% were impersonated and 13% had malware (including ransomware).  For those who suffered breaches or attacks, 21% of businesses and 18% of charities lost money, data or other assets. Of all the organisations surveyed, 43% have cyber insurance cover in place, a rise from 32% in the previous year.

Ransomware is a form of malicious software, or malware, that prevents organisations and computer users from accessing their computer files, systems, or networks with a demand that a financial ransom is paid to restore system access or for data to be returned. Cyber attackers often demand that ransom payments are paid in cryptocurrencies, which are hard to trace. Ransomware attacks can cause significant disruption to IT operations and the loss of critical business information and personal data. Ransomware can be introduced to a computer or system by users accidentally downloading ransomware onto a computer by opening an email attachment, clicking an advertisement, clicking on a hyperlink or visiting a website that has been deliberately infected with malware.

Ransomware can be introduced to an IT system by phishing or spear phishing emails, which aim to appear legitimate to users who open and click on infected hyperlinks. These emails may also enter a system as unwanted spam, hoping that an unwitting user will unknowingly click on the link. Highly targeted campaigns, using social engineering, aim to target high profile and senior figures in companies and organisations in order to access the most sensitive information and have the most impact because of the high levels of trust the senior user enjoys internally. Ransomware can also be introduced using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) vulnerabilities (after gaining user access credentials) and by exploiting software vulnerabilities.  Malware and ransomware are pernicious and can ensnare a wide range of individuals. As a result, board awareness, continuous staff training and vigilance are crucial.

Ransomware is at the frontline of global cybercrime. Companies and organisations have been warned that these tactics can be used by rogue states, by hackers, to avoid international sanctions, for money laundering, for terrorist financing, for illegal drug trafficking or for modern slavery. The effect of ransomware attacks can also be technically devastating to IT systems and to an organisation’s critical data.  Services can be stopped, IT systems can be destroyed, data disclosed on the dark web, confidential information published freely online and data permanently deleted. Ransomware can be an existential threat to a company’s reputation and the future commercial viability of businesses and organisations. Several organisations and governments have adopted official policies of not paying ransom demands and not engaging with ransomware gangs. Paying ransoms do not guarantee that stolen data will be returned or that IT systems will be repaired. Of all the persistent cybersecurity threats and risks, it is ransomware that creates the most uncomfortable and unforgiving catch 22.

The Cybersecurity Insurance Puzzle

Cybersecurity insurance is important for good governance, financial resilience and business continuity.  However, many businesses and organisations are under insured against modern cybersecurity threats and risks. Some companies and organisations rely on the information security coverage in their general business insurance policies. These protections are often narrow and can be excluded when claims are made after information security incidents and cyberattacks. Some companies and organisations have specific cybersecurity insurance policies, but these can be poorly underwritten and are not future proofed to cover modern and evolving threats and risks.

When information security claims are made, companies and organisations could find that their claim is rejected, or that the payments received do not meet the true costs of the claim. Boards and senior leaders need to realistically assess their organisations’ standing and take strategic decisions as to the optimal range of insurance coverage. Organisations should learn about the cyber insurance market for their industry and sector and balance this against their business, regulatory and financial needs.  A company’s or organisation’s supply chain should also be regularly audited for information security compliance and adequate insurance cover. 

Increasingly, general insurers and cyber insurers are refusing to pay the ransoms demanded by ransomware attackers. This is because these activities often contradict their corporate values or may be illegal if the ransom is linked to terrorism, money laundering, illegal trafficking or breach international sanctions. These insurers also understand that paying ransoms can incentivize criminality and create greater information security risks due to increased sophisticated cyberattacks.  Paying ransoms is always very risky because it involves dealing with those involved in illegal or unethical activity. The risk-reward calculations often reveal significant risks.

