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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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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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 Prisacaru 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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Why a European AB5 is still some way off

Written by Matthew Niblett on 06 Mar 2020

California’s recent regulation to address perceived imbalances in the gig economy (known as AB5) has set tongues wagging about the future of companies like Uber and Lyft. Given Europe’s reputation for being tough on tech giants, is a similar intervention on this side of the Atlantic now inevitable?

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Consumer protection legislation in the connected future

Written by Alex Rennie on 02 Mar 2020

The spread of tiny chips into more and more everyday items promises a cumulative leap in convenience for consumers and productivity for businesses. Yet as ever more consumer devices become hooked up to the internet and the line between hardware and software blurs, the question of consumer protection and the need for new consumer regulations will receive greater attention.

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The geopolitics of standards-setting

Written by Megan Stagman on 11 Feb 2020

The grand-scale struggles of power between international superpowers might appear a far cry from the everyday business of a technology company. However, in reality, geopolitics has very tangible implications for corporates within the tech sector, and the tug of war taking place over the direction of industry standards is a prime example.

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The politicisation of technology regulation: four drivers that will shape 2020

Written by Olaf Cramme on 16 Jan 2020

As Europe begins the year in a state of relative stability with the EU Commission firmly in place as well as new governments in the UK and Spain, all eyes are on how policymakers will now respond to popular demand for changes to our liberal order. The tech sector could be in for a rough ride.

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Tech regulation: will the UK go it alone after Brexit?

Written by Olaf Cramme on 02 Dec 2019

Once the political decision about Brexit is settled, the focus will move swiftly to the precise nature of the new relationship between the UK and the EU. The question of regulatory alignment or divergence will then take centre stage - with an uncertain outcome and potentially far-reaching implications for the tech sector.

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