The future of the seamless traveller journey is now

Written by Elena Riva on 04 Nov 2020

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling a seamless, contactless, traveller journey is becoming more a matter of necessity rather than an option. We provide an account of the regulatory challenges and opportunities for biometric technologies companies facilitating a seamless traveller experience.

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How countries are tackling market dominance by big tech ‘gatekeepers’

Written by Beata Fogarasi on 29 Oct 2020

Several countries are focusing their regulatory attention on large tech platforms with the power to control the markets in which they operate, that have a structural impact on the economy, and whose products and services have become indispensable to consumers and businesses - so-called gatekeepers. They are trying to target remedies where they can be most effective and identify potential problems before they cause irreparable harm. How, exactly, do regulators define such impactful platforms? What criteria can be used? As governments and international institutions lay out the ground rules, now is the time for tech companies to get involved with the regulatory processes and help shape the rules. This blog looks at the state of play in key countries and compares their approaches in identifying gatekeepers.

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What's next for international data transfers, post-Schrems II?

Written by Angeliki Tsanta on 22 Oct 2020

On 16 July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated the EU-US international data transfer framework - known as the Privacy Shield - bringing personal data protection and international data transfers to the forefront of current discussions on digital policy. In this brief we look at the options for data transfers between the EU and other countries in the light of the Court's conclusions.

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Future of Transport: Winners and losers from COVID-19 lockdowns

Written by Matthew Niblett on 28 Sep 2020

Covid-19 and its associated lockdowns have seen major cities across the world grind to a halt. Almost overnight, transport systems which once facilitated millions of journeys were restricted to a tiny fraction of those. As lockdowns the world have been eased, we can see what some of the impacts have been. Traditional forms of mass transport are struggling, whilst innovative technologies like e-scooters and drone deliveries are emerging from the crisis stronger than before.

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Five things to know about the European Competition Toolbox

Written by Beata Fogarasi on 21 Sep 2020

An evergreen priority for the European Commission, competition policy has shifted into the active stages of policymaking. It is at the top of many agendas, and the globally interconnected tech sector is increasingly a priority in competition regulation. Here are five aspects of competition reform to watch right now.

1. Priorities of a new European Commission...

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Platforms’ actions against hate speech

Written by Alessandra Venier on 14 Sep 2020

Preventing illegal hate speech online is a priority for policymakers worldwide, and the need to do so is increasingly evident. How can governments strike the right balance between tackling the mechanisms and incentives behind the proliferation of illegal hateful content online, while also ensuring that platforms do not enable censorship? A closer look at present and future debates demonstrates the intricacies of keeping an ever-growing number of internet users safe and preserving their fundamental rights.

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What’s next for the digital marketing sector, post-GDPR?

Written by Megan Stagman on 09 Sep 2020

Even with the UK’s digital marketing sector still grappling with the aftershocks of GDPR implementation in 2018, further regulation has been brewing over recent months. The UK Government undertook a consultation on online advertising earlier this year, which it is expected to respond to imminently with new policies in mind. Indeed, it seems if not 2020, then 2021 might be the next watershed moment for the industry. Drawing from recent developments over this summer - including the latest proposals of the Competition and Markets Authority, and the evaluation of the current framework in a DCMS-commissioned study – this blog post will map out what this new wave of regulation might look like.

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Exploring the regulatory and legislative landscape for IoT devices

Written by Alex Rennie on 03 Sep 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to transform societies and economies. Such widespread transformation is bound to attract increased regulatory and legislative scrutiny. Here we explore the issues on which governments are most likely to focus their attention.

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Introducing the Product Liability Directive (Part II): what about AI?

Written by Giulia Iop on 26 Aug 2020

As we explained in our previous blog, European policy makers are pondering whether to revise the 1985 Product Liability Directive to make it ‘future-proof’ and ensure it remains fit for purpose amidst the growth of new technologies. Both the European Commission and European Parliament have addressed the issue in various formats and within different frameworks, both as part of a broader revision of European product safety regulation and/or as part of a planned regulation on Artificial Intelligence – whose aim would be to address the legal challenges of new automated technologies.