Board and Leadership Priorities and Solutions

Boards and Senior Leadership should adopt a “whole organisation” and multi-disciplinary approach to resourcing and empowering their internal teams, partners and supply chains to:

i. Improve and extend cybersecurity strategies to include a cybersecurity insurance strategy as part of financial governance arrangements with Chief Financial Officers or the heads of finance in smaller organisations. This work should be done in conjunction with the Chief Information Officer, Chief Information Security (Risk) Officer or Head of Security in smaller organisations. This group of stakeholders should also include the General Counsel, the organisation’s lead lawyer or the compliance lead in smaller organisations. Human Resources leaders and external specialist advisors should also be included or consulted to strengthen internal resources.

ii. Develop internal expertise about emerging cybersecurity threats and risks. Board and leadership teams should receive summaries of specialist reports and then update their strategies to reflect the changes to the cybersecurity landscape, new business models and the cyber insurance market.   This should not be treated as an IT-only issue.

iii. Include insights from work on international sanctions compliance, export controls, international cybercrime trends, anti-money laundering standards, blockchain strategy and cryptocurrency financial controls into the cybersecurity strategy and ransomware policies and procedures. This will apply most to complex global businesses and organisations.  

iv. Refine and clarify the personal data breach and personal identifiable information (PII) compromise response procedures to specifically reference the nature of ransomware attacks. This will include legal duties to notify data protection and data privacy regulators, informing individuals affected, liaising with cyber insurance providers, informing enforcement authorities and the police, dealing with ransom groups and establishing a team of first responders.  Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), other national laws and sectoral laws is also vital. Fines and financial penalties for data breaches could be 2-4% of global turnover, in addition to the financial impacts of the ransomware attack.

v. Improve information classification and data management by categorising data according to its value to the company or organisation and establish physical and logical separation of networks and data for different organisational units. For example, high value research and development or business data could be deliberately held on a separate server and network segment from the organisation’s email environment. Virtualised environments could be used to execute operating system environments or specific programmes.

vi. Improve information security awareness and training for all levels of the company or organisation. Ransomware often targets end users and so employees should be told about the threat of ransomware, how it is delivered, ways to identify it and how to report likely malware. Training should also include key cybersecurity definitions, principles and techniques.

vii. Increase information security hygiene and resilience activities by regularly backing up data and verifying its integrity. This includes ensuring that backups are not connected to the computers and networks that they are backing up. For example, these could be physically stored offline. Backups are vital in ransomware resilience efforts. After a ransomware attack if computer systems are infected, backups may be the best way to recover business critical data. Backups are very important for recovery, business continuity and ransomware mitigation.

viii. Systematically and regularly patch operating systems, software and firmware on all devices. All endpoints should be patched as vulnerabilities are discovered. This can be made easier by using a centralised patch management system. Ensuring that anti-virus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and that regular scans take place. Another solution is to disable macro scripts from Office files transmitted via email. For example, Office Viewer software could be used to open Microsoft Office files transmitted via email instead of the full Office Suite applications.

ix. Set up application whitelisting to only allow systems to execute programs that are known and permitted by security policy. It is also useful to implement software restriction policies or other controls to prevent the execution of programs in common ransomware locations, such as temporary folders supporting popular internet browsers, and compression and decompression programmes. This includes those located in the AppData or LocalAppData folder. Other solutions include applying best practices for RDP use, including auditing networks for systems using RDP, closing unused RDP ports, applying two-factor authentication where possible and logging RDP login attempts.

x. Implement the least privilege for file, directory, and network share permissions. If a user only needs to read specific files, they should not have write-access to those files, directories, or shares. Least privilege should influence how access controls are configured. Requiring user interaction for end-user applications communicating with websites uncategorised by the network proxy or firewall is also helpful. For example, mandating users to type information or enter a password when their system communicates with a website that is uncategorised by the proxy or firewall.

xi. Invest in developing zero trust networks, especially in mission critical parts of IT systems. Agile project management could be used to test, review, assess and repeat trials and experiments to find the right balance between confidentiality, availability and integrity. Zero trust practices can then extend across the IT system and into critical supply chains. Introducing blockchain technology can accelerate these processes.

xii. Audit supply chains for cybersecurity risks and increase standards through clear contractual obligations, practical and accessible information security schedules, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), robust reporting and dynamic analysis.

