A bulletin from the Media & Sport Group at DLA Piper


Business leaders urged to step up response to cyber threats

The Government has published advice to businesses on how to tackle the growing number of cyber threats to their companies.

The Government, in association with intelligence agencies, is targeting senior executives in the UK’s largest companies to provide them with advice on how to safeguard their most valuable digital assets, such as personal data, online services and intellectual property.

‘Cyber Security Guidance for Business’ was launched on 5 September 2012 and was produced by the CESG (the Information Security arm of GCHQ), the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).

When launching the guidance, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Cyber security threats pose a real and significant risk to UK business by targeting valuable assets such as data and intellectual property. By properly protecting themselves against attacks companies are protecting their bottom line. Ensuring this happens should be the responsibility of any chief executive or chair as part of an approach to good corporate governance which secures a business for the long-term.”

The guidance can be found on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website.

Hugh Grant files phone-hacking damages claim

Hugh Grant has filed a damages claim against News International over alleged News of the World phone hacking, adding to the dozens of civil claims already lodged by public figures and celebrities.

Hugh Grant has taken legal action against News International over alleged phone hacking by News of the World journalists. He lodged his complaint with the High Court on 13 September 2012, 24 hours before the deadline for further civil damages claims. It is understood he will share any financial damages received with fellow victims.

Hugh Grant has been highly vocal in relation to invasions of people’s privacy by the press and appeared before The Leveson Inquiry into UK media ethics in November last year. Last month, the actor became a director of a new anti-press intrusion not-for-profit company set up by the Hacked Off campaign for press reform.

Earlier this year, over 50 claimants successfully claimed for damages from News International, and it is expected over 100 new cases may go to trial next year.

Project Oscar ‘digital wallet’ venture approved by EU

The UK’s largest mobile phone operators have been given the go ahead for ‘Project Oscar’, a new digital wallet scheme that will aim to revolutionise mobile commerce in Britain.

On 5 September 2012, the European Commission announced that, following a Phase II investigation, it has decided to approve unconditionally the creation of a mobile commerce joint venture by Telefónica, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere.

The joint venture concerns the development of Project Oscar, a digital wallet scheme which will provide various mobile commerce services to businesses, including mobile payment transaction services and mobile marketing services.

The three partners said that they aim to release a unified smartphone-based Commerce solution which will work as an alternative to cash, credit cards and loyalty cards.

They also said in a statement: “It will give consumers a simple and secure shopping experience, allowing them to purchase goods and services using their handsets in physical locations such as shops, using contactless technology, as well as online.

The venture will compete with similar rival services from financial institutions Barclays, Visa and PayPal, and with Google’s Wallet solution.

Mobile operator Three had previously expressed concern that the Project Oscar alliance was anti-competitive, however after an in-depth investigation, the Commission concluded that there are alternatives to the mobile payment applications to be provided by the joint venture.

In addition, the parent companies would be unlikely to be able to use technical or commercial means to block alternative routes to market for competitors. The Commission also found that there are various companies that will be able to offer services to compete with the mobile advertising and data analytics activities of the joint venture.