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Global Media and Communications Watch

The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation

Amendments to UK Hacking Legislation under The Serious Crime Act 2015 come into force

Amendments to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (“CMA”) introduced by Part 2 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (“2015 Act”) came into effect on the 3rd May 2015. The 2015 Act makes 4 changes to the CMA, in particular these:

  • Create a new offence to ensure that the most serious cyber attacks attract penalties commensurate with the harm caused;
  • Extend the section 3A offence to cover articles (or tools) for personal use;
  • Extend the extra-territorial reach of the CMA offences; and
  • Clarify the savings provision for law enforcement agencies.

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Posted in Advertising, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

Adblocking to extend to mobile markets?

As reported in the press last week, the rise of adblocking appears to be spreading (read our earlier reports here and here). On 14 May, the Financial Times reported that a number of mobile operators are currently developing plans to block advertising on their networks. One unnamed European wireless carrier told the Financial Times that it plans to roll out adblocking by the end of this year.

The mobile adblocking technology in question was developed by the Israeli start-up Shine. Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer of Shine, told the Financial Times that he expects this development to have a significant impact on the advertising industry.

It is as yet unclear whether carriers are merely planning to offer adblocking on an opt-in basis to their subscribers. The alternative could entail a universal implementation of adblocking for mobile services. Free content made available online and on mobile devices is widely financed through advertising. Given this interconnection, a continuing spread of adblocking is expected to have a considerable impact on how content will be made available to users in the future, and will raise potential legal issues including net neutrality and unfair competition claims. The current net neutrality package in discussion at the European Council does not directly address this issue, creating uncertainty for telecom operators and OTT service providers.

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

Europe’s Digital Single Market Strategy – a focus on Pillar 3

shutterstock_76467463_USIn this post (the last in this series), we focus on the initiatives introduced under the third pillar of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy: Maximising the growth potential of the European Digital Economy

The third pillar is built around the recognition of the pervasive nature of digital technology, and that soon all industry sectors will be digitised to some extent. The Commission is thus concerned by the need for Europe to maintain its competitiveness in this area, and so under the third pillar it is seeking to optimise Europe’s growth potential in the digital economy.

The Commission has set out 3 initiatives to achieve this:

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Posted in Data Protection & Privacy

FTC’s Latest Location-Tracking Settlement Reminds Companies to Mind any Gap Between What They Say and What They Do

ftc-logo-150x150On April 23, the FTC accepted an administrative consent order with Nomi Technologies, Inc., which uses mobile device tracking technology to provide analytics services to retailers through its “Listen” service. At first blush, the action appears to involve a straightforward alleged misrepresentation in a privacy policy, but the two dissenting statements from Commissioner Wright and Commissioner Ohlhausen reveal more complex legal and policy issues. The settlement provides useful insights into how the current Chairwoman and Commissioners view deception cases on data privacy issues. It also affirms that a company’s public statements must be accurate, but suggests that voluntary promises relating to privacy should be made cautiously.

 

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Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

Europe’s Digital Single Market Strategy – a focus on Pillar 2

DigOn 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The Strategy sets out a total of 16 initiatives under 3 pillars which lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future.

In this post (the third in a series following our overview last week), we focus on the initiatives introduced under the second pillar: Creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish.

While Pillar 1 focuses on removing cross-border barriers, the Commission also recognises that Europe’s network infrastructure is key to a successful Digital Single Market. Consequently, with this pillar the Commission is seeking to encourage a reliable, trustworthy, high-speed and affordable network on which future digital innovations (including cloud computing, Big Data and the Internet of Things) will be built.

The Commission has set out 5 initiatives to achieve these aims:

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Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

Europe’s Digital Single Market Strategy – a focus on Pillar 1

mainOn 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The Strategy sets out a total of 16 initiatives under 3 pillars which lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future.

Following our overview last week, in this post we focus on the initiatives introduced under the first pillar: Better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe.

The Commission’s aim with this pillar appears to be to break down existing obstacles which prevent cross-border online activity. It hopes that this will provide businesses, particularly entrepreneurs, with new opportunities to scale up across Europe and reach other parts of the European market more easily.

The Commission has set out 8 initiatives to achieve this aim:

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Posted in Policy & Regulation

EU Outsourcing – when does the employee follow the work – and particularly when not?

Legislation regarding a “Transfer of an Undertaking, or a Part of an Enterprise”, which was intended for classic takeovers of assets, can also be applicable on outsourcing transactions. The basic purpose of the legislation is to protect employees if the entrepreneur of the business in which they are employed changes. Therefore, if a specific case of outsourcing constitutes a Transfer of Undertaking, all employees involved in the outsourced activities automatically transfer to the acquirer, whilst in principle being entitled to their existing terms and conditions.

A party that for the first time outsources activities usually no longer needs the employees involved. Therefore, the Request for Proposals often already explicitly requires the service provider to take over most of the employees involved.

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Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation

Hogan Lovells Global Payments Newsletter l May 2015

Hogan Lovells has just published the May edition of its Global Payments Newsletter containing the latest updates on payment technology and policy-related developments from around the world. Notable items in the May edition include:

  • An update on the progress made by the EU in developing payments and anti-money laundering regulations;
  • The opening of a Bitcoin exchange in the UK by the Bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase; and
  • The publication of the Global Financial Inclusion database, which features news on the uptake of mobile digital wallets in the developing world.

To view a PDF of the full Newsletter please click here. You can also follow us on Twitter at @HLPayments for regular news and updates.

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

European Commission publishes its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe

EU mainOn 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The Strategy sets out a total of 16 initiatives under 3 pillars (based upon key areas for action identified by the Commission earlier this year) which lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future. The three pillars are:

  1. 1.  Better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe

Focusing on the need to provide businesses, particularly entrepreneurs, with new opportunities to scale up across Europe, the Commission seeks with this pillar to break down existing obstacles which prevent cross-border online activity.

A particular area of focus is harmonising laws on consumer protection, contract and VAT so that businesses do not face the prohibitive cost of complying with 28 different national regimes when they sell goods and services online. The Commission also intends to look at how these laws will be enforced and consumer disputes appropriately managed.

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Posted in Data Protection & Privacy

Plaintiffs Increasingly Seek to Stretch Scope of VPPA

VPPA-VHSTwo recent rulings in lawsuits against streaming video services under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) have tested the limits of those services’ VPPA compliance. The VPPA, enacted in 1988, prohibits the knowing disclosure of certain information about a consumer that “identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific video materials.” The actions described below address first, the relationship a person must have with a streaming service to be considered a “consumer” under the VPPA and second, the connection between a consumer’s identity and the identity of specific video material disclosed to a third party that a plaintiff must demonstrate when stating a VPPA claim.

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