Board and Leadership Resources

National Cyber Security Centre (UK)

An Garda Síochána (Ireland’s National Police and Security Service)

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI – United States)

Interpol (Global)

For assistance with Personal Data Beach Response, Ransomware, Cybersecurity Strategy, Board Awareness or Information Security Training, contact PrivacySolved:

London +44 207 175 9771

Dublin +353 1 960 9370



PrivacySolved AI Machine Learning

Regulating Artificial Intelligence (AI): The EU Moves First


Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning services are increasing at a rapid rate around the world. These technologies affect all sectors and are predicted to be key drivers of economic growth, innovation, automation, security and knowledge. Such rapid expansion creates unique opportunities but also creates systemic risks.  The European Union (EU) seeks first mover advantage in creating a trusted environment for the growth and development of responsible AI. This aim has economic and geopolitical motives, but also holds benefits for economic participation, innovation, social equity, human rights, environmental improvement, research and development. In April 2021, the European Commission published a package of legal and policy measures to promote responsible AI. The key initiative is a draft law on AI Regulation.  There is also a Machinery Regulation to increase product safety and an update to the EU’s Coordinated Plan for AI. The EU institutions will finalise and adopt these measures in the coming months and years.

Artificial Intelligence Systems  

The AI Regulation applies to Artificial Intelligence systems (AI systems). This is broadly defined as software that is developed with one or more techniques and approaches applied to a set of human-defined objectives that generate outputs such as content, predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing the environments they interact with. These techniques and approaches include machine learning, including supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning, using a wide variety of methods including deep learning. Logic and knowledge-based approaches including knowledge representation, inductive (logic) programming, knowledge bases, inference and deductive engines, (symbolic) reasoning and expert systems are also covered. The definition also extends to statistical approaches, Bayesian estimation, search and optimisation methods.

The Scope of the EU AI Regulation 

The AI Regulation will apply to both private sector and public sector organisations inside and outside of the EU if the AI system is placed in the EU market or if its use affects people located in the EU. Providers, developers and manufacturers of AI systems and users (buyers) of high-risk AI systems are included in the scope of the AI Regulation. However, private and non-professional users of AI systems are not included.

Unacceptable Risk (Prohibited), High Risk, Limited Risk and Minimal Risk AI

The AI Regulation is based on four levels of a risk–based approach:

Unacceptable risk (Prohibited): This relates to a few very harmful uses of AI that infringe EU values because they violate EU fundamental rights. This includes banning social scoring by governments, exploitation of the vulnerabilities of children and the use of subliminal techniques. Live remote biometric identification systems in publicly accessible spaces used for law enforcement purposes (subject to narrow exceptions) will also be banned.

High Risk: This relates to a limited number of AI systems that create an adverse impact on the safety or the fundamental rights (protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights) of individuals. These include Biometric identification and categorisation of natural persons, Critical infrastructure management and operations as well as Education and Vocational training. The category also includes Employment, workers management and access to self-employment, Access to and enjoyment of essential Private Services and Public Services and benefits as well as Law Enforcement. Further, Migration, Asylum and Border Control Management systems and Administration of Justice and Democratic process systems are also included. These categories can be reviewed and expanded, over time, to create effective futureproofing. These categories also include safety components of products covered by sectorial EU laws. These categories of systems will always be high-risk when covered by third-party conformity assessment under these sectorial laws.

To ensure trust, consistency, effective protection and compliance with EU fundamental rights, mandatory requirements for all high risk AI systems are proposed. These include the quality of data sets used, technical documentation and record keeping, transparency and providing information to users, human oversight as well as AI system robustness, accuracy and cybersecurity. Where data breaches or cyber security attack incidents occur, national AI Regulation authorities will have access to the information needed to investigate whether the use of the AI system complied with the law.

Limited Risk: For certain AI systems, specific transparency requirements are imposed, for example where there is a high probability of manipulation, for example when using chatbots. Users should be made aware that they are interacting with a machine or automated system.

