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Data protection: guidance for publishers

Posted: 27/07/2020


Data protection has been amongst the most frequently deliberated compliance issues of recent years. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May 2018, imposed additional requirements on organisations across all sectors in Europe in relation to personal data. Academic and society publishers in the UK must be compliant with the GDPR, and also the new UK Data Protection Act 2018. Personal data handled in this sector can cover a particularly broad range of data subjects – from authors, editors, and peer reviewers, to librarians, individual subscribers, employees of the publisher and business contacts at companies that provide services to the publisher.

Almost two years after the GDPR came into force, interpretation of some of the new requirements remains unclear. However, as more guidance and enforcement decisions are released, there is now some increased clarity as to the approach being taken by regulators in a number of areas. Rachel Bradley, partner in the IP, IT and commercial team at Penningtons Manches Cooper, takes this opportunity to recap on a few of the key considerations for academic and society publishers – including the use of cookie banners, the processing of personal data used in the peer review process, privacy policies, data sharing and hosting, and digital marketing – when complying with data protection and e-privacy legislation. Data protection has the potential to touch upon almost every aspect of a publisher’s activities, and as the standard of compliance expected continues to rise, publishers should keep on top of developments and mitigate any potential risks whilst at the same time aiming to improve the experience for authors, staff and customers.

Please see here for the link to the full article, which was originally published by The Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP). Penningtons Manches Cooper is a member of ALPSP, which is an international membership trade body that supports and represents not-for-profit organisations and institutions that publish scholarly and professional content. Rachel Bradley has also recently joined ALPSP’s copyright committee.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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