CC Creates Data Privacy Tool as COVID-19 Era Needs Grow

Tech development unit Clifford Chance Applied Solutions has added another tool to its growing offering, this time Cross-Border Publisher: Data Protection, a subscription-based expert system that handles GDPR and local data privacy questions across 17 jurisdictions.

The move comes amid growing confusion around data privacy, triggered by many governments and private businesses collecting personal data as part of a range of COVID-19 ‘track and trace’ measures.

For example, the British Government recently got into trouble with their official Track & Trace programme for not conducting ‘a full assessment of the privacy implications’. Meanwhile thousands of businesses, both large and small, are now asking customers for a range of personal data – sometimes in a very random way – to help health services track down people who may have been in the same location as infected individuals.

The expert system may not be rocket science, but it provides a useful interactive platform that covers multiple jurisdictions across Europe, including the UK. Like all expert systems, the goal is to tap institutional knowledge, and provide an interface that allows people to get clear answers to legal questions.

The product also has been developed with an unnamed major international bank, which is ‘already using it extensively to manage its data protection risk’, said the global law firm’s tech group.

More broadly the system:

  • Protects from financial and reputational loss.
  • Saves time trying to find the answers to the data protection questions.
  • Q&A format allows answers to be filtered and jurisdictions compared easily;
  • Saves money on data protection advice.
  • Content is from a trusted source at an ‘affordable price’, said Clifford Chance, with a starting fee of just £350 per country – (which is less money than the cost of one hour’s billable work from one of the firm’s partners).

Jeroen Plink, CEO at Clifford Chance Applied Solutions, said: ‘Companies are under increased pressure to ensure they comply with data protection regulations which change often and vary with jurisdiction. We have worked with Clifford Chance’s tech lawyers who advise businesses on these challenges, to create a product with trusted information that is updated when a data regulation has changed or come into force. 

‘Simple and practical guidance is presented in a question and answer format, helping to ensure you make the right decisions for your business. This eliminates anxiety from multi-jurisdictional businesses. We have also ensured that there are recommended next steps if further advice from our tech lawyers is needed.’

Jonathan Kewley, partner and co-head of the multi-disciplinary Tech Group at Clifford Chance, added: ‘Our new digital tool is a vital resource for staying up-to-date with a dizzying range of new laws.  The end result will be greater digital trust and transparency, which in turn will strengthen relationships with customers and employees.’

This is just the latest in a growing range of software tools to come out of the firm’s Applied Solutions group. Other applications include:

  • CC Dr@ft offers an automated document assembly system, solution design, implementation and maintenance service, allowing clients to quickly and independently generate tailor-made and house styled documents within their secure CC Dr@ft portal.
  • Continuing Obligations: Debt Securities. A digital solution which assists companies with compliance of their obligations for listed debt securities in a range of jurisdictions. Receive practical guidance on what you need to do, when you need to do it and how.
  • SMCR Manager. An interactive tool to assist with the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. Makes the complexities of the SMCR manageable, even across large organisations with several regulations firms.

Aside from Jonathan Kewley in London, the product’s development also involved partners: Dessislava Savova in Paris; Ines Keitel in Frankfurt; Megan Gordon in Washington; Hong Zhang in Beijing; and Ling Ho in Hong Kong. The team also included associates Andrei Mikes and Sanne Blankestijn in Amsterdam, among others.

For now the tool covers: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.