News & InfoEP StoreAcademySupportCommunityProducts by Country
Legal & Compliance Home

The UK GDPR and how Productions can Reduce their Exposure - Q&A with Sheridans

Sheridans’ Associate Krishan Neelendra answers key UK GDPR questions from production companies and freelancers.
May 3, 2022
uk-gdpr-and-how-productions-reduce-exposure-LC

We recently teamed up with Sheridans Associate Krishan Neelendra to host a webinar on the UK GDPR, where he answered key questions from production companies and project freelancers.

Although the UK GDPR is not new, an increased need to collect special category data, such as vaccination and diversity data, means that compliance remains a key concern for the production industry. 

Q. How do I know whether the UK GDPR applies to my production company?

Krishan: The UK GDPR applies to your production company if you process personal data. “Process” is interpreted broadly under the UK GDPR and essentially means dealing with personal data in any way, including transferring, analysing or merely storing it. If you do any of these things, you’re caught by the UK GDPR.

Q. I outsource all data processing to my freelance production team — am I safe from liability under the UK GDPR?

Krishan: This depends on your relationship with your freelance production team and the processing activities you undertake. However, broadly, if you’re the decision maker in relation to the processing activities (i.e., the freelance production team is acting on your behalf and in accordance with your instructions), you are a data controller and the freelance production team is a data processor.

Data controllers are primarily responsible for their own compliance and ensuring the compliance of their processors. This means that, regardless of the terms of a contract with a processor, controllers may be subject to any of the corrective measures and penalties set out in the UK GDPR (e.g., claims for compensation from a data subject and administrative fines).

However, it should be noted that data processors can still be: 

  • Contractually liable to the data controller for a failure to comply with the applicable data protection terms
  • Fined by the data protection regulator (i.e., the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK) 
  • Subject to a claim by an individual where they fail to comply with certain data processor-specific UK GDPR obligations or act outside the data controller’s lawful instructions

Q. How can I ensure that I’m UK GDPR compliant?

Krishan: There are a number of different considerations to consider but the three golden rules for data controllers are as follows:

  • Make sure that you’ve published and implemented the relevant documentation, contracts and policies.
  • When making any personal data-related decision, always consider the seven data protection principles set out in the UK GDPR.
  • Get used to documenting any incidents, projects and decisions relating to data protection. For example, if you’re planning a project that will involve processing a lot of personal data, assess this from a data compliance perspective as soon as possible so you know what safeguards you need to implement later on.

Q. Am I allowed to collect vaccination data and, if so, what are the rules?

Krishan: Vaccination data constitutes “health data” and is therefore special category data. While the requirements largely depend on the context in which this data is collected, you should in any case: 

  • Consider whether you have a lawful basis and special condition (essentially a legal and valid justification) under data protection laws to collect the data
  • Only collect the data from individuals who you reasonably require it from 
  • Tell individuals you are collecting the data (e.g., via privacy notices and appropriate policy documents) 
  • Appropriately safeguard the data (e.g., through appropriate access controls and encryption)
  • Delete or destroy the data as soon as you no longer need it

Q. What special requirements apply to capturing diversity data?

Krishan: The requirements for capturing diversity data are largely the same as for vaccination data (above), but the analysis in relation to lawful basis and special conditions will be slightly different. The key thing to bear in mind is that you must determine a valid and legal justification for processing the data.

Q. I have fewer than 250 employees. If I carry out a one-off diversity survey, do I have to document the processing of that data?

Krishan: All personal data processing activities, regardless of the nature of the personal data, trigger certain documentation requirements. For example, you must tell the relevant individuals how you are using (or “processing”) their personal data in a privacy notice.

When carrying out a one-off diversity survey, as you are processing special category data, some additional requirements apply. In particular, you must prepare a separate “appropriate policy document” (which must set out certain information about how you are processing the special category data in accordance with data protection laws).

Q. I’m collecting data to monitor the diversity of my production, including around disabilities and caring responsibilities. These aren’t listed as types of special category data — do they count as such?

