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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 17 Issue: 11
(November 2015)


If initial reports about the TalkTalk data breach, sustained on 21 October, are correct, explains Rhys Williams, Partner at Taylor Vinters, one of the more striking revelations is that a “technologically-sophisticated telecoms company’s approach to data security appears to betray a fundamental lack of understanding of some very common cyber attack strategies.” The Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit is currently investigating what is described by TalkTalk as ‘a significant and sustained cyberattack,’ during which the personal data of up to four million TalkTalk customers may have been accessed. / read more

The European Parliament approved new rules to enshrine net neutrality into EU law on 27 October, but rejected four amendments that critics argue would have closed loopholes in the compromise text relating to specialised services and zero rating. The Parliament vote will also see the abolishment of roaming charges by 2017. / read more

Amazon filed a lawsuit in a Seattle court on 16 October, suing 1,114 anonymous defendants for offering false review services on the Fiverr website, which allows users to buy and sell minor tasks. The suit is the result of an Amazon investigation that involved Amazon hiring freelancers on Fiverr. / read more


In the aftermath of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (‘CJEU’) ruling of 6 October, many commentators and some European regulators have called for the end of EU/US data transfers, arguing that the CJEU has stated that massive surveillance conducted by US intelligence would interfere with EU fundamental rights and that there would be no viable alternatives to the EU/US Safe Harbor Program that would permit data transfers to the US. On 26 October, the German data protection supervisory authorities published a common note in which they stated that they would immediately start enforcement actions should they become aware of Safe Harbor-based data transfers. Dr. Christian Schröder and Kolvin Stone of Orrick here aim to help companies understand the current situation and to distinguish political views from what the CJEU actually said, and to anticipate where the repercussions of the ruling will likely be felt. / read more

The nature of cloud computing requires an analysis of how to solve the issues cloud services pose in terms of taxation. The Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development (‘OECD’) suggested means of doing so in a recent paper. Kathy Hills and Sam De Silva of Penningtons Manches LLP discuss the proposals. / read more

On 27 October 2015, the European Parliament adopted the agreement reached in June to end roaming charges by June 2017 and to set net neutrality rules. Since the summer, technology firms and consumer groups have lobbied intensively to amend the compromise text agreed by the European Parliament and the Member States. MEPs, whilst voting in favour of the net neutrality and roaming regulations, rejected the four amendments that critics argued would have closed loopholes in the compromise text on specialised services and zero rating of specific content. Adoption by the European Parliament paves the way for enshrining net neutrality principles into European law by 30 April 2016. / read more

On 1 October the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) handed down judgment on preliminary questions in the Weltimmo case, finding that national data protection authorities may enforce national law against companies with ‘real and effective’ activity in their territory, even if the company is registered in another Member State. Stephen Groom of Osborne Clarke explains how the judgment has broadened the concept of ‘establishment’ under the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (‘DPD’), and why data controllers may now be forced to comply with data laws belonging to multiple Member States. / read more

Following the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (‘CJEU’) ruling that applying a reduced VAT rate to e-books contravenes Directive 2006/112/EC (the ‘VAT Directive’), the Polish Constitutional Tribunal (‘Tribunal’) has argued that the provisions in the Polish VAT Act in regards to the differing VAT treatment between hard copy and e-books is in violation of the Polish Constitution. E-Commerce Law & Policy spoke to Przemyslaw Walasek of Taylor Wessing about the Tribunal’s challenge and its referral of two questions to the CJEU. / read more

It is well known that in England and Wales a domain name can be an instrument of fraud, but whether property rights subsist in a domain name is less clear. And yet despite the importance of such a question for brand owners, it has not generated much argument before the courts in the UK. / read more

On 3 August the Electronic Frontier Foundation (‘EFF’), privacy company Disconnect and a coalition of internet companies announced the creation of a new policy standard providing a stronger ‘Do Not Track’ (‘DNT’) setting for web browsing. Christopher M. Loeffler and Katherine E. Riley of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP provide the context surrounding the creation of the new policy standard, and discuss the specific requirements and what the future holds for DNT. / read more

Changes to the German liability regime for internet access providers and hosting providers are under consideration by the country’s parliamentary chambers. Dr Igor Barabash and Michael Horn review the content and potential impact of these proposed amendments to the German Telemedia Act. / read more

About Digital Business Lawyer:

The monthly publication providing authoritative insights and thought leadership on the legal/regulatory issues affecting online business, covering distance selling, contracts, domain names, adblocking, advertising, cloud computing, net neutrality, e-privacy, data protection, cyber crime, the Internet of Things, social media, internet taxation and software / read more

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