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Technology & Digital round-up: 21 October 2022

Welcome to our latest round-up of legal and non-legal tech-related news stories. This edition covers US data adequacy developments, electronic trade documents, employment monitoring, cyber security, 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…

  • President Biden signed an executive order directing the steps the US will take to implement its commitments under the new EU-US Data Privacy Framework announced earlier this year. According to this White House factsheet, the steps detailed in the order will provide the European Commission with a basis to adopt a new adequacy decision. Privacy activist Max Schrems has already said that the order is unlikely to satisfy EU law.
  • Meanwhile, in related news, there was significant progress on UK-US data adequacy discussions. The two countries also announced the launch of a new senior-level ‘Comprehensive Dialogue on Technology and Data’ to further their joint efforts under a landmark bilateral Technology Partnership.
  • The Electronic Trade Documents Bill, developed by the Law Commission, was introduced to Parliament on 12 October 2022. The government’s press release says that the Bill will make digital documentation legally recognised, reduce admin costs and make it easier for British firms to buy and sell internationally. Processing times for electronic documents will be cut to 20 seconds and carbon emissions reduced by at least ten per cent.
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office is consulting until 11 January 2023 on its draft guidance on monitoring at work. This is part of a wider package of topic-specific guidance on employment practices and data protection that will be released in stages.
  • The ICO identified biometrics as a key area of focus for its Regulatory Sandbox. The regulator is interested in working with innovative biometrics projects using personal data within the public and education sectors, recruitment or employment monitoring.
  • The FCA, Bank of England and Prudential Regulation Authority published a joint discussion paper on AI in financial services. Feedback is requested by 10 February 2023. The FCA and Bank of England also released a joint report presenting findings and analysis of a 2022 machine learning in UK financial services survey.
  • Ofcom’s call for input into the supply of cloud services in the UK closes on 3 November 2022.
  • The Financial Stability Board published a proposed framework on the international regulation of cryptoasset activities. Responses are requested by 15 December 2022. The FSB is also consulting until 31 December 2022 on proposals to achieve greater convergence in cyber incident reporting.
  • The Council of the EU agreed to strengthen the security of information and communication technologies (ICT) supply chains. Upcoming legislation includes the revised Network Information Security Directive (NIS2) and the proposed Cyber Resilience Act.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority ordered Meta to sell Giphy, finding that its purchase would limit choice for UK social media users and reduce innovation in UK display advertising.
  • A new Law Commission law reform project ‘Digital assets: which law, which court?’ will consider the private international law challenges in international tech-related disputes, such as those involving cryptoassets and electronic trade documents. A consultation paper will be published in the second half of 2023.

…and in other news

  • A recent study found that AI tools fail to reduce recruitment bias.
  • The National Cyber Security Centre issued fresh guidance for organisations following a recent rise in supply chain cyber attacks.
  • The NCSC highlighted a new feature of its free ‘Early Warning’ service which helps organisations spot suspicious activity on their networks.
  • There was also a blog post debunking some myths surrounding the Cyber Essentials scheme.
  • Artist Damien Hirst hit the headlines for burning hundreds of his own physical artworks after selling a series of NFTs representing them.
  • The Bank for International Settlements announced the winners of the G20 TechSprint, with a focus on new technologies that would better enable the development and future use of central bank digital currencies.
  • And finally, a humanoid robot artist called Ai-Da fell asleep while being questioned by the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee in an evidence session on AI in the UK’s creative industries.

If you have any queries or need further advice or assistance, please get in touch with SallyLuke or one of our Technology & Digital experts.

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