Krishan: Disability data concerns an individual’s health and therefore constitutes special category data.

In relation to caring responsibilities, while the fact that an individual is a carer is unlikely to constitute special category data, if the data reveals that an individual is a carer for a specific person (e.g., a parent or partner), it may constitute special category data of the person being cared for (depending on how the relevant information is provided). If this is the case, and you don’t reasonably require this information, your survey should avoid any invitation to provide this information (e.g., by limiting the response to the question “are you a carer for another individual?” to a simple yes/no).

Q. What is a data subject access request?

Krishan: Data subject access requests are an example of data subject rights under the UK GDPR. Effectively, any data subject can ask a company to provide them with all the information it holds about them, subject to certain limited exemptions. In recent years, there’s been an increase in the number of data subject access requests. They tend to arise in two contexts: 

  • A pre-litigation context, where a data subject may want to sue someone and is gathering information before doing so
  • A grievous employee context, where an employee has left a business and is gathering information about why they were dismissed or why certain decisions were made before taking their case to an employment tribunal

It’s important to remember that there are no formality requirements for data subject access requests. You can receive requests by phone or text and they don’t have to include the words “data subject access request.” 

Please note that the responses in this document do not constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice on any of these points, we recommend that you seek this independently.

Topic: UK

Related Content

uk-gdpr-compliance-for-productions

UK GDPR Compliance for Productions: Q&A with Sheridans

5/4/2022
Special category data, liability, data transfers and reporting - Sheridans answer your questions on the UK...
Topic: UK
More
cell phone with sticky note stating sign here

Six e-Consent Myths (and Why They’re Not True)

5/2/2022
Sheridans Associate, Sarmad Saleh, debunks some common e-consent myths.
Topic: Legal
More
Master Series Women in Animation-thumbnail

Women in Animation: A 3D View

3/24/2022
Marge Dean, Mandy Tankenson, and other women leaders from across animation come together to celebrate...
EP Blog_SQUARE_Fighting Hollywood Stereotypes-TTEI

Fighting Stereotypes and Rethinking Representation

5/10/2022
How TTIE is advancing authentic storytelling in Hollywood by empowering historically excluded writers and...
contracting-in-a-covid-19-world-LC

Contracting in a COVID-19 World  

5/3/2022
The pandemic has affected how UK production companies contract crew. Here’s how to reduce the impact of...
terms-to-include-uk-contracts-LC

Terms to Include in UK Crew Contracts

5/3/2022
Common terms which studios and production companies include in their UK crew contracts.
Topic: UK
More
KJ Lamb and Simon Donovan

Empowering the Next Wave of Production Accountants

5/2/2022
The EP Production Portal team was delighted to participate in the biannual Netflix Assistant Production...
recycling conversation

Sustainability in Production: Q&A with Nikki Saunders

4/22/2022
Nikki Saunders on sustainable filming practices, COVID-19, and why carbon offsetting isn’t a...
EP Blog_The Race to Net Zero is On for Big Studios

The Race to Net Zero is On for Big Studios

4/20/2022
Film and television studios are embracing the green movement in a big way. Here’s what you can expect to...
EP Blog_SQUARE_meet the cinematographer-dan-laustsen

Meet the Cinematographer

4/12/2022
A conversation with Dan Laustsen ('John Wick', 'Nightmare Alley').
EP Blog_Marge Dean

Opening Career Doors

3/29/2022
How WIA President, Marge Dean, is shaping the future of animation and empowering underrepresented genders
International Film Financing panel-featured

Film Financing Explained: International Financing

3/10/2022
International production experts discuss how producers can utilize financing systems outside of the US,...
EP Blog_SQUARE-Sound Mixer-Lora Hirschberg

Meet the Sound Mixer

3/1/2022
A conversation with Oscar-winning re-recording mixer, Lora Hirschberg ('Inception', Skywalker Sound)
Los Angeles Times logo-sq

Why the Cherokee Nation is Offering Rebates to Film in Oklahoma

2/5/2022
Joseph Chianese speaks to the LA Times on new incentive
EP Blog_SQUARE_Island Incentives

