The Register Columnists


Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
woman in beret representing France waves goodbye, perhaps to Brexiting British? photo by shutterstock

Early indications show UK favouring 'hard Brexit', says expert

The UK will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, triggering the formal two-year Brexit negotiation process, by the end of March 2017, the prime minister has announced. The government also intends to publish a 'Great Repeal Bill' which, once given effect, will remove the 1972 European Communities Act from the UK statute …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Oct 2016

Parliamentary watchdog: Bank IT concerns not yet addressed

Concerns about the security and resilience of bank IT systems have not yet been addressed, a prominent MP has said in a letter to UK regulators. Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Committee in the UK House of Commons, asked Andrew Bailey (4-page / 215KB PDF), chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Oct 2016

Google, Dropbox the latest US tech giants to sign up to the Privacy Shield

Internet giant Google has signed up to the Privacy Shield, a framework designed to facilitate the transfer of personal data between the EU and US by businesses. Data storage and software provider Dropbox has also self-certified under the Privacy Shield. The companies are the latest major US technology businesses to sign up to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Sep 2016

Autonomous vehicles inquiry set up in the UK

A UK parliamentary committee will look into the potential uses and benefits of autonomous vehicles in a new inquiry it has opened. The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee said its inquiry would look at how 'driverless' vehicles could be used for road transport as well as in areas such as farming and space …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Sep 2016

Audi works with Chinese technology companies to develop intelligent cars

German carmaker Audi has signed agreements with Chinese technology companies Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent to work on data analysis, internet connected vehicles and intelligent public transport. Audi China and FAW-Volkswagen – a joint venture between state-owned car manufacturer FAW Group and Volkswagen that makes Audi and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Sep 2016
Picture by magicinfoto / Shutterstock

Non-doms pay 10 times more in income tax than average taxpayer group

Comment UK-based non-domiciled taxpayers contributed £6.57 billion in income tax in 2014/15, an average of £56,589 per non-dom over the year compared to the average of £5,152 collected from the remainder of the population. This substantial tax revenue, as well as other benefits brought by wealthy non-doms based in the UK such as …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Sep 2016

Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software

Selling a computer with pre-installed software is not an unfair commercial practice and there is no requirement to list the costs of the software, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled. The CJEU, Europe's highest court, was ruling on a case between Vincent Deroo-Blanquart and Sony. Deroo-Blanquart bought …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Sep 2016

Replacing humans with robots in your factories? Hold on just a sec

The integration of robots into production processes will impact on traditional liability arrangements and raise a range of other legal issues for manufacturers to consider, including in relation to health, safety and data protection. A rise in the number of robots in operation might also prompt social and ethical dilemmas that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Aug 2016

New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

Analysis The UK could lose out on a 4 per cent boost to gross domestic product (GDP) if it was no longer a member of the EU single market, with particular repercussions for the financial services industry, according to an influential think tank. The 4 per cent figure is based on the UK defaulting to membership of the World Trade …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Aug 2016

Euro regulator calls for delay to virtual currency exchange anti-money laundering regime

EU law makers should step back from plans to subject virtual currency exchanges and digital wallet providers to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations from the beginning of next year, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has said. The regulator said that more time is needed to implement a legal framework across EU countries …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Aug 2016
Good clear controls

Investors to be allowed to sue Volkswagen over emission row

Volkswagen investors are to be allowed to sue the carmaker for almost €4m in damages in the wake of Volkswagen's admission last year that it used "defeat device" software in 11 million cars that allowed it to give false results in tests for nitrogen oxide emissions. The Braunschweig District Court said in a statement (link in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Aug 2016

Some benefits of digital health to NHS may be delayed by consent model consultation – expert

Opinion The realisation of some digital health benefits within the NHS might have been delayed by the extra requirement for consultation on a new consent model governing the use of patient data. A new consent and opt-out model could help clarify constraints that apply to data use in the NHS and promote new digital health initiatives. …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Aug 2016

HMRC research finds 'resistance' to proposals to shift contractor tax compliance burden

There is "general resistance" among both the public and private sectors to plans that would shift responsibility for ensuring that third party contractors are paying the right employment taxes from the individual to public sector employers, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has found. Employers surveyed by HMRC were concerned …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Jul 2016

