Can crumbling cookies sweeten UK data-protection plans?￼
Would you like a cookie – or are you absolutely fed up of being asked?
When the government published its proposals for striking new data-protection plans in the UK, all eyes were on cookie consents – those annoying pop-ups that appear in the foreground on many websites, asking whether you will accept cookies, tiny bits of text that can be used to track things about you, including:
- what you do on the site
- whereabouts in the world you are
- what device you are using
- where you go online afterwards
The companies behind the sites use this information for a number of reasons – ad targeting being a huge one.
But it also, they say, gives you a more bespoke version of the site.
If it knows you look at lots of technology news, it can serve you up more – and less about gardening, for example.
If you choose not to enable cookies, it can mean the site has no other way of storing this choice, leaving you to opt-out every visit.
But now, the government wants to limit these cookie consents – suggesting instead a one-stop data-privacy setting applied at the browser level.
Google tried something similar years ago, a “Do not track,” header – but it was not legally enforceable, users could not check to see whether sites were respecting it and it has largely been dropped. A note on the Mozilla developer pages advises against using it.
The more privacy-focused technology giant Apple gives owners of its products regular reports about how many sites and apps are trying to track them.
But like it or loathe it, tracking and data gathering has become the way in which a “free-to-use” internet is funded – by content providers who can turn it into advertising revenue.
Even for those who fundamentally disagree with cookies, it has become a wearying war of attrition. “Yes, you can have my damn cookie!” tweeted a despairing Elon Musk.
Many critics say the pop-ups in their current form are pointless. A 2019 study found most cookies were “not compliant with EU privacy law”.
But the TechUK trade association says there are “outstanding questions” around exactly how the UK’s alternative would work, suggesting more consultation is needed.
And privacy campaigners the Open Rights Group are outraged it might involve opting out of tracking, rather than opting in, saying this wrongly places the onus on individuals preventing, rather than permitting, their online lives being monitored.
The Data Reform Bill is an attempt to move away from what the government calls the “red tape” of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation – most of which has been adopted into British law.
The GDPR puts enormous weight on protecting the privacy and data of individuals, with steep penalties for non-compliance, but cookie consent is not covered.
The Data Reform Bill also proposes:
- removing the requirement for small and medium-sized businesses to employ data-protection officers and conduct thorough impact assessments of data-gathering activities
- allowing the Information Commissioner’s Office, which currently has to investigate every data-protection complaint it receives, to, according to commissioner John Edwards, “be more flexible and target our action in response to the greatest harms”
- widening data access for public services and research – currently, if you consent to your health data being used in a particular Covid 19 study, for example, similar future studies have to ask again for your permission
All this can be done without reducing Britain’s data-protection “gold standard”, the government says. It could save businesses £1bn over 10 years and remove “box-ticking” exercises.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries calls it “cementing post-Brexit Britain’s position as a science and tech superpower”.
But so far, reaction has been mixed, with industry broadly more supportive than privacy campaigners.
TechUK – which worked with the government on the proposals – calls them “a welcome package”.
“The reforms… find a good balance between making the UK’s data-protection system clearer, more flexible, and more user friendly to researchers, innovators, and smaller companies,” chief executive Julian David says.
But the Open Rights Group calls the bill a “bonfire” of rights.
“At a time when personal data can be leveraged to do all sort of wrong things, depicting data protection as a burden is wrong, irresponsible and negligent,” it said.
Meanwhile, the lawyers are looking at how the proposals may affect the passage of data between the UK and the EU.
Vinod Bange, of law firm Taylor Wessing, says his initial response was “relief” there was no entire rewrite of existing policy.
But he adds: “The most impactful changes for UK organisations will be the unintended consequences, so changes that could derail the current data-flow adequacy with the EU will be the ones to watch.”
Nothing is likely to change overnight – the bill first has to trundle its way through Parliament – but expect much more debate in the coming months.
When Can You Sue For Getting Cancer?