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Introducing the Product Liability Directive (Part I)

Written by Owain Richards on 19 Aug 2020

The continued growth and application of new technologies raises new challenges for regulators and policymakers. Alongside new policy frameworks, existing regulations need to be re-evaluated to ensure that they remain proportionate, effective, fit-for-purpose and ‘future proof’. One such regulation is the Product Liability Directive, with growing calls for it to be reviewed.

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5G rollout in Europe: what lies ahead?

Written by Elena Riva on 12 Aug 2020

The development and roll-out of the fifth-generation mobile communications system (5G) in Europe raises a number of issues for regulators, including costs and security concerns. We explain the measures the European Commission is putting forward to provide a regulatory framework for 5G to address these issues.

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Government must take a holistic view of XR beyond just gaming

Written by Megan Stagman on 24 Jun 2020

The Government responded earlier this month to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee’s recommendations on ‘immersive and addictive technologies’. While it establishes a commitment to proportionate and enabling regulations for the virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) industry, both the Committee and the Government miss a trick by failing to see beyond initial gaming applications. Greater understanding of the broad scope that the technology potentially offers will be critical if the UK is to sustain its status as a leader in the space.

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The difficult road to green transportation

Written by Beata Fogarasi on 18 Jun 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on mobility, from local transportation choices to the availability of long-haul travel and freight options. As the EU works to implement its ambitious climate policies, the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis are complicating the road to a sustainable European transport sector.

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COVID-19: a turning point for online content regulation in the UK?

Written by Alessandra Venier on 10 Jun 2020

As the UK prepares some of the most ambitious online harms legislation in the world, the unprecedented efforts taken by tech companies to curb the spread of COVID-19 falsehoods have raised a number of questions for regulators and policymakers. The UK may need to adapt its original stance on online harms in order to face the ‘new normal’.

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Covid-19 and data privacy pits European governments against US tech once again

Written by Alex Rennie on 03 Jun 2020

Covid-19 and the concerted push by European governments to develop contact-tracing apps has revealed the difficult trade-offs between privacy and public health. Like in previous debates, policymakers and Big Tech find themselves on opposite sides of the argument, although their roles have reversed, with US giants now positioning themselves as the guardians of their users’ privacy by refusing to facilitate centralised apps.

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Understanding the EU technical regulation notification procedure

Written by Owain Richards on 20 May 2020

Strengthening and deepening the Single Market is a key strategic priority for the 2019-24 European legislative cycle. Following the publication of the European Commission’s Single Market Enforcement Action Plan in March 2020, we look at the role and importance of the EU Single Market Transparency Directive in addressing market barriers, promoting the growth of the single market, and supporting a more harmonised regulatory environment for businesses.

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COVID-19 will force governments to show their hands on the gig economy

Written by Matthew Niblett on 06 May 2020

COVID-19 has shown us both how reliant we are on gig workers, and how vulnerable such workers are in major crises. After the crisis is over, policymakers will have to decide whether the gig economy and its ecosystem is something to be championed, or something to be managed via further regulations.

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Five tech sector winners from COVID-19

Written by Giulia Iop on 30 Apr 2020

The tech sector, as all other sectors of the economy, has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, but not necessarily in a negative way. The pandemic could in fact represent an opportunity for five key tech sub-sectors to innovate their business models and show policy makers the potential of new technologies for good during (and beyond) global crises.

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The copyright directive is a warning signal for Europe’s AI ambitions

Written by Elena Riva on 15 Apr 2020

The EU has set great ambitions around artificial intelligence, seeking to accelerate innovation and foster a much more competitive environment. But as the example of the copyright directive shows, much can go wrong for Europe’s AI businesses if they do not pay attention to what will be proposed.

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The (uncomfortable) rise of workforce analytics

Written by Alessandra Venier on 27 Mar 2020

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is forcing companies to turn to technology solutions, given that a significant part of their workforce has switched to working remotely. This abrupt shift in workforce and workplace organisation makes both the benefits and challenges of “people analytics” evermore relevant to business leaders and policymakers alike. 

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