Minimal Risk: All other AI systems can be developed, sold and used subject to existing laws without additional EU legal obligations. Most of the systems used in the EU will fall into this category. Providers of these Minimal Risk systems can voluntarily choose to apply trustworthy AI requirements and adhere to voluntary codes of conduct.

Enforcement and Penalties

Each EU Member State will apply and enforce the AI Regulation by choosing national authorities to implement, apply, supervise, enforce and carry out market surveillance activities. Each national AI authority will also represent each country on the EU-level European Artificial Intelligence Board (EAIB).

The AI Regulation requires EU Member States to put in place effective and proportionate penalties, including administrative fines, for infringements and inform the European Commission. When AI systems enter the market or are in use and do not meet the requirements of the AI Regulation, EU Member States are required to take enforcement action. The AI Regulation sets out the following penalty thresholds:

(i) Up to €30m or 6% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the previous financial year (whichever is higher) for infringements of prohibited practices or noncompliance with data requirements;

(ii) Up to €20m or 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the previous financial year for non-compliance with any of the other requirements or obligations in the AI Regulation;

(iii) Up to €10m or 2% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the previous financial year for the supply of incorrect, incomplete or misleading information to notified bodies and national authorities in reply to a request.

Strategic and Operational Impacts

AI system providers and users (buyers) have been put on notice of this significant regulatory framework that will have cascading impacts around the world and on AI systems. The full impacts will emerge over time, but the following are significant:

  • The definition of Artificial Intelligence systems is deliberately broad and subject to future expansion and regulatory reinforcement. This does not necessarily make the AI Regulation unfocussed or difficult to enforce; this expansive definition is a robust policy position by the EU that all AI systems that interface with the EU will be subject to some sort of regulation, even if these are self-regulation and codes of conduct for Minimal Risk AI systems.  
  • The AI Regulation acknowledges that the GDPR is the accepted baseline protection for personal data and special categories of data. The AI Regulation is seen as a detailed law that overlays and supplements the GDPR for AI systems. As a result, poor or ineffective GDPR compliance will negatively impact a business or organisation’s ability to operationalise the AI Regulation.
  • The AI Regulation is a bold geopolitical, economic, social equity and commercial effort to dictate the future of international AI regulation.  The Regulation’s application outside of the EU is also intentional, and this effect should not be underestimated.
  • The AI Regulation puts forward a radical hybrid of infrastructure, hardware, software, data and cybersecurity protections (the complete IT stack and supply chain) by incorporating elements of product safety, product liability, consumer protection, product conformity and product certification. 
  • AI systems providers, purchasers and users will need to review their digital transformation and new technology lifecycles to ensure that their AI systems are purchased and adopted efficiently within the implementation timeline of the AI Regulation. Old noncompliant AI systems will need to be significantly upgraded or decommissioned over time. Businesses and organisations that are AI-only or are significantly reliant on AI systems will need to establish bespoke AI Regulation projects and allocate significant and flexible financial budgets. Relationships between AI systems providers, businesses and organisational users will become more inter-dependent and mature over time.

For help with Artificial Intelligence systems, Data Ethics compliance, New Technology and Digital Transformation projects, Board awareness and Staff training, contact PrivacySolved:

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Five Key Things to Know about California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)

The California Privacy Rights Act 2020, the CPRA, is a US state privacy law that took effect in December 2020 and comes into force fully on 1 January 2023. The CPRA expands the existing California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to protect the rights of California consumers. CPRA defines and protects sensitive personal information, places a duty on businesses to put in place reasonable information security measures and expands the right to delete personal information.  The right to opt-out of the sale of personal information (called “Do Not Sell”) has been extended to include limits on non-sale data sharing (“Do Not Share”). The law creates a new regulator called the California Privacy Protection Agency, which will inherit the California Attorney General’s rule making and enforcement powers from 1 July 2021.

