Header graphic for print

Global Media and Communications Watch

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

Posted in Policy & Regulation

Engage is here

We have moved our content to the new Hogan Lovells platform Engage. Engage gives you the latest legal and regulatory news and provides insights and analysis for your business, from across our global network, when you need it.

If you currently receive our content from this site, you would have received a launch email for Engage on 15 November. However, if you do not receive an email you can register here to continue receiving this content.

We value your loyal readership and look forward to seeing you on Engage!

Posted in Internet of Things, Policy & Regulation Photo of Christelle Coslin

IoT in the EU: Lessons from COVID-19, and next steps for liability and regulation

The IoT sector has exploded over the past few years, and, even taking into account the globally inhibitive effects of COVID-19, this growth shows few long-term signs of abating. The buoyant, fast-paced IoT industry was the subject of a webinar, involving a panel of four partners from Hogan Lovells: Valerie Kenyon, Christelle Coslin, Matthias Schweiger, and Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte. Each gave their take on the state of play of IoT across the EU and explored the liability issues that potentially are coming down the line for IoT products.

In this article, we follow up on that webinar by setting out some of the key discussion points from the session. You can find a link to the recording of the webinar here.

The impact of COVID-19 on the IoT space

While the IoT industry has grown year-on-year with impressive regularity, 2020 research suggested that a combination of COVID-related factors (including supply chain disruptions and manufacturing issues, as well as consumer and business needs changing in the short term) could instigate a decrease in the net addition of IoT devices in the short term. For example, it was estimated that IoT in the automotive sector could be especially impacted, as well as people refreshing their mobile devices less frequently due to economic uncertainties and job losses.

Encouragingly, however, we’ve seen many companies in the IoT space, particularly those in the life sciences sector, embracing their role in the fight against COVID-19. The issues arising from the health crisis have been a real innovation trigger for the IoT space, both with respect to new products being created in direct response to the pandemic and for existing products where usage and growth has increased.

Telehealth has moved more into focus. Since the crisis, a considerable number of doctors have integrated telehealth into their regular practice; for example, online video consultations being offered through different apps or platforms. The COVID-19 pandemic has given a boost to the digitalization of the healthcare system, which can only be for the benefit of patients. It is expected that telehealth will experience a long-term growth through COVID-19.

From a general perspective, in terms of non-COVID-related IoT products, most expect a bounce back to anticipated levels of supply and demand. A surge in demand, even, seems likely as our homes and lives become even more connected in response to the ongoing amount of social distancing we need to live with, at least in the short to medium term.

Continue Reading

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, Internet of Things, Policy & Regulation, Technology

Webinar: The impact of California Privacy and Cybersecurity law on IoT in the home

We are pleased to invite you to the next webinar in our Internet of Things series, focusing on the impact of the following California (and other) laws on IoT offerings:

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • The new California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act (CPRA)
  • The California IoT security bill

California and other privacy laws have a significant impact on consumer applications and devices for home-based use. Through representative use cases in the following areas, attorneys in our top-rated Hogan Lovells Privacy and Cybersecurity practice will discuss strategies for building and maintaining privacy-compliant IoT devices:

  • In-home consumer devices ranging from temperature control to alarm systems, and virtual assistants;
  • Personal medical devices and health tools provided by life sciences companies for in-home use;
  • Other consumer apps; and
  • Connected vehicles

We will also discuss the implications of collection, use, and sharing of data from those devices, along with how such data should be protected.

Date and time: 3 February, 12-1pm EST

Hogan Lovells speakers:

Please contact Sophie Turner if you have any questions.

Register Here: The impact of California Privacy and Cybersecurity law on IoT in the home

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband

Election 2020 Snapshot: Helping our technology and telecom clients make sense of the U.S. election results

An overhaul of tech antirust policy? Increased telecommunications regulations coupled with expanding telecoms infrastructure? Business as usual for Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFUIS) investigations? We explore these questions and more in our analysis of the Biden administration’s potential approach to technology and telecommunications policy.

Click here to read more

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology

Shaping Europe’s Digital Future – EU publishes its draft Digital Services Act

Awaited with bated breath by stakeholders in the online industry and by IP right holders alike, the EU Commission published on 15 December its official draft for the Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA is conceived as one of the central pillars for its ambition to shape Europe’s digital future. Its published draft aims high, both in the scope of topics it covers, and the depth in which it addresses them. The DSA provides a staggered set of obligations and liability rules for all intermediaries (such as internet access providers, domain name registrars, search engines), for hosting services (such as cloud services and webhosting), for online platforms (such as social media platforms, app stores and online marketplaces), and for very large online platforms (those reaching more than 45 million EU users each month). In this article, we will walk you through the proposed changes and what they mean for platforms in particular. Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Christopher ThomasPhoto of Myrto TagaraPhoto of Alexandra Bray

DMA – a whole new world for large platform service providers?

