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Technology & Digital round-up: 23 June 2023

Welcome to our latest Technology & Digital round-up of legal and non-legal tech-related news stories. This edition covers: the latest on AI; new ICO guidance; a UK-US data bridge; 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 government announced that the UK will host the first major global summit on AI safety in the autumn. Its consultation on the UK’s approach to AI regulation closed on 21 June.
  • The European Parliament confirmed that talks will now begin on the final form of the EU AI Act – described as the world’s first comprehensive AI law – with a view to reaching agreement by the end of 2023. In a recent interview, the EU’s competition chief said that discrimination is a more pressing concern from advancing AI than human extinction.
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office is calling on businesses to address the privacy risks generative AI can bring before rushing to adopt the technology. Existing laws apply to generative AI as an emerging technology, and the ICO says it will take action where there’s risk of harm to people through poor use of their data. Businesses will need to show how they’ve addressed the risks that occur in their context, even if the underlying technology is the same.
  • The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation published a portfolio of AI assurance techniques for those involved in designing, developing, deploying or procuring AI-enabled systems.
  • We’ve also seen a report from the CDEI on enabling responsible access to demographic data to make AI systems fairer. A Fairness Innovation Challenge was announced to support the development of novel solutions to address bias and discrimination across the AI lifecycle. Fairness is one of the five cross-cutting principles for AI regulation proposed in the government’s AI white paper.
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors published an insight on AI in the built environment and the challenges around governance, risk and interpretability. Please get in touch if you need any advice or assistance in relation to proptech.
  • The ICO warned that neurotech – technology to monitor neurodata, the information coming directly from the brain and nervous system – poses a major risk of being biased if it isn’t developed and used correctly. Specific guidance is expected by 2025. A new report sets out possible future avenues of development, including in the workplace, employee hiring and the sports sector.
  • The ICO also launched new guidance on privacy enhancing technologies. It recommends that organisations sharing large volumes of data, particularly special category data, start considering using these technologies over the next 5 years.
  • We’ve also seen new guidance for employers on responding to subject access requests, including in relation to searches across social media and provision of CCTV footage.
  • The FCA published new rules for the marketing of cryptoassets. They’re expected to apply from 8 October 2023. Responses to an accompanying guidance consultation are requested by 10 August.
  • The Crypto and Digital Assets All Party Parliamentary Group published the findings of its inquiry into the cryptocurrency and digital assets sector, setting out 53 recommendations to government on key areas including the UK approach to regulation.
  • As part of their new economic partnership, the UK and US issued a joint statement on the establishment of a data bridge for the free flow of data between organisations in the UK and participating organisations in the US.

…and in other news

  • Jaguar Land Rover announced that it’s using the power of AI to protect and strengthen its supply chain. Click here for details of how we can help with supply chain issues.
  • The National Cyber Security Centre launched new cyber security e-learning packages to help manage supply chain risk.
  • The NCSC also issued new guidance on how to use a cloud service securely and published a blog post on protecting how you administer cloud services.
  • We’ve also seen a new joint advisory from the NCSC and its international partners on the Lockbit ransomware threat. We’re told it was the most deployed ransomware variant across the world last year and continues to be prolific.
  • Elon Musk’s brain chip firm Neuralink announced on Twitter that it’s won approval from US regulators to conduct a clinical trial.
  • Airbus has been experimenting with extending the ability of the autopilot, including speaking to air traffic control with a voice created using AI.
  • We mentioned in an earlier edition of the Technology & Digital round-up that Tony Blair and William Hague co-authored a report setting out their ideas for a fundamental reshaping of the state around technology. They’ve followed this up with a second report ‘A New National Purpose: AI Promises a World-Leading Future of Britain’, in which they set out a range of policy recommendations: “AI’s unpredictable development, the rate of change and its ever-increasing power mean its arrival could present the most substantial policy challenge ever faced, for which the state’s existing approaches and channels are poorly configured”.
  • And finally, Virgin Galactic announced that it’s starting a commercial spaceflight service, with monthly flights expected from August.

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.

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