California Adopts Net Neutrality Law; Court Hearing Scheduled for Nov. 14

On September 30, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to apply net neutrality rules to Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) operating in that state.  California is not the first state to enact legislation on net neutrality, but its bill contains the most stringent requirements yet.  The Trump Administration and multiple ISPs have sued to prevent the new law from going into effect, arguing that it conflicts with federal law.  The first hearing on the legal challenge will take place on November 14.

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IoT and AI Update: California Legislature Passes Bills on Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Chatbots

The California legislature recently passed three bills meant to address rapidly-developing technologies including the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), and chatbots.

Internet of Things. At the end of August, California became the first state to promulgate regulations requiring security features for Internet-connected devices. Senate Bill 327 requires that a manufacturer of a connected device equip the device with “reasonable security features” that are (1) appropriate to the nature and function of the device; (2) appropriate to the information it may collect, contain, or transmit; and (3) designed to protect the device and any information contained therein from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure. Continue Reading

AI Update: A Discussion on Global Innovation and Singapore

On September 25, 2018, Lee Tiedrich, the co-chair of Covington’s global Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) Initiative,  participated in a roundtable discussion on the future of innovation, the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the need for multidisciplinary approaches involving the entire eco-system to address the adoption of new technologies in society. She was joined by Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, and Dean of the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Bill Boulding.

This program began with a discussion of Singapore’s growth over the last sixty years into a global innovation hub. The Ambassador shared lessons from Singapore’s growth since the 1960s and its investment in its future through Smart Cities partnerships, transportation, and education. He stressed Singapore’s emphasis on building a fertile ground for international investment and innovation to prosper.

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IoT Update: FCC Efforts to Encourage 5G Infrastructure Investment

5G deployment and availability will greatly expand and enhance the Internet of Things (IoT). As we explored in a prior post, apart from spectrum availability, one of the other primary keys to promoting 5G development is increased investment in both wireless and wireline infrastructure. Without the necessary infrastructure (e.g. small cells, fiber backhaul) to support advanced 5G offerings, nascent IoT technologies will be inhibited by ever-increasing capacity demands that put strains on the existing infrastructure.

On September 26, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve a Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order (Order) designed to encourage and facilitate the investment necessary to deploy infrastructure to meet the demands of 5G networks. As the FCC explained in the Order, 5G is so important because it can “enable increased competition for a range of services—including broadband—support new healthcare and Internet of Things applications, speed the transition to life-saving connected car technologies, and create jobs.” Continue Reading

IoT Update: The E-Privacy Regulation – Impact on the IoT market

It is now four months after the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (“GDPR”) came into force. One of its objectives is to create uniform standards for data protection in Europe and to adapt data protection to technical progress. In addition, the “Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications” (“E-Privacy Regulation“) was originally also to come into force as the successor to the corresponding Directive, though it now appears likely to come into force only in 2019. The E-Privacy Regulation is also an EU legal act which is directly applicable in the Member States without having to be transposed into national law. It is intended to protect both electronic communications content and electronic communications metadata as well as end-users‘ terminal equipment information. It is important to note that protection is not limited to personal data like in the GDPR – and therefore includes even more protected information and data. This post looks at the implications of the E-Privacy Regulation for IoT manufacturers starting with a short summary of the GDPR and some of its effects.

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AI Update: NDAA Renewal Addresses Uses and Implications of AI in National Security Context

Computer code on a screenLast month, President Trump signed into law the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (“NDAA” or the “Act”), which, among other things, includes provisions addressing the development and use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in the context of national security and defense. Continue Reading

AI Update: Medical Software and Preemption

In light of the rapidly expanding field of medical software technology, and its recognition that traditional approval mechanisms for hardware-based medical devices may not be well suited to regulating such technology, FDA is piloting a new, streamlined regulatory approach for digital health technologies. The initiative, currently a “working model” and known as the Software Precertification Program, is meant to encourage the development of health and medical software, including potentially software using artificial intelligence.

As currently envisioned, the Precertification Program creates a voluntary, organization-based approach to FDA review of digital health software. FDA will pre-certify organizations as having a “culture of quality” based on FDA’s review of the software developer’s R&D and monitoring systems. Under the working model, pre-certified organizations could submit less information in premarket submissions to FDA than currently required or may qualify for an exemption from premarket review by FDA. Continue Reading

AI Update: Equal Justice Under Bots—Artificial Intelligence and Legal Practice

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is quickly becoming a part of everyday life.  As AI-based technologies advance, even law firms are harnessing them to improve the efficiency and caliber of their work – despite law firms’ reputations for being old-fashioned, traditional, and perhaps a tinge out-of-date.  The reasons are obvious: AI-based tools can help reduce lawyer time spent on routine tasks that would otherwise add greatly to the expense of increasingly complex matters (thereby enabling lawyers to deliver more value at less cost to their clients).  In addition, these tools can help attorneys meet the increased discovery and research demands wrought by the digitization of communications, documents, and other pieces of information. Continue Reading

IoT Update: Scotland and Australia’s Gold Coast announce IoT network initiatives

As a sign of increasing localised investment in IoT networks, in recent days both the Scottish Government and Australia’s City of the Gold Coast have announced IoT networks using low power technology solutions.  The Scottish Government’s plan is part of a wider initiative to promote IoT services across the Scottish economy whereas the Gold Coast City Council’s approached is more focused on the immediate delivery of public services.  The contrasting approaches highlight the wide potential for IoT deployments whether as major platforms of technology and telecommunications projects or as localised responses to improving defined problems.  As both projects show, the successful delivery of an IoT network project requires an end-to-end view of potential legal issues that may arise, e.g., vendor/RFP management, network rollout agreements, spectrum licensing, security, interoperability and privacy.

 

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IoT Update: U.S. Wireless Industry Establishes IoT Security Certification Program

CTIA, the U.S. wireless industry’s trade association, recently announced the creation of a cybersecurity certification program for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that connect to the internet via LTE or Wi-Fi.  The program permits device makers to submit such IoT devices for testing by CTIA-authorized labs in order to obtain a certification of compliance with respect to cybersecurity.

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