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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 17 Issue: 12
(December 2015)


The Dutch Supreme Court (‘SC’) referred on 12 November two questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) in the five-years old litigation brought by Dutch industry group Stichting Brein against ISPs XS4LL and Ziggo to force the ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay (‘TPB’) torrent website. / read more

The President of the Brussels Court of First Instance ordered Facebook Inc, Facebook Ireland Ltd and Facebook Belgium SPRL to cease tracking non-registered users in Belgium without their consent on 9 November, imposing a penalty of €250,000 per day for non-compliance. / read more

The EU Commission (‘EC’) announced in a press release that it intends legislative and enforcement measures in 2016 to further tackle the ‘unjustified different treatment’ of EU consumers resulting from their residence or nationality; such treatment includes diverging pricing for consumers buying from a Member State outside their own, although the EC notes that ‘objective criteria, such as different shipping costs,’ could justify differences. / read more


On 4 November, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, published the much-awaited draft Investigatory Powers Bill. In this article Dyann Heward-Mills and Ian Walden of Baker & McKenzie LLP, consider some of the Bill’s provisions, focusing on the acquisition of communications data and the data retention provisions, as well as exploring the potential impact of these provisions on communication service providers. / read more

With the huge importance and influence of online platforms - from Uber to Amazon - in the everyday lives of consumers, it is no surprise that questions are being asked at a European level as to whether the current level of regulation of these platforms is correct. Following on from May’s Digital Single Market Strategy, the European Commission (‘EC’) launched a consultation, ‘Regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy,’ in late September. The consultation has already met with criticism thanks in part to the way in which the EC attempts to define in very broad terms the nature of an ‘online platform.’ Sue McLean and Mercedes Samavi of Morrison & Foerster LLP take a look at the EC’s consultation and in particular the options set out around the regulatory path that might be taken. / read more

In the recent South Australian Supreme Court decision in Duffy v. Google, Google was found to have published defamatory material through its search results and autocomplete search suggestions. This decision confirms the online application of the traditional concept of who, and in what circumstances, someone is a publisher when disseminating defamatory material. Critical to the decision was that Ms Duffy, accused of being a ‘psychic stalker’ on various websites, had alerted Google to the material and requested Google to remove it from its results, but that Google did not do so quickly enough or, in some instances, at all. Richard Leder, Duncan Marckwald and Viva Paxton of Corrs Chambers Westgarth discuss the decision, previous case law in this area, and the implications. / read more

The ‘localisation amendments’ to Russian Federal Law No. 152-FZ ‘On Personal Data,’ which require that personal data of Russian citizens be collected and operated in Russia, came into force on 1 September. The amendments raised a lot of discussion long before they came into force. Companies and consultants have now fleshed out various risk-based approaches that very much depend on how this law will be applied in practice. However, there is very limited publicly available information on how the authorities actually plan to enforce it, at least against foreign operators, and what line of enforcement will dominate - more conservative or more liberal. Some companies have recently shared that they will be checked by the Roskomnadzor (the federal executive body responsible for the supervision of telecoms, information technology, electronic media and mass communications) according to an earlier approved inspection plan, including regarding the ‘localisation amendments,’ but as yet no outcomes of such inspections have been made publicly available. In general, the business community is still anticipating more precise guidance, but recent official events have provided some insight into current thinking, as Vladislav Arkhipov, Of Counsel at Dentons, explains. / read more

A new provision contained in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (‘MSA’), which came into force on 29 October 2015, requires certain commercial organisations to publish on their website a statement detailing any steps they have taken to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in their supply chains or in their business. The first organisations that will be required to produce a statement will be those that have a year-end on or after 31 March 20161. / read more

In September two companies were the first convicted for breaching the direct marketing provisions under Hong Kong’s (‘HK’) Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486) (‘PDPO’), which came into effect on 1 April 2013. Gabriela Kennedy and Karen H.F. Lee of Mayer Brown JSM analyse the cases and predict further enforcement action. / 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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