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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 19 Issue: 10
(October 2017)


The UK Government introduced into the House of Lords on 13 September 2017 the new Data Protection Bill (the ‘Bill’), following the publication of a statement of intent in August; the Bill looks to update the UK’s data protection laws and will implement and supplement key parts of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the ‘GDPR’) within UK law, while also explaining in what ways the UK will derogate from GDPR. The Bill will repeal the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 (the ‘Act’) at the time it is enacted, which will likely be prior to the UK leaving the EU. / read more

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) published its final report following its year-long market study into the use of price comparison websites and other apps on 26 September 2017, which sets out recommendations for price comparison websites to ensure that the issues identified are addressed, the majority of which are consumer protection related, as well as launching an investigation into how one price comparison website, which is not identified by the CMA, has set up its contracts with insurers, due to suspicions that the use of retail most favoured nation clauses may have resulted in higher prices for home insurance. / read more


In late August and early September, the Cyberspace Administration of China (‘CAC’) published four regulations on online speech targeted at mainstream online platforms, namely the Administrative Measures on Internet Forum and Community Service (the ‘Forum and Community Regulations’), the Administrative Measures on Internet Posting and Comment Service (the ‘Posting and Comment Regulations’), the Administrative Measures on Internet Public Channel Account Service (the ‘Public Channel Account Service’) and the Administrative Measures on Internet Chat Group Service (the ‘Chat Group Regulations’) (collectively, the ‘Online Speech Regulations’). The Online Speech Regulations were issued at an unprecedented pace and demonstrate that the CAC is keen to bring online speech under its jurisdiction. In this article, Mark Robinson, Karen Ip and James Gong of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, examine the key features of the Online Speech Regulations and provide their observations. / read more

In a case that could be seen as a game-changer in the world of clickwrap agreements and terms of service within mobile apps, Meyer v. Uber Technologies, Inc., Nos. 16-2750-cv, 16-2752-cv, 2017 WL 3526682 (2d Cir. Aug. 17, 2017) (‘Meyer’) has cleared the air as to what, in the view of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the ‘Second Circuit’), constitutes unambiguous consent when agreeing to a mobile app’s terms and conditions. Richard Raysman, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP, provides analysis of Meyer and the Second Circuit’s findings. / read more

Many users and businesses utilise anonymising technologies, such as virtual private networks (‘VPNs’), in order to increase privacy and security on their systems, but in Russia, from 1 November 2017, new rules aimed at establishing greater control over the use of VPNs, other anonymisers and technology that redirects Russian internet traffic through foreign servers will enter into force. These new rules introduced via Federal Law No. 276-FZ (the ‘Amending Law’), which introduces amendments to Federal Law No.149-FZ on Information, Information Technologies and the Protection of Information. Ilya Goryachev, Senior Lawyer at Gorodissky and Partners, assesses the specifics and implications of the Amending Law, and considers what prompted the Russian Government to introduce the amendments that grant new powers to Russia’s IT, mass media and telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor. / read more

On 22 September 2017 Uber London (and a lot of Londoners) got a bit of a shock: Transport for London (‘TfL’) announced that Uber London’s licence was not going to be renewed and would expire on 30 September 2017. Vanessa Barnett, a technology and e-commerce specialist at Keystone Law, looks beyond the headlines and unpicks what led to the Uber London decision. / read more

On 6 September 2017, the European Commission (‘EC’) published a position paper setting out the main principles of the EU’s negotiating position regarding the treatment of intellectual property rights (‘IPRs’) post-Brexit. The paper appears to have been published in an attempt to clarify key areas of uncertainty in relation to the scope of protection of EU IPRs in the UK post-Brexit, or at least the EC’s position in respect of these. Steven James and Mark Hersey of Brown Rudnick LLP provide a breakdown of the key proposals put forward in the EC’s position paper. / read more

Golf equipment manufacturer, Ping, has been fined £1.45 million by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) after it prevented two UK retailers from selling its golf clubs on their websites. The penalty serves as an important reminder to suppliers that under UK and EU law, contractual terms prohibiting a business from selling its products online are generally unlawful. Duncan Reed and Dimitris Sinaniotis of TLT LLP analyse the CMA’s enforcement action, which included the acknowledgement that Ping was “pursuing a genuine commercial aim” with its online sales ban. / read more

Earlier this month, Advocate General (‘AG’) Szpunar gave his Opinion on the preliminary reference made by the Court of Turin to the Court of Justice European Union (‘CJEU’) in the case of VCAST Limited v. R.T.I. SpA, C-265/16 (the ‘Opinion’). While not binding on the CJEU, the opinion of an Advocate General is followed in four out of five cases, and will therefore be taken as an early warning by those companies operating cloud based television recording services1. European terrestrial broadcasters and related copyright owners will be relieved to note that the AG considered the services being offered by VCAST Limited (‘VCAST’) to be in breach of Article 5, paragraph 2 (b) of Directive 2001/29/EC (the ‘Information Society Directive’), which, if followed by the CJEU, will restore some degree of comfort to traditional broadcasters who are already under mounting pressure to compete with digital operators operating within the confines of the law. Gregor Pryor and Alex Mackay of Reed Smith LLP, discuss AG Szpunar’s Opinion and the wider implications. / read more

Under the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (‘COPPA’), businesses that collect data from children are subject to strict compliance obligations regarding data collection, sharing, and security. Compliance is critical as the US Federal Trade Commission (‘FTC’) frequently brings enforcement actions against non-compliant businesses, seeking significant penalties. Reflecting the impact of new technology utilised by children, the FTC has recently updated its six step COPPA compliance plan. The FTC’s update seeks to address the ever-evolving effect of new technology on data collection practices and provides new means of obtaining requisite parental consent, as Andrew B. Lustigman of Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP explains. / 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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