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Technology & Digital round-up: 18 March 2022

Welcome to our latest round-up of legal and non-legal tech-related news stories. This edition covers cyber security warnings, sanctions and cryptoassets, blockchain, NFTs, 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…

  • The fundamentals of keeping data secure are sometimes forgotten, says the Information Commissioner in the latest ICO newsletter. With the number of cyber-related data breaches up nearly 20% over the past two years, the ICO’s experience is that many organisations need to take some of the more basic steps to protect information. This is particularly significant in light of the situation in Ukraine. See 11 practical ways to keep your IT systems safe and secure on the ICO’s SME web hub and its newly-published ransomware guidance. The National Cyber Security Centre has a wide range of resources for businesses including information about the Cyber Essentials scheme. It recently published joint guidance with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure to help the UK’s data centres stay secure.
  • In related news, the FCA set out the points firms should consider regarding their operational and cyber resilience following the Russian invasion.
  • The FCA and other UK financial regulators issued a joint statement on sanctions and the cryptoasset sector. It includes steps to take to reduce the risk of sanctions evasion via cryptoassets. Walker Morris can assist with all aspects of sanctions compliance – our experts below will be able to direct you.
  • The Online Safety Bill was finally introduced in Parliament this week. New measures include tougher and quicker criminal sanctions for tech bosses and new criminal offences for falsifying and destroying data.
  • In the latest decision highlighting England and Wales’ position as a leading jurisdiction for dealing with actions involving digital assets, the High Court in a cyber fraud case granted the first third-party debt order in relation to cryptocurrency.
  • The FCA issued a warning on illegal crypto ATMs operating in the UK and is taking assertive action to tackle harm in the consumer investments market – cryptoasset scams are among the top types of scams being reported to the FCA.
  • The ICO published the latest chapter of its draft guidance on anonymisation, pseudonymisation and privacy enhancing technologies – setting out its views on how organisations should approach accountability and governance obligations when anonymising personal data. The call for views closes on 16 September 2022.
  • A reminder that the ICO’s international data transfer agreement and UK addendum to the new EU standard contractual clauses are due to come into force on 21 March 2022 and replace use of the old EU SCCs for transferring personal data outside of the UK in the absence of relevant adequacy arrangements.

…and in other news

  • Many of the recent non-legal tech-related news stories have centred around developments in Ukraine, including this article questioning whether the internet is on the verge of breaking up.
  • Bitcoin soared after the US President signed an executive order requiring government agencies to assess the benefits and risks of creating a central bank digital dollar and other cryptocurrency issues.
  • Meanwhile, the EU Parliament rejected a proposal limiting proof-of-work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but set draft rules for sustainability.
  • The Advertising Standards Authority published a new webpage of tips to ensure that future cryptoasset ads are compliant with the rules.

Please get in touch with one of our experts if you have any queries or need advice or assistance.




Head of Technology & Digital

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