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GRA joins international regulators in data protection reminder to teleconferencing companies

Six regulators including the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority have published an open letter to video teleconferencing companies after the Covid-19 pandemic lead to a sharp rise in the use of this software.

The sharp uptake in the use of teleconferencing software has increased the risks around the collection and use of personal information, the GRA said in a statement.

The open letter reminds teleconferencing companies of their data protection obligations and provides them with principles to help them identify and address some of the key privacy risks, and better protect people’s personal information.

The letter states: “We recognise that VTC companies offer a valuable service allowing us all to stay connected regardless of where we are in the world; something that is especially important in the midst of the current Covid-19 pandemic.”

“But ease of staying in touch must not come at the expense of people’s data protection and privacy rights.”

“The principles in this open letter set out some of the key areas to focus on to ensure that your VTC offering is not only compliant with data protection and privacy law around the world, but also helps build the trust and confidence of your userbase.”

The open letter is signed by six authorities brought together through the Global Privacy Assembly’s International Enforcement Cooperation Working Group.

The six authorities are the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority as Information Commissioner, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, the Switzerland Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

The letter is intended for all video conferencing companies, but has also been sent directly to Microsoft, Cisco, Zoom, House Party and Google.

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