On November 15, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., No. 18-956. The two questions presented before the Court are (1) whether “copyright protection extends to a software interface,” and (2) whether, as the jury found, that Google’s “use of a software interface in the context of a creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.” Continue Reading
On October 31, 2019, Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner issued an Opinion and an accompanying blog urging police forces to slow down adoption of live facial recognition technology and take steps to justify its use. The Commissioner calls on the UK government to introduce a statutory binding code of practice on the use of biometric technology such as live facial recognition technology. The Commissioner also announced that the ICO is separately investigating the use of facial recognition by private sector organizations, and will be reporting on those findings in due course.
The Opinion follows the ICO’s investigation into the use of live facial recognition technology in trials conducted by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and South Wales Police (SWP). The ICO’s investigation was triggered by the recent UK High Court decision in R (Bridges) v The Chief Constable of South Wales (see our previous blog post here), where the court held that the use of facial recognition technology by the South Wales Police Force (“SWP”) was lawful.
The ICO had intervened in the case. In the Opinion, the Commissioner notes that, in some areas, the High Court did not agree with the Commissioner’s submissions. The Opinion states that the Commissioner respects and acknowledges the decision of the High Court, but does not consider that the decision should be seen as a blanket authorization to use live facial recognition in all circumstances.
Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its Draft NISTIR 8267, Security Review of Consumer Home Internet of Things (IoT) Products, for public comment. NIST will accept public comments on the report through November 1, 2019. Continue Reading
On 16 October 2019, the Law Commission of England and Wales – jointly with the Scottish Law Commission – launched a second public consultation on the regulatory framework for Highly Automated Road Passenger Services, or “HARPS”. “HARPS” is a new term that the Law Commissions have coined for highly automated vehicles that provide road journeys to passengers without a human driver in charge.
The current consultation focuses on whether HARPS operators should be subject to a national licensing scheme, and the conditions that they should meet to obtain a license. Specifically, the Law Commissions are seeking stakeholders’ views on whether such a scheme should be set up, how the scope of the scheme — and the term “HARPS operator” — should be defined, and the obligations that HARPS operators should be required to meet.
Federal policymakers continued to focus on artificial intelligence (“AI”) and the Internet of Things (“IoT”) in the third quarter of 2019, including by introducing substantive bills that would regulate the use of such technology and by supporting bills aimed at further study of how such technology may impact different sectors. In our third AI & IoT Quarterly Legislative Update, we detail the notable legislative events from this quarter on AI, IoT, cybersecurity as it relates to AI and IoT, and connected and autonomous vehicles (“CAVs”).
Earlier this month, Covington’s Brussels, Frankfurt and London offices hosted a webinar on EU regulatory developments impacting connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). The seminar attracted participants from across the globe, predominantly from tech and automotive industries. This post features an overview of the sections on CO2 pooling, transmission standards: WiFi and 5G, EV chargers and some concluding statements. Part 1 focused on topics around CAVs and data. Continue Reading
Earlier this month, Covington’s Brussels, Frankfurt and London offices hosted a webinar on EU regulatory developments impacting connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). The seminar attracted participants from across the globe, predominantly from tech and automotive industries. This post features an overview of the introduction, and sections on data access and competition, data protection and cybersecurity. Part 2 will focus on other important CAV areas in the EU. Continue Reading
In a long-awaited decision, today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a January 2018 decision by the FCC to repeal most net neutrality rules and classify broadband as an unregulated “information service,” despite requiring the FCC to conduct further proceedings to justify certain aspects of its decision. At the same time, the Court found that the FCC exceeded its authority in attempting to preempt any state net neutrality or similar laws regulating broadband. Continue Reading
On 19 September 2019, the European Parliamentary Research Service (“EPRS”)—the European Parliament’s in-house research service—released a briefing paper that summarizes the current status of the EU’s approach to developing a regulatory framework for ethical AI. Although not a policymaking body, the EPRS can provide useful insights into the direction of EU policy on an issue. The paper summarises recent calls in the EU for adopting legally binding instruments to regulate AI, in particular to set common rules on AI transparency, set common requirements for fundamental rights impact assessments, and provide an adequate legal framework for facial recognition technology.
The briefing paper follows publication of the European Commission’s high-level expert group’s Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (the “Guidelines”), and the announcement by incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that she will put forward legislative proposals for a “coordinated European approach to the human and ethical implications of AI” within her first 100 days in office.
On August 27, 2019, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published a Request for Comments on Patenting Artificial Intelligence Inventions in the Federal Register. The Request follows Director Iancu’s statement that America’s national security and economic prosperity depend on the United States’ ability to maintain a leadership role in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, as explained in another post on an artificial intelligence conference held by the USPTO earlier this year.
Recent Rapid Advances in AI Technologies
The recent confluence of big data, increasingly faster and more specialized hardware, improved algorithms, and increased investment has led to rapid advancement in AI technologies and applications such as computer vision, natural language processing, medical diagnostics, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and drug development, among others. And while the Request does not define the term “artificial intelligence,” the USPTO does provide a class definition for the examination of AI inventions and patent applications, and Class 706 identifies several technologies encompassed by AI technology.