This Week’s Techlaw News Round-Up

April 23, 2020

Draft Investigatory Powers (Communications Data) (Relevant Public Authorities and Designated Senior Officers) Regulations 2020 published

The draft Investigatory Powers (Communications Data) (Relevant Public Authorities and Designated Senior Officers) Regulations 2020 have been published. They amend Schedule 4 to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 to include more bodies. Schedule 4 sets out the public authorities, other than local authorities, who may exercise powers under Part 3 of the 2016 Act to obtain communications data, the statutory purposes for which the communications data may be obtained, the type of communications data which may be obtained, and the designated senior officers within those authorities who may authorise the obtaining of communications data internally in an urgent case. The following public authorities will be included within the new regulations: the Pensions Regulator; NHS Counter Fraud Authority; Air Accidents Investigation Branch; Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service; the Information Commissioner; Civil Nuclear Constabulary; Environment Agency; Insolvency Service UK; Department of Health and Social Care and the UK National Authority for Counter Eavesdropping. 

Law Society issues guidance on cybersecurity, fraud prevention and lawtech

The Law Society has issued guidance on cybersecurity, fraud prevention and lawtech. The Law Society says that it is supporting solicitors and law firms to: prevent fraud and scams and help their clients to stay cyber-safe; safely deliver legal services online; and run their organisations effectively by using legal technology. In particular, the Law Society has issued guidance on cybersecurity for solicitors, Coronavirus and data protection and cybersecurity when working from home.

HMTCS publishes blog post on tackling coronavirus in courts and tribunals

Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, has written a blog post on tacking coronavirus in courts and tribunals. She writes that urgent cases will still go ahead and significant and swift changes have had to be made to many traditional arrangements. In addition to consolidating court work into fewer locations for the duration of the crisis, the capacity of remote technology has been strengthened to use audio and video technology so that parties can attend remotely, where appropriate, and maintain a functioning justice system during the outbreak. In addition, HMTCS is expanding the capacity of, undertaking testing and introducing the ‘cloud video platform’, which is a fully video hearings system. It has been used on a small-scale in specified civil, family and tax tribunal hearing types. Around 85% of cases are using audio and video technology. Representatives from the Bar and HMCTS also attend regular meetings, organised by jurisdiction, to discuss issues of concern and shared interest.

UK government urges gambling industry to tackle risks of problem gambling during coronavirus outbreak

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has requested regular intelligence from the industry on patterns of gambling during the coronavirus outbreak, including how operators are managing the risk of problem gambling and what more companies can do to promote safer gambling messaging. DCMS and the Gambling Commission plan to make a full assessment of the impact of the current circumstances on gambling habits, monitor whether risks are materialising, to what extent operators are taking action, and whether the current regulations and voluntary measures by the industry are sufficient to prevent an increase in gambling-related harm. Although there is no firm evidence at this stage, there are concerns that the current social distancing measures could lead to an increase in problem gambling online with people in lockdown and internet usage up.  The UK government has also already announced that it plans to review the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age.

CAP issues advice note on gambling, eSports and social media

CAP is issuing an Advice Notice to GB-licensed gambling operators making clear that eSports betting-related advertising must comply with rules that also apply to other forms of gambling advertising. It is providing guidance for gambling operators on how to stay within the advertising rules when creating marketing for gambling on eSports on social media.