On 15 December The European Commission published the long awaited Digital Markets Act proposal. The Proposed Regulation imposes a series of ex ante behavioural obligations on entities that the Commission designates as ‘gatekeepers’. The obligations for those designated platforms and the potential sanctions largely resemble behavioural remedies and fines that the European Commission might otherwise seek to impose under its competition law powers. The Commission’s enforcement action is expected to be intense, with ten on-site investigations per year and an additional 80 full time staff. Continue Reading

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Policy & Regulation, Technology

Civil liability regime for artificial intelligence

On 20 October 2020, the European Parliament put forward detailed legislative proposals on a civil liability regime for artificial intelligence. The European Commission will consider the proposals and reports submitted by the European Parliament, with its legislative proposal on these matters being expected in early 2021.

Changes to EU Civil Liability Framework 

The proposal creates a two-fold liability regime consisting of “high-risk” AI systems and “other” AI systems. Common principles for operators of both high-risk and other AI-systems include:

  • Operators cannot escape liability on the grounds that the harm was caused by an autonomous activity, device or process driven by the AI system; and
  • Where multiple operators are involved, they should be jointly and severally liable, but each operator would have the right to recover part of the compensation from the other operators, in proportion to their liability, provided that the affected person was compensated in full.

For “high-risk” AI systems

  • An autonomously operating AI-system is considered high-risk where it has significant potential to cause harm or damage to one or more persons in a manner that is random and goes beyond what can reasonably be expected – so we expect this to include AI such as self-driving vehicles and autonomous robots.
  • Most significantly, operators of “high-risk” AI systems under this proposed Regulation would be strictly liable for any harm or damage caused by an activity, device or process driven by that AI system. Due diligence would not be a defence and any attempt to exclude liability in agreements with users would be void.
  • Under the proposal, claimants will be able to recover up to 2 million euros for death or personal injury, and up to 1 million euros for economic loss or damage to property.
  • Mandatory insurance would be required to be held by operators of high-risk AI technology – similar to that used for motor vehicles.
  • Claims will be subject to a special limitation period of 30 years in certain circumstances.

Other AI systems

  • Other AI systems would be subject to a fault-based liability regime. If the operator can establish that the AI system was activated without its knowledge (and that reasonable measures were taken to avoid this), or that due diligence was taken with regards to the AI system, the operator may be able to establish that it was not liable for the harm. Member States will be left to set the level of fines and limitation periods for these types of claims.

See the European Parliament’s resolution containing the legislative proposal here.

Posted in M&A, Technology Photo of Mark ParsonsPhoto of Tommy Liu

How to navigate data protection and cybersecurity issues in M&As in Asia-Pacific

In recent years, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has been a core hub of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, emerging relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 pandemic which has otherwise taken a toll on investment activity in 2020. Despite global economic headwinds and growing geopolitical uncertainties, signs of recovery in APAC deal-making have begun to merge as ambitious investors in the region look for both shelter and new opportunities in a time of unprecedented challenges. As we move at a breakneck pace into the digital era, data becomes more of a critical component than ever in M&A transactions, both within the technology sector – where data can be an acquisition target’s most valuable asset – and outside it, as businesses across a wide range of sectors push forward with technology transformation initiatives and leverage technology to drive competitive advantage.

Click here to read more.

Posted in Policy & Regulation

Webinar: A bipartisan view of the 2020 election and its impact on U.S. / UK relations

Joe Biden has been elected as the 46th President of the United States.

A new presidency – coupled with a new relationship between the UK and the EU – presents the potential for a material change in U.S. domestic policy and relations with the UK.

How will these changes affect you and your business?

Join Hogan Lovells for a webinar on Wednesday 18 November 2020, as we share bipartisan views of the 2020 election results and what their influence could mean.

You will be able to submit questions during the webinar, but we also welcome them in advance. Please submit any questions for our speakers to louise.bray@hoganlovells.com 

Please note: The Chatham House Rule applies, and this event is closed to the press. 

Register today

When: 18 November, 10am-11am ET/2pm-3pm GMT

Moderator: Kelly Ann Shaw, Partner, Hogan Lovells


Posted in Policy & Regulation

A bipartisan view of the 2020 election and its impact on U.S. / EU relations

We invite you to join our webinar on the eve of the U.S. Presidential election.

Democratic nominee for President, Joe Biden, and Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump, are preparing foreign policy platforms in the final months of the 2020 election cycle. What are the major points of tension between the Republican and Democratic candidates? Should either party be elected? What would the U.S. policy towards Europe look like under each administration? Will U.S. trade and economic policies towards Europe see significant changes? How will U.S.-Europe relations change?

Join President Donald Trump’s former top G7 and trade adviser Kelly Ann Shaw, Senator Norm Coleman, Ivan Zapien and Prof. Jorrit Rijpma in this informative panel discussion on Monday 2
November at 15.00 CET/14.00 GMT as they share bipartisan views of the 2020 election and its impact on foreign policy.

You will be able to submit questions during the webinar, but we also welcome them in advance. Please submit any questions for our speakers to sandra.buitendam@hoganlovells.com

Click here to register for this webinar

With the U.S. election quickly approaching, anticipate the potential impacts, analyze the insights, and understand the implications of the evolving politcal landscape and its outcomes for global businesses and industry, by visiting our U.S. Election 2020 Topic Centre.