This Week's Techlaw News Round-up

ASA begins intermediary and platform principles pilot, Ofcom publishes annual Online Nation report for 2022, Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Repeater) (Exemption) Regulations 2022 made, and more in this week’s round-up of UK and EU techlaw news developments not covered elsewhere on the SCL website.

UK law

ASA begins intermediary and platform principles pilot

The Advertising Standards Authority has launched its intermediary and platform principles pilot. The pilot lasts one year and will extend the ASA’s role online and explores bringing more accountability and transparency to its regulation of paid online ads. The pilot revolves around key Principles, which establish broad objectives around awareness-raising, advertiser compliance and ASA enforcement online. Participating companies - including Adform, Amazon Ads, Google, Index Exchange, Meta, Snap Inc., TikTok, Twitter and Yahoo - volunteer to provide information to the ASA to demonstrate how they operate in accordance with the Principles. To support this, the ASA is publishing a guidance note that will also help to manage expectations on all sides about how the pilot should operate in practice, in line with better regulation principles. The ASA intends to publish an interim and aggregated account of how the participating companies have given effect to the Principles at the end of the year. It will highlight examples of best practice and identify areas for improvement for the second half of the pilot. The ASA will publish a final report in quarter three, 2023.

Ofcom publishes annual Online Nation report for 2022

Ofcom has published its Online Nation report for 2022. The report includes information about how internet users benefit from a range of online services such as communications platforms, gaming platforms, online landscape and the overall online experience. However, Ofcom has also collected data that shows how the internet can pose risks through exposure to potential harmful content or behaviour from other users. The report says that even though 62% of users had faced at least one potential harm in the last four weeks, about 67% of users aged 13+ found that the internet benefits outweigh the risks. The report also includes various other statistics, including that the average UK internet user spent around four hours a day online in September 2021, 58% of individuals in the UK ages 13–64 watch video games-related content and another 58% have a gaming subscription, 27% of users recently encountered the most common potential harms such as scams, fraud and phishing, and that the four most used smart phones apps that were visited daily by UK adults were owned by Meta.  It also says that national and regional news services are widely used across the UK. 

Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Repeater) (Exemption) Regulations 2022 made

The Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Repeater) (Exemption) Regulations 2022 SI 2022/595 have been made to exempt the establishment, installation and use of certain wireless telegraphy stations or apparatus, known as 'mobile repeaters' which comply with certain terms, provisions and limitations, from the requirement to be licensed under section 8(1) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (WTA 2006). The Regulations come into force on 16 June 2022.

EU law

CPC and Commission ask WhatsApp to clarify its privacy policies and terms of service

The Consumer Protection Cooperation and the European Commission have sent a supplementary letter to WhatsApp following previous correspondence. The letter requests that Meta responds to allegations about its terms of service, privacy policy as well as its explanation of its business model to consumers. In particular, the letter asks WhatsApp to explain to consumers the implications of updates and allow them to freely decide whether they wish to use WhatsApp after these updates. WhatsApp has also been asked to clarify whether it derives revenue from selling user data.

Published: 2022-06-10T12:00:00

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