A Ticket to Paradise

1/26/2022
Island Incentives Bring Productions Ashore
Future-of-production-virtual stages

The Future of Film and Television Production

1/4/2022
Virtual stages, remote production offices, and other advances in technology drive the evolution of...
creating-a-winter-wonderland-elf

Creating a Winter Wonderland

12/21/2021
How ‘Elf’ Production Designer, Rusty Smith, Produces the Perfect Snowy Scenes for Film and Television
woman-man-filming-production-sq

Mission: NOT Impossible

10/20/2021
Production incentives give producers options, increase infrastructure development and jobs promoting...
Christine Davila, Jairo Alvarado, Sonia Gambaro

Authentic Latinx Storytelling Starts with Inclusion

9/22/2021
Christine Dávila, Jairo Alvarado, and Sonia Gambaro work to amplify the talents of underrepresented...

Streamers and the Changing Landscape of Film Distribution

9/14/2021
Director/Producer Daniel Farrands on strategies for success in the time of VOD
Oklahoma route 66 sign

A New Frontier in Filmmaking

5/5/2022
Oklahoma is becoming a production destination, thanks to new incentives and infrastructure programs.
six-elements-for-uk-contracts-LC

Six Elements for Enforceable UK Crew Contracts

5/2/2022
Although parties to a crew contract can largely enter into whatever terms they choose, certain elements...
Topic: UK
More
EP Blog_SQUARE-Tips for tax day

Tips for Tax Day 2022

4/5/2022
Your ultimate tax filing checklist - the deadline this year is Monday, April 18th!

Georgia Proposes Capping and Prohibiting Sale of Film Tax Credits

3/30/2022
The changes, if signed into law, would cap the amount Georgia hands out in film and TV tax credits at $900...
EP Newsroom-Thumbnail-Portland Business Journal

How Oregon’s updated film incentive law could boost the local economy

3/29/2022
A new Oregon film and media incentive law could draw more movie productions to the state.
EP Blog-proud to support-square

Proud to Support: Celebrating Client Nominations at the 94th Academy Awards

3/22/2022
A look at the evolution of the Oscars and the notable films powered by Entertainment Partners technology.
Bradley Cooper-nightmare alley

Meet the Assistant Director

3/16/2022
A conversation with Myron Hoffert ('Nightmare Alley')
Digging Out of a Deficit-featured

Digging Out of a Deficit: What to Expect in the Second Quarter of 2022

2/25/2022
Federal and State Unemployment Insurance rates are rising. Learn how these changes will affect 2022 and...
EP Blog_Uncovering Treasures_IndieCollect

Uncovering Lost Treasures of Independent Film

2/23/2022
How IndieCollect is preserving Black independent films to reflect a more honest view of America and of...
International Financing-John Hadity-ft

The Beginner’s Guide to International Film Financing

2/15/2022
What to know before you begin an international financing plan
Crew contracting in the UK-panel

Quick and Compliant Crew Contracting in the UK

2/9/2022
Neisha Glynternick and Sarmad Saleh from UK-based entertainment law firm Sheridans discuss crew...
Topic: Legal
Watch
meet-the-executive-producer-just-mercy-sq

Meet the Executive Producer

2/8/2022
A conversation with Mike Drake ('Just Mercy') on the path to becoming and EP, and the role of social...
EP-Blog-Meet-the-Set-Decorator-2

Meet the Set Decorator

1/19/2022
A Conversation with Claire Kaufman ('Little Women')
35-production-accounting-terms-feature

35 Production Accounting Terms You Should Know

1/11/2022
Ready to test your production accounting vocabulary knowledge? See how many of these 35 common terms you...
2022 Budgeting-sq

Budgeting for 2022: A Production Accountant's Guide

12/15/2021
EP's Payroll Tax, Production Incentives, and Business Development experts explain how inflation,...
Master Series: Budgeting for 2022-1