  1. What types or organisations are covered by CPRA?

The law applies to Businesses, defined in four categories 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4:

(1.1) A legal entity organised or operated for the profit or the financial benefit of shareholders, that collect consumers’ personal information or have personal information collected on its behalf.  This entity also determines the purposes and means of the processing of consumers’ personal information, alone, or jointly with others, does business in the state of California and meets one or more of the following threshold criteria:

(a) As of January 1, of the calendar year, have annual gross revenues more than $25,000,000 in the last calendar year, or

(b) Alone or in combination, annually buy or sell, or share the personal information of 100,000 or more consumers or households, or

(c) Creates 50% or more of its annual revenues from selling or sharing consumers’ personal information.

(1.2) Any entity that controls or is controlled by a business falling within criteria 1.1 (above) and that share common branding and consumers’ personal information with each other.

(1.3) A Joint Venture or Partnership composed of businesses in which each business has at least a 40 percent interest. Each business in the Joint Venture or Partnership is seen as a separate single business.

(1.4) Organisations doing business in California, but are not covered by criteria 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 above and voluntarily certifies to the California Privacy Protection Authority that they are compliant.

2. What types of data or information are covered by CPRA?

Like the CCPA, the CPRA protects the personal information of California consumers. Personal information includes many different types of data and information including identifiers (name, address, social security number and online identifiers etc), protected characteristics, commercial information, biometric information, internet activity, geolocation data, audio files, visual files, employment information, education information, profiles and inferences taken from data that reveal a consumer’s characteristics, psychology, predispositions, attitudes and intelligence.

The CPRA introduces a new category of sensitive personal information which includes a wide range of personal data such as passport details, driving licence details, specific geolocation information, race or ethnic origin information, genetic data and biometric data. These types of data require greater protection. 

3. What are the main CPRA obligations for businesses?

Businesses must ensure that:

(i) When selling or sharing personal information with third parties, binding contracts are in place to ensure that third parties comply with CPRA requirements and their contractual obligations.

(ii) Service providers and contractors must help businesses to respond to verifiable personal information CPRA requests. Service providers are not required to fulfil requests received directly from consumers.

(iii) They inform consumers about the data categories they collect and whether information will be sold or shared.

(iv) Businesses cannot collect additional categories of personal information in ways that are incompatible with the original purposes, once the businesses inform consumers of these purposes.

(v) Third-parties that control personal information collection must provide the same disclosures on their website, as the business that engages them.

(vi) Have systems that protect availability, authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality of personal information. Detect security incidents, resist malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal actions and ensure the physical safety of individuals. Reasonable security practices and procedures must be introduced, including robust email address and password protections.

(vii) Ensure that consumers can exercise their right to limit or restrict the use of sensitive personal information and receive full notices about data use, purposes and retention.

(viii) Ensure that consumers can exercise their rights to request deletion and correction of their personal information.

(ix) Put in place clear policy and procedures for children under 16 years old to opt-in to the selling or sharing of their personal information.

(x) Develop clear data retention and deletion policy and retention schedules to ensure that personal information is deleted when legitimate use ends.

4. If businesses comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the CCPA, will they automatically comply with CPRA?

No. GDPR, CCPA and CPRA have different scopes, definitions and compliance requirements. However, there are important similarities. Organisations that are governed by CCPA are very likely to fall within the CPRA’s scope. CPRA is more closely aligned with GDPR than CCPA. GDPR data mapping and records of processing activity logs can help to identify California consumers’ personal information. Data privacy notices, policies, information security frameworks created for another law can be tailored to meet the requirements of CPRA. Data processing agreements, supply chain contracts and online notices must be specifically updated for CPRA. Do Not Sell and Do Not Share notices and their underlying management systems are unique to CCPA and CPRA and require specific technical solutions.

5. Does the CPRA apply to businesses or organisations in other US states or to foreign companies?

Yes, it can. If a business or organisation falls within the CPRA qualifying criteria and holds personal information about California consumers, then CPRA applies. Businesses that are based in other US states and companies from outside of the United States may also have to comply with the CCPA.  All organisations should seek specialist advice, review new CPRA regulations, monitor the development of the CPRA enforcement, examine official guidance and watch the regulator, the California Privacy Protection Agency for interpretation and priorities.