This Week’s Techlaw News Round-Up

February 28, 2020

European Council issues new version of E-Privacy regulation

The Croatian presidency of the Council of the European Union has issued a revised version of the proposed E-Privacy regulation. It introduces modifications in articles 6 and 8 and the related recitals including the possibility to process metadata for legitimate interests which, in line with the GDPR, includes conditions and safeguards; and a possible a new ground for processing for legitimate interests, again with conditions and safeguards. The Presidency is currently reflecting about possible modifications to other provisions, such as those related to the scope, and intends to issue an additional document at the beginning of March. The Presidency is proposing to simplify the text of some of the core provisions and to further align them with the GDPR.

ICO consults on a package of support for providers of online services likely to be accessed by children

The ICO has recently published the final version of its Age Appropriate Design Code. The Code will now be subject to Parliamentary approval, and following this there will be a transition period of 12 months for providers of online services likely to be accessed by children to bring their services in line with the Code. During the transition period the ICO intends to provide a package of support to help providers of online services, and in particular small businesses, conform with the Code. The ICO is now consulting to gather views from providers of online services (such as online games, apps, social media sites and websites) who will need to conform to the 15 standards within the Code, about the type of support they would most like the ICO to provide. The consultation ends on  27 March 2020.

European Commission consults on new guidelines under the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) harmonises national legislation on audiovisual media: traditional TV broadcasts, on-demand services as well as video-sharing platforms. The aim of the AVMSD is to facilitate the cross-border circulation of audiovisual services while ensuring a minimum level of harmonised rules in areas of general public interest. The revised AVMSD extends certain audiovisual rules to video sharing platforms, including audiovisual content shared on certain social media services. It also strengthens the promotion of cultural diversity, by introducing clear obligations for on-demand services to have at least a 30% share of European content in their catalogue and to ensure the prominence of this content. The Commission is required to issue guidelines on Video sharing platforms and guidelines on European works. The consultation on the guidelines ends on 13 March 2020. The AVMSD rules must be transposed by Member States by September 2020.

National Audit Office publishes report on gambling regulation in light of online gambling

The National Audit Office has published a report on gambling regulation. The report examines the extent to which gambling regulation effectively and proportionately protects people from gambling-related harms and addresses emerging risks, based on established principles of good regulation. It focuses on the role and work of the Gambling Commission, but also considers the wider regulatory framework within which it operates. Gambling-related harm is a serious problem. The Gambling Commission is a small regulator in a challenging and dynamic industry. The way people gamble is changing, with new risks emerging in online and mobile gambling and other technological developments. The Commission’s ability to ensure consumers are protected from these new risks is constrained by factors outside its control, including inflexible funding and a lack of evidence on how developments in the industry affect consumers. The Commission is unlikely to be fully effective in addressing risks and harms to consumers within the current arrangements.

OECD seeks input on draft Model Rules for Reporting for Platform Operators with respect to Sellers in the Sharing and Gig Economy

As part of the ongoing work of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs, the OECD is consulting on the draft Model Rules for Reporting for Platform Operators with respect to Sellers in the Sharing and Gig Economy. The OECD invites input on the key design features of the Model Rules and commentary, as set out in the document, as well as on any other aspects that respondents consider relevant. Comments are also welcomed on the Code of Conduct contained in Annex B. The consultation ends on 20 March 2020. The UK already has several initiatives in this area.

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