Budgeting for 2022: What Productions Need to Know

12/10/2021
From unemployment taxes and worker's compensation to the price of labor and materials, production costs...
Shiran-Amir-Randy-Bricker-Meet-the-Editors

Meet the Editor

12/7/2021
‘Chucky’ editors Randy Bricker and Shiran Amir on navigating the entertainment industry and how they...
EP BLOG_Payroll_Cleanup_Becky_Harshberger_sq

Everything You Need to Know About End-of-Year Production Payroll Cleanup

11/30/2021
Reconciling payroll errors and generating accurate W-2s can be a tedious process. These proactive steps...
Kickstart-with-ep-academy

Kickstart Your Production Career with the EP Academy

11/23/2021
From Production Accounting basics to technology certifications, EP’s online courses offer one-of-a-kind...
film-budget-meeting-sq

Why Accurate Payroll Tax Withholding Matters to Film Budgets

11/16/2021
Wendy Black, EP’s Vice President of Incentive Operations, shares tips for ensuring your production...
Best Practices for Year-End Payroll Cleanup-Panelists-sq

Best Practices for Year-End Payroll Cleanup

11/15/2021
Payroll tax expert Becky Harshberger shares best practices to help production accounting teams prepare for...
john hadity-beginners guide to hybrid film financing

The Beginner's Guide to Hybrid Film Financing

11/3/2021
How to successfully navigate working with foundations and investors to finance your next social-impact...
Psychology-of-terror-steve-wang-todd-masters-feature

The Psychology of Terror

10/29/2021
How our deepest personal fears inspire cinematic monster makers Todd Masters and Steve Wang
John Hadity-Sandra Schulberg-Hybrid Financing Master Series

Film Financing Explained: Hybrid Financing

10/27/2021
Sandra Schulberg joins John Hadity for a spirited discussion on Hybrid Financing and how filmmakers can...
female filmmaker

10 Notable Female Canadian Filmmakers

10/26/2021
Celebrating Women's History Month and the power of female storytelling
Topic: Canada
More
Master Series Thumbnail-Best practices for accurate payroll tax withholding

Best Practices for Accurate Incentive Payroll Tax Withholding

10/22/2021
Learn how payroll tax withholding impacts a production incentive or film tax credit, and how productions...
Identity Security Film Production-sq

Identity Security in Production

10/13/2021
5 Strategies to Manage Risk and Resist Cyberattacks in the Entertainment Industry
5 top payroll tax errors-Becky Harshberger

5 Top Payroll Tax Errors and How to Prevent Them

9/28/2021
Production payroll can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Payroll Tax expert Becky Harshberger...

Meet the Paymasters

9/9/2021
The hard-working payroll professionals behind Hollywood's paychecks

How to solve a compounding problem?

9/8/2021
The perennial shortage of production accountants has been made worse by the competition for resources, but...

Film Financing Explained: Soft Money Financing

9/2/2021
Vivian Hua joins our panel of financing and incentive experts to discuss funding film and television...
Canadian flag

5 Things to Know Before Working in Canada

8/31/2021
Prepare for your next job in Canada with this checklist of payroll considerations
Topic: Canada
More

New Terms Under Return-To-Work Agreement

8/30/2021
RTW extension includes new two-part delineation, and the role of the vaccine
Topic: Legal
More
 John Hadity-Guide to Soft Money Financing-sq

The Beginner’s Guide to Soft Money Financing

8/25/2021
How filmmakers can capitalize on incentives, film funds, and more to finance their next project

‘No Straight Lines’ & ‘Firstness’ Among Top Winners At Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival – Complete Winners List

8/24/2021
Outfest has announced the award winners of its 2021 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival.

Designing for Horror

8/13/2021
Daniel Farrands and Andrew Murdock share insights on how filmmakers create fear through visual techniques

Digital Production Studio

Production Finance StudioProduction Management StudioEnterprise Management Hub

EP Sites

Central CastingEntertainment PartnersEP StoreSyncOnSetThe Production CommunityWe Got POP
Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity
© 2022 Entertainment Partners. All rights reserved.