UK's digital strategy must account for Brexit, say MPs

The UK government must explain how its long-awaited new digital strategy will be impacted by the country's decision to leave the EU, a committee of MPs has said. The Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee in the UK parliament made the call in a new report on the digital economy in which it also said there is a need to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Jul 2016

Software can be considered 'goods' for purpose of commercial agent rules – High Court

Software suppliers can be forced to pay damages to self-employed intermediaries they contract with to promote their products under UK commercial agents regulations, according to a recent High Court ruling. The High Court ordered Computer Associates UK Ltd (CA) to pay The Software Incubator (TSI) £475,000 in compensation under …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jul 2016
Woman in horse mask takes a selfie. Photo by Shutterstock

'Digital influencers' must disclose paid-for content, says new guidance

Online publishers, bloggers, tweeters and other "digital influencers" must "clearly and prominently" label content they are paid to produce as paid-for promotions, new guidance developed by a body of regulators from around the world has said. The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), in work led by …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Jul 2016
hands waving dollar bills in the air

No contract protected against the risk of bid-rigging, says expert

Procurement professionals in all sectors need to be aware of the risk of bid-rigging of contracts they tender, a procurement law expert has said. Louise McKee of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said a new awareness-raising campaign on bid-rigging practices launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Jun 2016
World with light lines representing connectivity connecting various foci on the globe. Pic via Shutterstock

Net neut: Equal treatment of traffic doesn't mean equal service quality for users

Internet service providers (ISPs) do not need to ensure that the quality of service received by internet users is the same across all of their customers to meet their obligations on treating data equally as it passes over their networks, an EU regulatory body has said. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jun 2016
European Union Flag

Brexit: UK gov would probably lay out tax plans in post-'leave' vote emergency budget

The UK government would be likely to have an "emergency" budget shortly after next month's EU referendum if there is a "leave" vote. It would use that budget to give clarity on its priorities for changes to the tax regime. Its proposed changes to the corporate tax regime would be influenced by the eventual trading relationship …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Jun 2016
data centre racks

GDPR: Potential fines for data security breaches more severe for data controllers than processors

Opinion Data controllers could face more severe regulatory fines than data processors for failing to keep personal data appropriately secure under the new General Data Protection Regulation. One of the many changes that the new Regulation will deliver when it comes into force on 25 May 2018 is a new statutory obligation on data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 May 2016

Firms that make 'questionable use' of your data will pay... with their reputations

There is a reputational risk to firms if they make "questionable use" of consumer data, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has warned. The regulator highlighted the risk in a new discussion paper on the innovative uses of consumer data by financial institutions (29-page/292KB PDF). "Financial institutions might use data in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 May 2016
Smartphone user on Tube

Reduced roaming charges, net neutrality come into force in EU

EU telecoms providers must cut surcharges for 'roaming' phone calls and data use in EU countries from 30 April, in preparation for the complete abolition of roaming charges in June 2017. Until June 2017, telecoms providers will be allowed to charge up to five cents per minute on top of domestic prices, and up to two cents per …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 May 2016
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

'Technology enablers' will help Ofcom determine if spectrum can be shared

Ofcom will decide whether spectrum should be shared based in part on whether the technology is available to enable it to happen, it has said. The UK's telecoms regulator said that new technologies can help facilitate spectrum sharing. It said "technology enablers" will be one factor it will consider when deciding whether "the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Apr 2016

Database of patent licence terms could help resolve FRAND disputes, says expert

Making the terms on which patents are licensed available for public scrutiny could help businesses, courts and regulators determine if the terms of other patent agreements are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND), an expert in valuing intellectual property (IP) has said. Dr Roya Ghafele, director of Oxfirst, told …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Apr 2016
Gridlock on the Kabul Jalalabad Highway

London to Dover 'smart' road could help make driverless cars mainstream – expert

The creation of new "smart" roads with in-built Wi-Fi technology can be an enabler of the widespread adoption of driverless and connected cars, an expert has said. Ben Gardner, expert in autonomous vehicles technology and regulation at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said he welcomed plans outlined by Highways …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Apr 2016