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Technology & Digital round-up: 20 January 2023

Welcome to our latest Technology & Digital round-up of legal and non-legal tech-related news stories. This edition covers: Meta’s latest fine; tips for managing cyber risk; AI in care; the latest cyber security guidance; 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…

  • In case you missed it, in December’s special edition of the Technology & Digital round-up we took the opportunity to reflect on what came to pass (and what didn’t) in 2022. And we recently published our top tech predictions for 2023, summarising the key legal and regulatory developments we expect to see over the next 12 months.
  • In the latest crackdown on Big Tech, Meta Ireland was fined a total of €390 million for data protection breaches relating to Facebook and Instagram, including that it was not entitled to rely on the contract legal basis as providing a lawful basis for its processing of personal data for the purpose of behavioural advertising. See this recent news story on why it’s becoming easier to sue Big Tech in the UK.
  • In a change of approach, the Information Commissioner’s Office will be publishing all reprimands going forward, unless there is a good reason not to such as matters of national security or that it’s likely to jeopardise any ongoing investigation.
  • The use of artificial intelligence technology in the care and later/retirement living sectors is increasing apace. Our specialists Jo StephensonLucy Gordon and Ryan Doodson offered their practical insights into innovations and legal implications associated with the use of AI in care.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority shared insights which remain relevant today arising from discussions held at its quarterly Cyber Coordination Group meetings throughout 2021. Setting out examples of good practice, they cover: cyber threats and emerging trends; board engagement on cyber security; and development, security and operations.
  • The FCA also published the latest data on firms supported by its Regulatory Sandbox and Innovation Pathways services including sectors, technologies, areas of innovation and locations.
  • In what is understood to be a first in England and Wales, the High Court approved service by NFT as the sole method of service of documents.
  • The government published a guide to the Online Safety Bill. The Bill is expected to take some time to pass through the House of Lords. The second reading is scheduled for 1 February. The guide was published before the government confirmed that an amendment will be tabled on imposing criminal penalties where senior managers, or those purporting to act in that capacity, have consented or connived in ignoring enforceable requirements, risking serious harm to children.
  • A group of industry figures published a joint statement calling for clarity on the proposed EU Data Act. The draft Act applies to manufacturers of connected products and providers of related services placed on the EU market.
  • The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum, comprising the FCA, ICO, CMA and Ofcom, is consulting until 27 January on the issues it should consider as it develops its 2023/24 workplan.
  • UNIDROIT (the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law) is consulting until 20 February on a set of draft principles and commentary on digital assets and private law.
  • And the government is consulting until 1 March on draft data sharing legislation to make identity verification online easier and more reliable, so that more people can use digital public services.

…and in other news

  • On 8 February we’re hosting a panel discussion of industry leaders looking at the likely upcoming trends impacting Yorkshire tech companies in 2023, no matter how outrageous! Click here to join us.
  • The National Cyber Security Centre published a blog post discussing why organisations should avoid ‘blame and fear’, and instead use technical measures to manage the threat from phishing.
  • Another blog post looks at what you must check before using Managed Service Providers to administer your cloud services.
  • TheCityUK announced that five associations have formed a new industry alliance – the UK Forum for Digital Currencies – to guide the UK’s digital currency future. A public consultation on a UK central bank digital currency is expected shortly.
  • This news story considers what the metaverse will mean for the world of work.
  • The European Council adopted a key policy programme for the EU’s digital transformation. The ‘Path to the Digital Decade’, the EU’s plan to achieve a digital Europe by 2030, introduces a novel form of governance based on cooperation between the member states and the Commission.
  • The government announced that Australia, Canada and the United States have backed UK-developed guidelines for telecoms companies which are designed to build a more innovative, competitive and secure supply of equipment for telecoms networks, including 5G and 6G.
  • And finally, an attempt by new AI chatbot ChatGPT to write a song “in the style of Nick Cave” didn’t go down well with…Nick Cave. The revolutionary technology has attracted headlines around the world, with schools in New York City already banning its use amid plagiarism fears. We’ll be keeping a close eye on ChatGPT and its potential use cases.

If you have queries about any of the points covered in this edition of the Technology & Digital round-up, or need further advice or assistance, please get in touch with SallyLuke or one of our Technology & Digital experts.

More from Walker Morris

  • Want to watch a previous webinar? Visit our digital academy, home to a library of digital content including webinars, our bite-sized video nuggets and podcasts, including our 60 second videos on what is an NFT and what is a blockchain.
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