UK Digital Services Tax comes into force / Morrisons data breach judgement / Think tank discusses UK’s pandemic economy

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Wednesday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

UK Digital Services Tax comes into force

As of today, the UK government will collect a 2% Digital Service Tax “on the revenues of search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces which derive value from UK users”.

Critics of Big Tech have long argued that powerful US technology firms such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have avoided paying their fair share of taxation in the UK.

The government announced the new measure in July 2019 and Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed its implementation in his 11 March Budget.

While the measure is expected to bring in an additional £500m per year, the Trump administration previously threatened to impose tariffs on UK car exports if Boris Johnson pressed ahead with the tax.

Judgement in landmark Morrisons data breach case

The Supreme Court hands down its judgement at 09:45 am today in the case of Morrisons v Various Claimants.

In 2013, an aggrieved ex-Morrisons employee downloaded the payroll data of 100,000 colleagues onto a personal USB stick and uploaded the data onto a file-sharing website in January 2014.

The courts found Morrisons liable for the breach, which the supermarket then challenged. However, the Court of Appeal upheld the original decision, leaving the Supreme Court as the Morrisons final legal avenue.

If Morrisons’ appeal fails, the 9,000 people affected will be able to claim compensation for “upset and distress” and it will pave the way for future victims of data breaches to argue a business is vicariously liable for the actions of a former employee.

Think tank discusses UK’s pandemic economy

The main triumvirate who led the policy response to the 2008 economic crisis discuss the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on the UK’s economy in an online webinar.

The webinar, titled ‘Everything is different now: the UK economy and the Coronavirus crisis’, is hosted by think tank Policy Exchange and can be joined at 11:00 am here.

Among the webinar’s panel are former Chancellor Alistair Darling, former Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King, and former Treasury permanent secretary Nick Macpherson.

Since the outbreak, the UK economy has nosedived as industries have come to a standstill and citizens are forced to remain at home, with many economists predicting that a recession lays ahead.

Tuesday’s Highlights


No, Houseparty hasn’t been hacked – inside the $1m mystery

Marriott hit by second data breach exposing “up to” 5.2 million people

Coronavirus-fighting smart bus rolled out in China