Call for Predictions – 2017 and beyond

November 21, 2016

I am again looking to post something on the SCL web site which reflects the predictions of leading experts in IT law and legal IT – this time for 2017. With all that has happened in 2016, you could be forgiven for throwing your hands in the air and expressing your despair at the chances of predicting anything accurately. As I looked through last year’s set, I realised what an age of innocence we had that has now melted away.

On the bright side, we are in a post-truth world apparently so nobody can complain if your predictions are wildly inaccurate – a second string as a political commentator might then beckon.

There appear to have been a number of issues with my e-mailed personal invitations to contribute so, though I am checking delivery and resending in some cases, you should not be offended if you have not received one. Contribute anyway. E-mail me at

Even away from seismic political change, with its obvious impact on tech and tech law, 2017 promises to be an exciting year. Clarification of the GDPR, further progress on the digital single market and continuing developments in the Google v EU are likely in Europe. In the UK, we may get an idea of how the tech industry will fare in a post-Brexit world and see what the IP Bill means in practice. In the world as a whole, changes in the smartphone market, increased protectionism and mind-boggling new products might be on the agenda.

The predictions supplied last year were presented as a series of blog posts and, taken together, were yet again the most read item on the site. We are adding a tweet (or two) for each prediction (even the very short ones). Every set of predictions will be posted as an individual blog post with the chance to gauge popularity by counting retweets and analysis of comments.

Feel free to look beyond the obvious IT issues and consider the issues that might arise from other forms of technological advance too. Life sciences, healthcare and robotics spring to mind but the interface between IT and other innovative technology is becoming increasingly complex.
I am looking for roughly 50 words per person, but if you want to provide more, even lots more, that’s fine; some predictions might well make a short independent article.

Contributions will be displayed on the SCL Web site with full attribution, including contact details and description (which you may provide but please don’t make them too long). A series of Predictions blog postings will begin on 1 December. I hope to publish selections in the Dec/Jan issue of the magazine from those replying by 5 December.

Submitting a prediction will be taken to include permission for the prediction to appear on the SCL LinkedIn Group pages as well as the normal SCL outlets.

Do feel free to encourage your colleagues and clients to contribute. I would especially value contributions from outside our normal circles – most obviously but not exclusively from technologists and e-commerce entrepreneurs who say something that IT lawyers would find useful.