Welcome to the first edition of our new regular technology law newsletter, DLA Piper’s Digital Law Alert. Our inaugural edition includes:
- Our best tech predictions for 2022
- Key tech and sourcing alerts early 2022
What does 2022 hold for technology?
- In 2022, the world will start to sit up and pay more attention to quantum computing and its enormous commercial potential, which is already being exploited in various industries such as biotechnology. Watch this space for our thoughts on quantum computing, where it’s happening this year, and what it could mean from a legal standpoint.
- The potential of block chain to be applied to nearly every industry should begin to materialize more broadly in 2022. All business revolves around transactions, and the technical, financial, and legal elements of transactions each have the potential to be supported by blockchain. We will continue to focus on the development of the law applying to blockchain and digital ledger technology in general over the course of the year.
- Connected devices are everywhere, and the numbers are only expected to increase in 2022. As 5G deployment accelerates and IOT and other product-relevant technologies and interconnectivity such as AI evolve, it follows that there will be an increased need for device regulation to ensure user safety. We recently reported on how the European Commission took over the work started in 2018 to assess the Product Liability Directive (Directive) (85/374/EEC) and in this alert, we’ll keep you updated as it progresses.
- Haptic technology will continue to be a fast developer, especially as land grabbing for Metaverse user numbers moves more firmly into the sights of big social players like Meta. 2021 has seen a surge in the number of patent applications relating to haptic technology filed by incumbents and technology challengers and we expect this trend to continue in 2022.
- Non-Fungible Wanted Token Prices/NFT will continue to increase. The breadth of choice of NFTs in which to invest means that there will be price fluctuations as investors shift towards and away from, for example, gaming assets, fashion collectibles or fashion. ‘art. Generally, there’s only one way the value of NFTs is heading in 2022, and that’s up.
- Technology allowing hybrid work will be a key focus, as Big Tech in particular leads the way in unlocking the potential to ensure that all types of workers and their contrasting needs are met. For lawyers, the potential offered by tools that enable hybrid working and combine the specific type of technology that our industry increasingly relies on, such as document automation tools with an element of remote collaboration, will come into play more in 2022.
- The debate around optimize the operation of technology in front of the climate crisis will continue to increase in volume. Limiting your gaming habits, reducing the amount of on-demand TV you watch, or even sending fewer emails will help save the planet, but the potential for the biggest reductions in carbon use is in the hands tech giants and we will wait to see how they respond to this challenge.
And here are our top technology and supply alerts as we kick off 2022:
The UK Government’s DCMS and the Office for AI have published a Press release outlining a new UK initiative to shape global standards for artificial intelligence as part of the UK’s ten-year national AI strategy. A new AI Standards Hub will seek to bring together the UK AI community online, provide practical tools for businesses and provide educational material on global standards for organizations to use as they develop. The initiative will be led by the Alan Turing Institute supported by the British Standards Institution and the National Physical Laboratory.
As a member of National Cyber Strategy 2022 the UK government launched two new consultations on 19 January 2022 on significant cybersecurity issues impacting the UK economy. The first one consultation seeks feedback on a proposal to introduce new laws to improve the cyber resilience of organizations important to the UK economy such as managed IT service providers/MSPs. High profile cyberattacks, such as the July 2021 attack on MSP Kaseya, show how the UK’s national security can be compromised on a large scale and in a disruptive way. The second consultation seek advice on how to ensure that UK Cyber Security Council formed in March 2021 can be supported to address the cybersecurity skills shortage in numbers and diversity that the government is seeking to address.
The network and information systems (EU exit) (amending regulation 2021 (IS 2021/1461) (the “NIS Regulation”) came into force on January 12, 2022. Under the NIS Regulation, affected digital service providers/RDSPs have an obligation to inform the ICO in the event of a substantial incident affecting the security of their network and/or their computer system. The applicable test to determine if an incident is substantial is currently set out in European Commission Implementing Regulation 151/2018. Following a consultation which ended on 14 October 2021, the ICO is in the process of producing guidance on which of two possible replacement tests should be applied, namely either a revised version of the current test which s would apply in the UK, ie a new test. by applying risk-based parameters rather than numerical thresholds. The UK government has stated that even without such guidelines being issued by the ICO, the NIS regulations may still apply due to certain measures to be taken into account in the new legislation, such as the duration of an incident and the number of people affected. users.
On January 13, 2022, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity/ENISA published a report on existing cybersecurity risk management frameworks and methodologies in the EU after comparing them and identifying those with the greatest potential for interoperability between different EU countries. The report refers to a new inventory frameworks identified, the Compendium of Risk Management Frameworks with Potential Interoperability, which provides notes on the main features of each framework mentioned, such as the identification, assessment, treatment and monitoring of risks and also explains the relevance of each framework for certain sectors. Although specific to the EU, the report and compendium provide a useful overview of the risk management frameworks in place in the EU.
DLA Piper recently launched its AI score box, a free assessment tool for the growing number of organizations using the power of AI in their business. With the publication of the final draft of the European Commission’s regulation on artificial intelligence (the “AI regulation”) scheduled for the second half of 2022 and a possible compliance deadline as early as mid-2024, pressure is being exerted on organizations to undertake what can be complex assessments of their current situation and make any necessary adjustments to conform. The AI Scorebox works by completing an online assessment that allows organizations to assess their use of AI technology and how that compares to changing regulatory landscapes around the world. The tool also provides a summary report showing an organization’s score in key areas and allows for benchmarking of aggregated data against other responses. Last year, DLA Piper also provided an analysis of future AI regulation in its EU AI Regulation Handbook which examines the draft AI regulations in detail.