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Technology & Digital round-up: 12 August 2022

Welcome to our latest round-up of legal and non-legal tech-related news stories. This edition covers a £10 billion class action in the digital assets sector, end-to-end encryption, securing the cloud, and much more.

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Get in touch with Sally Mewies or Luke Jackson if you have any queries or need advice or assistance.


The legal part…

  • A £10 billion class action claim has been filed against various leading cryptocurrency exchanges, alleging anti-competitive conduct in the form of collusion to de-list the BSV cryptocurrency, resulting in losses for thousands of consumers.
  • The Crypto and Digital Assets All Party Parliamentary Group announced details of a wide-ranging inquiry into the UK’s crypto and digital assets sector. As part of the inquiry, views are being sought from across the sector including crypto operators, regulators, industry experts and government on the need for sector regulation.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority published its first update report on the implementation of Google’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ commitments which the CMA accepted in February 2022. The commitments concern Google’s proposals to remove third party cookies on Chrome and develop its Privacy Sandbox tools.
  • In related news, Google announced that it was expanding the testing windows for the Privacy Sandbox before it disables the third party cookies on Chrome.
  • The CMA is going ahead with its investigation into whether Meta might be abusing a dominant position in the social media or digital advertising markets through its collection and use of advertising and single sign-on data.
  • Ofcom, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Information Commissioner’s Office published a report summarising stakeholders’ views at a January 2022 roundtable meeting on end-to-end encryption. Over the coming year, Ofcom and the ICO will jointly agree on shared terminology to describe E2EE services, and conduct a landscape review to identify knowledge and policy gaps which future work could cover.
  • Meanwhile, the boss of WhatsApp told the BBC that if asked by the government to weaken encryption, it would be “very foolish” to accept.
  • The FCA is hosting a three-day, in-person Authorised Push Payment Fraud TechSprint from 27 September 2022. The event will focus on three specific use cases and is described as a chance for the FCA, Payment Systems Regulator and industry participants to work collaboratively to better understand the technological solutions that might be available in the market, how useful data could be shared, and possible gaps and barriers.
  • The ICO is researching how product and developer teams working with AI/machine learning driven recommendation systems apply technical and organisational measures to protect people from content related harm. It wants to hear from designers, engineers and product team members by 30 September 2022 about how they consider data protection in the design of these systems so that the ICO can create more practical support.
  • Over in the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged 11 individuals for their roles in creating and promoting a fraudulent crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme that raised more than $300 million from millions of retail investors worldwide.
  • And over in Europe, Big Tech’s nemesis Max Schrems’ privacy campaign group ‘noyb’ lodged 226 complaints against deceptive cookie banners that are still not complying with GDPR requirements.

…and in other news

  • The National Cyber Security Centre published a blog post on the importance of using a cloud provider that is secure by design and by default, and who will help you to meet your security responsibilities.
  • The Financial Reporting Council published a report on digital security risk disclosure to help companies improve the disclosure of digital security strategies, risks and governance. Research shows that disclosures are not meeting investor needs effectively, with companies often providing limited useful information on digital security and failing to connect to the wider strategic direction of the business or respond sufficiently to geo-political or cyber events.
  • The UK Parliament was forced to close its TikTok account after a group of MPs raised concerns over the transfer of data to China.
  • A computer engineer who accidentally threw away £150 million in Bitcoin is hoping to get it back by using AI to search through thousands of tonnes of landfill.
  • Starbucks is set to unveil its Web3-based rewards program, including coffee-themed NFTs, next month.
  • Oxford City FC became the first National League club to accept matchday payments in Bitcoin after entering a multi-year partnership with Isle of Man based CoinCorner.
  • A new app which heart patients are using through their mobile phones is being piloted in Wales in a bid to keep patients out of hospital and cut waiting times. It is one of several remote monitoring technologies funded by the Welsh government’s Covid-19 digital solutions fund and supported by the Life Sciences Hub Wales.
  • Luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co launched NFTiffs, a collection of 250 digital passes (now sold out) which can be minted when purchased and redeemed by CryptoPunks holders for the creation of a custom designed pendant and NFT digital artwork that resembles the final jewellery design.
  • Educational textbook publisher Pearson is set to sell digital textbooks as NFTs, allowing it to track the ownership of a book even when it changes hands and to profit from secondhand sales.
  • And finally, competitive gaming was included as a pilot event at the recent Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, with hopes that esports could become part of the full Games programme in time for 2026.

More from Walker Morris

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