This week’s Techlaw News Round-Up

December 14, 2019

European Commission publishes EU Cybersecurity Taxonomy

The European Commission has recently published a revision of its cybersecurity taxonomy guidelines.  The taxonomy aims to provide a clear definition of the cybersecurity context, its domains of application, research and knowledge.  It proposes a high level set of definitions and categorisation domains so that they can be used by a broad range of EU cybersecurity initiatives; and become a point of reference for the cybersecurity activities (research, industrial, marketing, operational, training, education) in the digital single market by all sectors/industries (health, telecom, finance, transport, space, defence, banking etc).  The aim is also that they can be used to index the cybersecurity research entities (eg research organisations/laboratories/ associations/academic institutions/groups, operational centres/academies) in Europe.; meet compliance with international cybersecurity standards; and will be sustainable and easily modifiable.

EDPB busy after latest  recent plenary session

European Data Protection Board has published an array of documents following its latest plenary session covering an opinion in ICO draft decision, standard contractual clauses, response to BEREC about net neutrality rules, and consults on right to be forgotten.

The opinion on the UK ICO’s draft decision on the accreditation requirements for codes of conduct monitoring bodies. The EDPB seeks to ensure consistency and the correct application of the requirements among EEA supervisory authorities and proposes some changes to them, to ensure a consistent application of the accreditation of monitoring bodies.

Following the opinion by the EDPB in July 2019 on the draft standard contractual clauses for contracts between controller and processor submitted by the Danish supervisory authority, the final text has been published in the EDPB’s Register.  The standard processor agreement has been adopted by the Danish supervisory authority under article 28(8) GDPR and aims to help organisations to meet the requirements of articles 28 (3) and (4).  

The EDPB has also issued its response to a BEREC request for guidance on the revision of its guidelines on net neutrality rules. It has raised concerns about processing domain names and URLs for the purposes of traffic management and billing (zero-rating offers) and encourages the internet access services, and where relevant BEREC, to define and agree on less invasive and more standardised ways to manage internet traffic.

Finally, it has issued for consultation its guidelines on the right to be forgotten. The consultation ends on 5 February 2020. The guidelines set out its interpretation of Article 17 GDPR, about the grounds and exceptions for delisting requests directed to search engine providers.

Law Society carries out comparative analysis of legal technology in the UK and other jurisdictions

The Law Society has carried out a comparative analysis of public, private and third sector accelerators to lawtech innovation and adoption in the UK and in other jurisdictions.  The objectives were to identify the funding patterns of UK lawtech; undertake a jurisdictional and state-of-play analysis of the UK’s nearest competitors against ease of doing business, the rule of law, innovation and investment metrics.  The main findings of the study are that investment in UK lawtech is likely to increase; lawtech remains less mature than other fields of digital disruption, most notably Fintech, where funding and regulatory alignment are more advanced; London is becoming a hub for legal technology; the UK is playing a significant role in lawtech on the world stage; and the most established lawtech products in the UK are target eDiscovery and legal research. UK legal technology will need continual investment to stay on top, with other jurisdictions seeing strong growth in their domestic sectors. The global market in lawtech is growing rapidly and is valued at $15.9bn. The adoption of new technologies could increase productivity growth in the legal sector from 1.3% per year to 2.7% per year. According to the report, every £1 spent on legal services supports £1.39 in spending across the entire UK economy – a contribution that could be boosted by investment in lawtech.

Law Society publishes two workforce reports

The Law Society has published two workforce reports.  The first is a study commissioned from the Institute for Employment Studies, covering legal sector employment trends, workforce projections and solicitor firm perspectives on potential changes.  In addition, the Law Society has published its own research report covering the current situation relating to skills, training, workplace changes and job quality in the solicitors’ profession.  The IES report is intended to give organisations in which solicitors work an understanding of wider market drivers and trends alongside the composition of their current workforce. This aims to enable the organisations to plan better for the long term and make any necessary adjustments in the short term.  One of the key findings of the reports is that many legal jobs are likely to disappear as a result of the use of AI, although many of these will be support roles.  The Law Society report shares insights from its regular large-scale survey of individual solicitors, providing a representative picture of skills, personal development and job quality within the profession. The work seeks to provide richer detail on the current state of skills and training for solicitors, for use by individuals in career planning and by firms in workforce planning. 

Also on this week

FSB reports on financial stability implications of BigTech and cloud services