Being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating and affect anyone at any age. Several factors, such as genetics and lifestyle, can cause it. However, cancer can also be caused by the negligence of others. In such an instance, you can sue the people responsible for causing your cancer and claim compensation for the diagnosis and any associated damages.
Determining when and who to sue for getting cancer can be a complex process. So, it’s a wise idea to hire a lawyer to get you through the process and get the compensation you deserve. The attorney can advise you on when, how, and whom to sue for getting cancer.
With that said, here’s when you can sue for getting cancer:
- Product Liability
You can sue for getting cancer from a defective product. For example, in one hair product cancer lawsuit, a claim was made that a hair straightening product was causing uterine cancer in women. The defects in the hair product increase the risk of developing uterine cancer for whoever uses it. If you think you’re in a similar situation, you can sue the manufacturers if a certain product increases your risk of developing cancer.
However, proving your case and claiming compensation can be challenging. In such a case, you must prove the defective product caused your cancer to sue the manufacturer or retailer. You’ll have to request tests on the products to prove the defect and the relationship to cancer development. The product defect has to have caused your cancer diagnosis directly. One example is when the product has excessive amounts of lead. You’ll need to hire experts or resort to government authorities to investigate the product to prove this. This way, you have a piece of solid evidence to sue the product manufacturer.
- Medical Negligence
Medical negligence is one of the most common reasons to sue for getting cancer. You could sue for medical malpractice if the doctors, healthcare facility, hospital, or other medical professionals failed to offer the standard of care causing your cancer diagnosis. For example, if the doctor failed to order necessary tests or misdiagnosed your case resulting in cancer progression, you can sue for medical negligence.
To successfully sue for medical negligence, you must prove that the medical practitioner’s actions directly caused your cancer diagnosis. You must also show that you suffered damage because of the negligent actions of the medical practitioner. By doing so, you can claim compensation for treatment of progressing cancer, lost wages if you cannot work, and pain and suffering.
- Environmental Factors
Exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins is a common risk factor for cancer. Prolonged exposure to asbestos at the workplace, radiation, and other chemicals can increase cancer risk. If you can prove your cancer was caused by exposure to a certain environmental toxin like asbestos, consider suing the company or entity responsible for the pollutants.
Suppose a company’s activities produce excessive radiation that affects the population in a specific area and results in cancer. In that case, you can sue that company for exposing you to toxins that caused the development of your cancer.
Like the previous points, you must prove your cancer was directly caused by a specific substance you were exposed to. You’ll also have to show that the exposure was from the negligence of the company or entity you’re suing. Another aspect you must consider is the entity’s knowledge of the potential risks of exposing people to the toxin or substance. Since you’ll also claim that the company or entity was negligent, expose their bad practices that contributed to the development of your cancer.
Additionally, working in a hazardous environment may expose you to substances or toxins that can increase your cancer risk. For instance, if you’re a construction worker with constant exposure to asbestos, you’ll be at risk of developing cancer. Working as a firefighter can also expose you to asbestos and other carcinogenic substances that cause cancer.
You can sue your employer for getting cancer while working in a hazardous environment. To be successful, you must prove the cancer was caused directly by exposure to a specific chemical or substance at the workplace or in the line of duty. For example, getting cancer from asbestos exposure at a construction site.
In such a suit, you’ll claim compensation for the medical expenses covering the diagnosis and treatment, lost wages, damages for the pain and suffering caused to you and your family, and other associated costs.
Conclusion Getting a cancer diagnosis because of someone else’s negligence can be traumatizing and devastating. However, you can get a little relief through compensation for the medical expenses and other related damages, such as pain and suffering. The process of suing for getting cancer can be complicated, and it’d be best to hire an experienced lawyer to handle the litigation process. An attorney can also advise on the available legal options available and the compensation to seek.
Khalil ur Rehman is a proud born and raised in Abbottabad. Khalil has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and The Verge. As a journalist for The Hear Up, Khalil covers climate and science news. [email protected]