Predictions 2013, and beyond: Part 10, CMS Cameron McKenna

December 14, 2012

{i}From {b}Chris Watson{/b} and {b}Bailey Ingram{/b}{/i}

2013: Our ambitious prediction for 2013 is the development of ‘cloud jurisdiction’. Legal systems are faced with the pressing requirement to adapt to activity on the internet and in the cloud that transcends geographical national jurisdictions. The delocalisation of human activity to remote data servers requires a principle of delocalisation of the law across a wide range of legal fields including libel, copyright protection, data privacy and content broadcasting.

2023: In a related development, by 2023 out of necessity the Internet will have forged a harmonisation between the European and American notions of freedom of speech. The two sit uneasily as enshrined in the First Amendment (an absolute prohibition on laws abridging freedom of speech) and the European Convention on Human Rights (a right of privacy and respect for family life as well as to freedom of expression with corresponding duties and responsibilities, and which may be restricted as necessary in a democratic society). The situation will become untenable in the shared environment of the Internet which demands governance on a great number of knotty problems, from libelous statements on social media sites to net neutrality, all underpinned by the permitted scope and limitations of freedom of expression. Driven in the first instance by online governance, it may be that agreement on this fundamental human right is brokered ultimately by the WTO or other international organisation.
By 2023 our use of data will have changed dramatically. As it becomes easier to acquire very personal data, particularly medical data, through devices and applications a ‘data donor card’ will enable us to consent to the commoditisation of personal data for a wide variety of purposes. The potential uses of medical data include the doctor-patient relationship and medical studies that we know today but also advertising, say of medicine based on a diagnosis of allergies or indigestion, and insurance. This poses serious challenges for discrimination law and in particular the prohibition on Type B discrimination treating two objectively different things in an equal way, as an increasing number of those differences are exposed through personal data. For example, will it be considered discriminatory for an insurance company not to offer a person with a healthy heart a more favourable insurance cover than a person with a merely ordinary heart?
Of course the data donor card will not be a physical card; by 2023 neither will any other card we now keep in our wallets. Access to money, transport, buildings, brand loyalty, government services will be via the cloud. We can forget chip and pin and mobile apps; the passwords to unlock the cloud will be fingerprints and biometrics.
2053: In 2053 we will be living after the end of hand-held devices. Merely by thinking we will be able to instruct machines to carry out actions in remote locations, when they are not busy talking to each other. Even in an acutely smart world, however, humans will continue to excel at a different type of intelligence: in heuristic thinking, making connections in a way that appears to be beyond the capability of technology.

{i}From {b}James Besley{/b}{/i}

One of the key drivers behind IT developments in the next ten years will be the ownership of key assets, including data. As more and more personal data is generated through the use of 3 and 4G enabled devices and the internet, ownership and privacy issues are going to come to the fore. There are already numerous aggregators in the market – including Facebook and Google – that are going to be increasingly looking at ways to commercially exploit the data they have collected in recent years. Lawyers will be called upon to protect both the aggregators and those affected by the aggregation.

{i}From {b}Joanne Wheeler{/b} and {b}Hannah Suthren{/b}{/i}

{b}40 years on{/b}

{i}Prediction 1 – Beaming, control of avatar via brain waves{/i}

This is the process of inserting a chip into a human brain. The human can control their avatar via brain waves. There is no need for the human to physically do anything or indeed to process anything – they merely need to think of an action, which will be picked up by the chip and ‘beamed’ to the avatar who will carry out the action. See {this report:}.

{i}Prediction 2 – Stratolite{/i}

High Altitude Platforms (HAPs) are candidates to host payload for the provision of communications services over large regions, playing the role of very small satellites almost stationary and near to the ground with respect to low Earth orbit spacecrafts. There is the possibility of having a HAP over a city, controlling smart metering, GPS and the like. See {here:}

{b}10 years on{/b}

{i}Prediction 3 – GPS inside buildings/tunnels and areas where GPS is currently unavailable{/i}

In hazardous situations this can improve command effectiveness and increase personnel safety, and ultimately save lives. For example, it could be used to track miners or soldiers via their boots. From a development angle, it allows an indoor location to be delivered when a developer does not own/have access to a building and when maps/plans are unreliable. An indication of the developing area is that {Motorola Solutions Venture Capital have just invested in TRX Systems:}.

{i}Prediction 4 – Spaceport in Scotland{/i}

The UK currently has no launch facilities of its own – a striking gap when considering the UK’s presence in the space industry (and increasingly so). The development of a launch base at RAF Lossiemouth is possible. It has been recognised by leading figures in UK aerospace as ideally placed for polar orbit satellite launch and for space tourism, and that confidence has been backed by the UK government. The fast-jet facilities at Lossiemouth are exactly what is needed for the new rocket planes, for take-off and landing. An operational spaceport would provide the whole of the UK, and indeed European neighbors as well, with a key piece of infrastructure for the aerospace industry. See {here for more:}

{i}From {b}David Clark{/b}{/i}

In10 years, there will be a legal challenge as to the meaning of the word ‘worldwide’ in a ‘worldwide licence’ in relation to media content delivered to tourists on a space flight. It will be held that the word ‘worldwide’ means just that, leading to media and content licence holders at all levels having to renegotiate terms for ‘universal’ licences to future-proof against the increased use of space travel.