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Identifying Legal Issues in Four Scenarios and Associated Law

Scenario 1

Read each of the following scenarios:


Identify all potential legal issues in each scenario and briefly outline the law on the issue(s).


Scenario 1


Mary has been saving up for a new sofa for the past few months. As it is Easter weekend, she knows that there are plenty of sales on and she might find a good deal. So, Mary goes sofa shopping with her daughter on Easter Saturday. After some browsing in Sofa Store in Dublin, Mary spots a sofa that would go great with the colour scheme in her living room.


She approaches Erika, the shop assistant, to enquire about the price and availability of the sofa. Erika says that the sofa is on sale at €800 down from €1,000 and is in stock. This is within Mary’s budget, so she decides to purchase the sofa. At the till, Erika gives Mary a small sheet to fill out her name, address and contact details (including her email address) so that Sofa Store can deliver the sofa to Mary. Erika points out that there is a small box at the bottom and that Mary should tick it to allow Sofa Store to send Easter promotions to Mary’s email. Mary explains that she doesn’t want to receive such emails, but Erika says that it is only one email a year at Easter. As such, Mary agrees to tick the box.


A few days later, a delivery man calls Mary to arrange a time to drop off the sofa. When the delivery driver arrives, he asks Mary how she would like to pay the €50 delivery charge. Mary wasn’t aware that there was a delivery charge but since the delivery man is here, she pays the money with cash. After a few months, Mary is delighted with her new sofa but has been receiving marketing emails every week from Sofa Store. She contacts the store to ask them to stop receiving these emails.


The shop assistant on the phone, Niall, says that the system shows that Mary had consented to the emails by ticking the box when she bought her sofa. If she wanted to withdraw her consent, she will have to write a letter to Sofa Store HQ explaining that she wishes to withdraw her consent and why.


Identify all potential legal issues in the above scenario and briefly outline the law on that issue(s).

Scenario 2


Scenario 2


Ray has recently been appointed as the Manager for BBQ and Outdoor Limited, an Irish company that sells barbeques and outdoor furniture. In his first week in the job, Ray realises that company has no data protection officer so sets about appointing one. He decides to appoint JD, a marketing assistant, as the data protection officer as JD sometimes helps Ray when his computer isn’t working.


Ray doesn’t think that JD has any formal IT qualifications or experience, but he thinks that he’s good with computers. After two weeks in the position of DPO, JD comes to Ray with a concern that he has been revising the contract with BBQ and Outdoor Limited’s external marketing company. The contract doesn’t appear to deal with data protection. Ray decides not to renegotiate the contract, he thinks the marketing company will try to seek more money if the contract is renegotiated.


Identify any potential legal issues in the above scenario and briefly outline the law on that issue(s).


Scenario 3


Jim works in the marketing department of which is a company that provides a television box that adds games to a user’s existing tv subscription and is based in Cork. Jim has been missing his sales targets for the past few months and is coming under pressure from his boss. The tv game box needs to connect remotely to the customer’s existing tv box with their existing tv provider. However, a lot of tv boxes aren’t compatible with the game box but there is an expensive adaptor that can be bought from another company that will make it compatible with all tv provider boxes.


Jim is behind again this month on his sales targets again. He decides that he needs to do something to boost his sales figures, so he begins telling customers that the game box is compatible with all existing tv boxes in the hope that when they find out that their tv box is not compatible, they will just buy the adaptor.


Identify any potential legal issues in the above scenario and briefly outline the law on that issue(s).


Scenario 4


Laptops4college is a shop that provides laptops specifically marketed at students in Ireland. In order to get a better idea of the demographic of students in college in Ireland, they decide to run a survey. The survey asks the participants of the survey to check several boxes identifying their age range, college course they are taking and whether or not they currently own a laptop.


At the end of the survey there is a line for participants to enter their email address as each participant is being entered into a draw to win a €50 voucher for Laptops4college. Sophie, who is the Marketing Manager of the company, is not concerned with any data protection issues and decides not to check in with the legal team as the information being collected in the survey questions are anonymised i.e. a student cannot be identified from their age range.


Identify any potential legal issues in the above scenario and briefly outline the law on that issue(s)

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