You missed the SCL Annual IT Law Conference – But could you afford to?

November 1, 1998


Please answer the following questions by picking one of the responses. Make anote of your answers and check them against the solutions provided. The total ofthe number of correct answers that you have achieved will give you your officialSCL rating. The meaning of this score is explained at the end of the test.


Question 1
On what date does the Data Protection Act 1998 come into force in England andWales?

(a) It is already in force
(b) 1 January 1999
(c) 24 October 2001
(d) After 1 January 1999

Answer 1:(d). David Smith, Assistant DataProtection Registrar, in his up to the minute paper `Data Protection: The WayForward’, gave important information regarding the framework of the new Act andthe reasoning behind it.

Question 2
The Internet is:

(a) Unregulated
(b) Incapable of being regulated
(c) Both a and b
(d) The most regulated entity in existence

Answer 2:(d). Assertion by Lars Davies (ResearchFellow in Internet Law Technology Law Unit Queen Mary and Westfield College,University of London) during his presentation `Surviving Multi-JurisdictionalRegulation’ which superbly highlighted the legal dangers companies face runningweb sites.

Question 3

What is the importance of EU Directive 97/7/EC to e-commerce?

(a) It lays down guidelines on how CDs must be packaged
(b) None, EU 97/7 deals with standardisation of tractor parts
(c) It sets out how distance selling, including Internet sales, will beregulated in the EU
(d) It exempts the Internet from the Distance Selling Directive

Answer 3:(c). `Selling Digital Problems On-Line’,the concise presentation by Michael Chissick (Head of Internet Law at FieldFisher Waterhouse), set out what all companies should consider when selling onthe Internet.

Question 4

What is the EU’s policy with regards to the content of the Internet?

(a) It is doing nothing
(b) It is looking towards a `soft law approach’
(c) Directive 6661/98 must be implemented by all member states by 22 April 1999which sets out what is acceptable content throughout the EU
(d) EU policy is to target Internet Service Providers

Answer 4:(b). Mads Bryde Andersen (Professor of Lawat the University of Copenhagen and member of the EU Internet Working Party) inhis paper `Allocating Responsibility for On-Line Content’ gave an insider’s viewas to how the EU proposes to tackle problems associated with doing business onthe Internet Europe-wide.

Question 5

A UK company wants to pass employee data to a subsidiary so that thesubsidiary can process the data on its payroll system. What advice should begiven to the company in light of the new Data Protection Act 1998?

(a) None, provided that the company is already registered under the DataProtection Act 1984
(b) A contract must be in place between the company and the subsidiary to complywith the seventh data principle
(c) Clearance must always be obtained from the Data Protection Commissionerbefore such processing takes place
(d) None, unless the subsidiary was situated outside the European Union

Answer 5: (b). The presentation by ChristopherMillard (partner in the Media Computer and Communications Group at CliffordChance) entitled `Data Protection: The Way Forward’ provided commercial meat tothe statutory bones of the new Data Protection Act and showed what the realimpact on business will be.

Question 6

Your client is looking to develop a new computer system which verifiesdocuments by electronic signatures. A number of companies have come forward withpossible systems but your client wants to know what the legal position is. Doyou advise:

(a) The EU proposes that electronic signatures used by a company may beacceptable even if not accredited
(b) The EU proposes electronic signatures used by a company will be acceptableonly if accredited
(c) It will be illegal for a company to develop its own electronic signaturesystem if it uses cryptography
(d) The EU is to make no pronouncements on electronic signatures

Answer 6:(a). Richard Schlechter, from EuropeanCommission DG XIII, gave a presentation which showed the thinking behind theEU’s projected policy on this area, an area that is vital for the success ofelectronic commerce in the future.

Question 7

The British Sugar case is important because:

(a) It shows that judges have a sound grasp of the technicalities of computercontracts
(b) It removes any doubt about the meaning of `indirect loss’
(c) It shows more than ever, that caution must be used when using the terms`consequential loss’ in drafting
(d) It is bad law, and should be ignored completely

Answer 7:(c). Harry Small (partner at Baker &McKenzie) gave his opinions on the topical British Sugar case and how contractsthat need to cover consequential loss should be drafted.

Question 8

When would ADR not be appropriate in an IT contract dispute?

(a) When discovery is required
(b) When there is limited time
(c) When the parties require flexibility
(d) Both parties require confidentiality

Answer 8:(a). Richard Meade (barrister specialisingin IT law disputes) shared his experience of the advantages and disadvantages ofdifferent types of dispute resolution in IT contract disputes and which methodshould be used when.

Question 9

Which of the speakers at the `IT Law Beyond the Millennium’ Conference wereacknowledged experts in their field?

(a) None of them
(b) Some of them
(c) All of them

Answer 9:(c).

Question 10

One Whitehall Place, the venue for the `IT Law Beyond the Millennium’Conference, is:

(a) A 1960s anonymous concrete building
(b) A splendid Victorian building with beautiful halls, excellent cuisine andoutstanding facilities
(c) A disused school
(d) The SCL Joint Chairman’s pied-á-terre

Answer 10:(b).

Question 11

Is it possible to have such good speakers, a wonderful venue, and interestingrelevant topics on computer law at such a low price as the `IT Law Beyond theMillennium’ Conference

(a) Yes
(b) No

Answer 11:(b).

How did you do?

0-5 You must attend the next conference/meeting of the SCL as soon aspossible. You are already one step ahead of the competition by being a memberand subscribing to the magazine, but you need to remain informed about currentdevelopments.

5-11 You have sound knowledge of the industry, but would benefit from theexcellent inside information that can be obtained at an SCL conference/meeting.Contact Ruth Baker on ruth.baker@scl.orgor visit the SCL’s home page as soon as possible.

12 You must contact the SCL immediately and offer your services as a speakerat the next SCL conference/meeting. Your knowledge would be of great benefit tothe other members of the SCL and taking part would enhance your profile.