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Technology & Digital round-up: 6 May 2022

Welcome to our latest round-up of legal and non-legal tech-related news stories. This edition covers digital regulation, developments at Twitter, NFTs in sport, 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…

  • Through the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum, the UK’s four digital watchdogs – the ICO, the CMA, the FCA and Ofcom – launched a call for input on the benefits and risks of how sites and apps use algorithms, and on auditing algorithms and the role of regulators. Comments are requested by 8 June 2022. This forms part of the Forum’s workplan for the year ahead. Other areas of focus include promoting competition and privacy in online advertising and enabling innovation. The Forum’s CEO explains that this year “represents a crucial moment in the UK’s approach to regulating digital technologies and services. Regulators are gearing up to take on new and revised responsibilities across the digital space. These new responsibilities…represent a seismic step change in the UK digital landscape”.
  • In related news, the Forum responded to a letter from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport on delivering the UK’s pro-innovation approach to digital regulation. Among other things, a metaverse and immersive tech symposium will be held in May and a Web 3.0 event is planned for July.
  • The government is consulting until 29 June 2022 on plans to improve the security and privacy of apps and app stores. See the press release for details.
  • The ICO is running a webinar on 24 May on AI and data protection risk.
  • New trade sanctions against Russia require social media and internet access service providers and app stores to take reasonable steps to prevent UK users from accessing internet services provided by a sanctioned individual/entity or encountering content generated, uploaded or shared by them. Please get in touch if you require advice or assistance on any aspect of sanctions compliance.
  • The government published a policy paper on mandatory digital waste tracking, which it plans to introduce across the UK. There is a target date of 2023 to 2024 to launch the digital waste tracking service. The government consulted on the introduction of mandatory digital waste tracking earlier this year.
  • Europe’s top court confirmed that the GDPR does not preclude national legislation allowing consumer protection associations to bring representative (class) actions independently for data protection infringements. New EU measures on representative actions will also apply from June 2023.
  • Staying in Europe, political agreement was reached on the Digital Services Act, a comprehensive set of new rules regulating the responsibilities of digital services (including online platforms, such as marketplaces and social media networks) that act as intermediaries within the EU to connect consumers with goods, services and content. The legislation is likely to come into force later this year with full implementation a further 15 months after that. It will apply from an earlier date for the very large online platforms and search engines.

…and in other news

  • Tech news has been dominated by Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, with politicians and regulators warning that he must protect Twitter users from harmful content. Meanwhile, Elon Musk warned that business and government users may need to pay a “slight” fee to stay on the platform and UK MPs invited him to Parliament to hear more about his plans.
  • The Central African Republic became the second country (following El Salvador) to adopt Bitcoin as its national currency.
  • Nike launched its first range of digital sneakers following its acquisition of RTFKT in December 2021. The virtual trainers, coined as ‘Nike CryptoKicks’, have been well received compared to other artwork NFTs, particularly among the ‘sneakerhead’ collector community. The launch follows Nike’s launch of Nikeland in the Roblox metaverse, giving the apparel some early Web 3.0 successes.
  • As a proud Executive sponsor of the Leeds Digital Festival 2022, Walker Morris recently hosted a webinar on ‘Blockchain and Sustainability – Friends or Foes?’ as we looked to dispel some of the myths surrounding blockchain and discussed topical issues such as energy efficiency and sustainability with a panel of industry speakers. Click here to view the webinar recording.
  • Walker Morris Technology and Sport lawyer Luke Jackson took a closer look at Liverpool FC’s venture into the NFT marketplace and set out his top tips for other clubs thinking about their NFT offering.
  • The National Cyber Security Centre published a blog post featuring updated guidance on cyber security in the built environment – considering security throughout a building’s lifecycle.
  • The NCSC also published a joint advisory with its international partners detailing the 15 most commonly exploited vulnerabilities in 2021.
  • And finally, a £5 million Centre for Creative and Immersive XR (extended reality) has been launched in Portsmouth with cutting edge tools available for businesses and other organisations in exchange for the university being able to train its students using real-life projects.

More from Walker Morris

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