On April 28, 2022, Covington convened experts across our practice groups for the Covington Robotics Forum, which explored recent developments and forecasts relevant to industries affected by robotics. Sam Jungyun Choi, Associate in Covington’s Technology Regulatory Group, and Anna Oberschelp, Associate in Covington’s Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice Group, discussed global regulatory trends that
Anna Oberschelp de Meneses
Anna Sophia Oberschelp de Meneses is an associate in the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Anna is a qualified Portuguese lawyer, but is both a native Portuguese and German speaker. Anna advises companies on European data protection law and helps clients coordinate international data protection law projects. She has obtained a certificate for "corporate data protection officer" by the German Association for Data Protection and Data Security ("Gesellschaft für Datenschutz und Datensicherheit e.V."). She is also Certified Information Privacy Professional Europe (CIPPE/EU) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Anna also advises companies in the field of EU consumer law and has been closely tracking the developments in this area. Her extensive language skills allow her to monitor developments and help clients tackle EU Data Privacy, Cybersecurity and Consumer Law issues in various EU and ROW jurisdictions.
EMEA Legislative and Regulatory Privacy Roundup 2021 and Forecast 2022
The EU was particularly active in furthering its digital strategy in 2021, and will likely continue this high level of activity into 2022. Below, we briefly summarize last year’s key legislative and regulatory updates from the EU across the following areas:
- data transfers;
- cookies (and alike) and unsolicited marketing communications;
- open data;
- intermediary services;
AI Update: European Commission Conducts Open Consultation on the European Health Data Space Initiative
On December 23, 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published its inception impact assessment (“Inception Impact Assessment”) of policy options for establishing a European Health Data Space (“EHDS”). The Inception Impact Assessment is open for consultation until February 3, 2021, encouraging “citizens and stakeholders” to “provide views on the Commission’s understanding of the current situation, problem and possible solutions”.
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German Federal Government Passed a Draft Law Amending Germany’s Information Technology Laws
On December 16, 2020, the German Federal Government passed a draft law that substantially amends some of Germany’s information technology laws (“IT laws”). These amendments aim to adapt the current legal framework to the increasing digitalization of products and services, the proliferation of IoT products, and the appearance of new cybersecurity threats. The draft law is expected to be enacted in the German Parliament in the first quarter of 2021.
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AI Update: EU High-Level Working Group Publishes Self Assessment for Trustworthy AI
On July 17, 2020, the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence set up by the European Commission (“AI HLEG”) published The Assessment List for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (“Assessment List”). The purpose of the Assessment List is to help companies identify the risks of AI systems they develop, deploy or procure, and implement appropriate measures to mitigate those risks.
The Assessment List is not mandatory, and there isn’t yet a self-certification scheme or other formal framework built around it that would enable companies to signal their adherence to it. The AI HLEG notes that the Assessment List should be used flexibly; organizations can add or ignore elements as they see fit, taking into consideration the sector in which they operate. As we’ve discussed in our previous blog post here, the European Commission is currently developing policies and legislative proposals relating to trustworthy AI, and it is possible that the Assessment List may influence the Commission’s thinking on how organizations should operationalize requirements relating to this topic.…
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French CNIL Publishes Paper on Algorithmic Discrimination
On June 2, 2020, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) published a paper on algorithmic discrimination prepared by the French independent administrative authority known as “Défenseur des droits”. The paper is divided into two parts: the first part discusses how algorithms can lead to discriminatory outcomes, and the second part includes recommendations on how to identify and minimize algorithmic biases. This paper follows from a 2017 paper published by the CNIL on “Ethical Issues of Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence”.
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AI Update: European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (Part 2 of 4)
The European Commission, as part of the launch of its digital strategy for the next five years, published on 19 February 2020 a White Paper On Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust (the “White Paper”). (See our previous blog here for a summary of all four of the main papers published by the Commission.) The White Paper recognizes the opportunities AI presents to Europe’s digital economy, and presents the Commission’s vision for a coordinated approach to promoting the uptake of AI in the EU and addressing the risks associated with certain uses of AI. The White Paper is open for public consultation until 19 May 2020.
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AI Update: European Commission Presents Strategies for Data and AI (Part 1 of 4)
On 19 February 2020, the European Commission presented its long-awaited strategies for data and AI. These follow Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s commitment upon taking office to put forward legislative proposals for a “coordinated European approach to the human and ethical implications of AI” within the new Commission’s first 100 days. Although the papers published this week do not set out a comprehensive EU legal framework for AI, they do give a clear indication of the Commission’s key priorities and anticipated next steps.
The Commission strategies are set out in four separate papers—two on AI, and one each on Europe’s digital future and the data economy. Read together, it is clear that the Commission seeks to position the EU as a digital leader, both in terms of trustworthy AI and the wider data economy.…
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CJEU rules that Facebook and website operators are joint controllers if the website embeds Facebook’s “Like” button
On July 29, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down its judgment in the Fashion ID case (Case C-40/17). The CJEU found that when a website operator embeds Facebook’s “Like” button on its website, Facebook and the website operator become joint controllers. The case clarifies the relationship between website operators and social networking sites whose plug-ins are embedded into websites for user tracking and online marketing purposes. The ruling is expected to influence the contractual terms that companies will need to have in place when embedding such social plug-ins to their websites, and may also have ramifications for adtech practices more generally.
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