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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 Out-Law.com, 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
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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
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'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 Out-Law.com, said he welcomed plans outlined by Highways …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Apr 2016
Spritam 3D printed pills

Brexit: Leaving the EU could trigger UK science patent law rejig

Opinion Some aspects of patent law of relevance to life sciences companies could come back under the control of UK law makers if the UK votes to leave the EU. The UK market could be effectively closed to parallel imports and, by the adoption of appropriate legislation, the UK could remove uncertainty and encourage investment in the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Apr 2016
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Ofcom puts aside a little bit of spectrum for Internet of Things things

A proportion of very high frequency (VHF) wireless spectrum will be reserved for future use by Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, the UK telecoms regulator has announced. Ofcom will also create a new category of licence specifically for IoT/machine-to-machine (M2M) communications applications, along with a “dedicated …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Mar 2016

New UK cyber security centre to work with Bank of England

The UK's new national cyber centre will collaborate with the Bank of England on new cyber security guidance for financial firms when it opens later this year, the government has said. The Cabinet Office announced that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will be based in London and start operating in October. It said one …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Mar 2016
Netflix

'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules

Consumers are partly prevented from accessing online services and content across the EU by "contractual barriers" put in place by businesses, the European Commission has said. Where contractual provisions are behind so-called "geo-blocking" then those agreements might breach EU competition rules, the Commission said in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Mar 2016
management governance2

IT system lets biz opt out loads of EU patents from Unified Patent Court at once

Companies will be able to opt out an "unlimited" number of their EU patents from the jurisdiction of the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) at one time, it has been learned. Mark Craddock, a member of the IT team behind the new UPC case management system, told Out-Law.com that the UPC case management system will feature "a basket …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Mar 2016
airplane

Final Euro Parliament vote on passenger name records delayed

A final vote by the European Parliament on a proposed directive allowing the transfer of passenger name records (PNR) from airlines to EU countries has been delayed by "left wing groups", Reuters has reported. Socialist, Liberal and Green MEPs have blocked talks on the proposed PNR Directive scheduled for next week, with there …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Mar 2016
Nissan self-driving car

Car-makers, telecoms bodies push standards for self-driving vehicles

New areas for standardisation that could aid with the development of new connected and autonomous vehicles will be identified by car manufacturers and telecoms companies in collaboration, industry bodies have said. According to a joint statement issued by groups representing companies in both the automotive and telecoms …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Feb 2016
Banned

BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk and Virgin to appeal website blocking ruling

The Court of Appeal in London must maintain the right of brand owners to obtain website blocking orders against internet service providers as a means of enforcing their trade mark rights against infringers, an expert has said. The Court is expected to hear an appeal by BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk and Virgin in April against a 2014 …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Feb 2016
a coffee cup topped with cappucino foam with a wi-fi symbol sprinkled on top in powdered chocolate

Wi-Fi operators must notify device users of potential data processing

Organisations that provide Wi-Fi services to their staff or customers must notify device users of the potential for their data to be analysed before they begin to process their information, the UK's data protection watchdog has said. Wireless connectivity between Wi-Fi connection points and electronic devices, like mobile …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Feb 2016
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UK court approves use of predictive coding for e-disclosure

A UK court has approved for the first time the use of predictive coding as a basis for determining which electronic documents are relevant to a dispute. The High Court in London sanctioned its use in a multi-million pound dispute where more than 3 million electronic documents have to be assessed to determine whether they are …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Feb 2016
Royal coat of arms on a court building. Pic: Elliott Brown

We're four years away from digitising England's courts – report

An ambitious new report proposes digitising all court processes in England and Wales within four years - but this, as the report itself recognises, will require significant behavioural changes from practitioners if it is to come to fruition. In the biggest shake-up of the court system since the Woolf Reforms in the late 1990s …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Feb 2016
Girl in rain

Bulk sensitive data slurp? You can't stand under our umbrella-ella-ella – EDPS

A data protection framework that will underpin the exchange of personal data between law enforcement agencies in the EU and US should not apply when sensitive information is to be transferred to the US in bulk, an EU privacy watchdog has said. The data protection "umbrella" agreement was announced by the European Commission …
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Feb 2016
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Review sites commit to address UK regulator's concerns

The operators of five online review websites have committed to take action to resolve concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that consumers were not getting a "complete picture when making buying decisions", the regulator has said. Between them the companies have agreed (3-page/240KB PDF) to take …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Feb 2016
Night scene of bank station in central london

Open APIs for UK banking: It's happening, people

On Tuesday, an industry-led group published a new framework for supporting the use of open APIs in the banking sector. The UK Treasury is keen for banks to open up access to the data they hold on customers to other businesses to encourage innovation and boost competition in the sector. It tasked an industry-led Open Banking …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Feb 2016
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EU could force countries to allocate 700 MHz band to mobile by mid-2020

New legislation could force EU countries to make sure the 700 MHz band of spectrum is made exclusively available for mobile services by the middle of 2020. The European Commission has published proposals to introduce new laws that would require EU countries to “allow the use of the 694-790 MHz frequency band for terrestrial …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Feb 2016
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UK concerned over EU law plans on trade of data for digital content

The UK government has warned that EU proposals to extend consumer protection rules to businesses that supply digital content for free in return for access to consumers' data could "unduly inhibit" that "very innovative business model". In December last year the European Commission published a new draft directive on contracts …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Feb 2016