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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 19 Issue: 6
(June 2017)


The UK Conservative Party Manifesto, published on 18 May 2017, includes a number of proposals to further regulate the internet, which, if the Conservatives win the UK’s General Election on 8 June 2017 and the proposals are implemented, would have significant implications for digital businesses operating in the UK. The proposals include the introduction of a sanctions regime under which digital companies may be fined or prosecuted if they fail to remove content that UK regulators deem to be illegal, which would include extremist content, the creation of a power in law for Government to introduce an industry-wide levy to be paid by social media companies and communication services providers in order to incentivise the prevention of ‘internet harms,’ and the enforcement of a ‘Digital Charter’ that would bring about new requirements and rights changes for digital businesses and consumers. / read more

The European Commission (‘EC’) published on 10 May 2017 its mid-term review of its Digital Single Market Strategy, which identifies three areas for further action: addressing cyber security, clarifying rules on the cross-border flow of non-personal data, and promoting fairness and responsibility of online platforms, both in terms of illegal content reporting/removal and platform-to-business trading practices. The EC’s plans include measures to secure ‘connected objects,’ draft legislation on cross-border free flow of non-personal data, and a focus on the “procedural aspects and principles on removal of illegal content - notice and action - based on transparency and protecting the fundamental rights.” / read more


Uber is in the press pretty much all the time and in court pretty often. In the latest instalment in this saga, we see Elite Taxi seeming to have the edge over Uber Spain in Barcelona, according to the Opinion of the Advocate General (‘AG’) of the Court of Justice of the EU (‘CJEU’). Vanessa Barnett, Consultant Solicitor at Keystone Law, provides analysis of the AG’s Opinion and what it might mean for digital platforms. / read more

The European Commission has concluded its two year Sector Inquiry into the e-commerce of consumer goods and digital content in the EU. On 10 May 2017, it published a detailed report setting out its findings. Simon Barnes, Partner at Shoosmiths LLP, considers in this article the implications of the Commission’s report in the consumer goods arena. / read more

The Cyberspace Administration of China (‘CAC’) issued the draft Measures for the Security Assessment of Export of Personal Information and Critical Data (‘Draft’) on 11 April 2017. Set to enter force in June 2017, the Draft expands upon the new PRC Cyber Security Law (‘CS Law’), which came into effect on 1 June of this year, and was anticipated to provide further clarity on Article 37 of the CS Law, which imposes a local storage obligation on the operators of critical information infrastructure. However, as Dr Michael Tan of Taylor Wessing discusses, the Draft goes beyond the CS Law in regard to regulating the export of data outside of China, and as such has significant implications for online businesses. / read more

In an article written last year entitled ‘Protecting against detrimental placement of content online’ for this publication, Tom Guida, Partner and Head of Media and Entertainment at Fieldfisher, argued that advertising/editorial adjacency was a growing issue that deserved greater attention from content creators and advertisers. Tom highlighted the issues that could arise from the at best discordant, and at worst, harmful placement of content adjacent to advertising on a particular website. Tom also pointed out that although the standard form insertion orders tended to favour advertisers over content owners in the case of these conflicts, it behoved both to be much more forceful in insisting on legal protection. A year on, following the concerns that have arisen out of alleged reports of online advertising being placed next to extremist content and the withdrawal of advertising by a number of large brands from certain online platforms as a result, Tom and Robert Grannells, also of Fieldfisher, provide a follow-up article on the issues arising out of programmatic online advertising and what media agencies need to do to regain trust in ad placement online. / read more

Quinten Kroes and Hanneke Kooijman of Brinkhof examine a recent case in the Netherlands, T-Mobile v. the Netherlands Authority on Consumers and Markets (‘ACM’), in which the Court ruled that a strict prohibition on ‘zero-rating,’ as implemented by the ACM and as contained in the Dutch Telecommunications Act, is incompatible with the EU Net Neutrality Regulation. / read more

Emmanuel Macron, elected as the new French President in May 2017, has already unveiled a substantial digital programme, as Annabelle Richard and Anne-Sophie Mouren of Pinsent Masons discuss. / 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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