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Technology & Digital round-up: 4 November 2022

Welcome to our latest round-up of legal and non-legal tech-related news stories. This edition covers a £4.4 million data protection fine, other ICO activity, electronic signatures, 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…

  • We’ve seen a flurry of activity from the Information Commissioner’s Office in the past couple of weeks. Construction company Interserve was fined £4.4 million after the ICO found the company failed to put appropriate security measures in place to prevent a cyber attack. Hackers were able to access the personal data of up to 113,000 employees through a phishing email. Watch out for our upcoming briefing on this penalty and managing cyber risk.
  • Following the recent launch of its draft guidance on monitoring at work, the ICO is also consulting until 26 January 2023 on draft guidance about workers’ health information. See this blog post for details.
  • The ICO warned organisations to assess the public risks of using emotion analysis technologies, before implementing these systems. It says the inability of algorithms which are not sufficiently developed to detect emotional cues, means there’s a risk of systemic bias, inaccuracy and even discrimination. The ICO’s guidance on the wider use of biometric technologies is expected in spring 2023.
  • We reported previously that the ICO recently released detailed guidance on making live marketing calls. It has also now published detailed guidance on direct marketing using electronic mail.
  • The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee launched an inquiry into the governance of artificial intelligence.
  • A group of MEPs from the Civil Liberties Committee was scheduled to visit the UK from 2 to 4 November to discuss the possible impact of the UK’s planned data protection reform.
  • The Law Society and The City of London Law Society published an updated note on the execution of documents using an electronic signature. Watch out for our upcoming briefing on this topic.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority launched a discussion on the competition impacts of Big Tech on the financial services industry. Responses are requested by 15 January 2023.
  • An external member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee gave a speech on the governance of “decentralised” finance.
  • The government denied that a fresh delay to the Online Safety Bill under new PM Rishi Sunak will affect its passage through Parliament.
  • The EU’s Digital Markets Act entered into force on 1 November. The aim is to put an end to unfair practices by companies that act as ‘gatekeepers’ in the online platform economy.

…and in other news

  • The National Cyber Security Centre published its Annual Review 2022, looking back at the past year and ahead to future priorities and challenges.
  • The NCSC launched its internet scanning capability which will help it to: better understand the vulnerability and security of the UK; help system owners understand their security posture on a day-to-day basis; and respond to shocks.
  • In a recent speech, the NCSC’s CEO emphasised the importance of connected technologies being made secure by design.
  • A new Cyber Resilience Centre was launched in London to help small and medium businesses reduce their vulnerability to the most common types of cybercrime.
  • Ofcom proposed revising its guidance on how the ‘net neutrality’ rules should apply in the UK. It proposes more clarity in the guidance so that broadband and mobile providers can, for example, develop new ‘specialised services’, which could include supporting applications like virtual reality and driverless cars.
  • Elon Musk finally took control of Twitter, dissolving its board of directors.
  • Ralph Lauren has redesigned its Polo logo for the first time as it launches a new digital collection with Fortnite.
  • $80 billion was wiped off Meta’s market value after the company reported that profits had halved during the third quarter.
  • And finally, Ofcom is consulting on changes to telecoms rules which could spell the end of the fax machine.

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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