The Register Columnists

OUT-LAW.COM

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed

Algorithmic pricing raises concerns for EU competition law enforcement

Analysis Algorithms used to track or adapt prices online raise competition concerns, according to a recent submission to the OECD by the European Union. If pricing practices are illegal when implemented offline, they are very likely to be illegal when implemented online as well. Firms involved in illegal pricing practices cannot avoid …

Medicxi launches $300m European late-stage life sciences fund backed by Google company

Venture capital group Medicxi has announced a $300m late-stage life sciences fund that is backed by Novartis, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Verily Life Sciences, the healthcare division of Google's holding company Alphabet. The Medicxi Growth 1 (MG1) fund will invest in European biotechnology groups looking to run …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Jun 2017
Old man's hands typing on laptop

Retirement age must move as life expectancy grows, says WEF

The ratio of people in the workforce to those in retirement will fall from 8:1 to 4:1 by 2050 if retirement ages do not change, and the global economy will not be able to bear the burden, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said Life expectancy has been growing globally by an average of one year every five years since the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Jun 2017
shutterstock_ledger_check

Bank of Canada finds flaws with current blockchain solutions

Underpinning wholesale payment systems with distributed ledger technology (DLT) would introduce greater costs and risks for institutions than those which apply under existing wholesale payment systems, the Bank of Canada has said. However, a study carried out by the Bank of Canada, into the feasibility of using DLT to create …
OUT-LAW.COM, 01 Jun 2017
Empty chairs in an office. Pic by shutterstock

UK outsourcing market hits record levels

The total annual value of outsourcing contracts agreed in the UK in the first three months of 2017 hit record levels, according to new figures. In its latest quarterly outsourcing index, Information Services Group (ISG) reported that outsourcing contracts worth €1.4 billion in total a year were awarded in the first quarter of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 May 2017
shutterstock_ledger_check

EU plans for blockchain 'observatory' raise concerns, says expert

The European Commission plans to set up an observatory and forum on blockchain and distributer ledger technology (DLT) to help it understand what role public authorities should play in developing and helping uptake of the technologies. The plans raise concerns over the role that the Commission expects to play, said technology …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Apr 2017

First EU-US Privacy Shield annual review to take place in September

The inaugural annual review into the operation of the EU-US Privacy Shield is to take place in September this year. EU justice commissioner Věra Jourová confirmed the timing of the review in a speech in Washington late last week. "[The review] will be an important milestone where we need to check that everything is in place …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Apr 2017

Germany to roll out €100bn gigabit internet network

Germany's federal government plans to roll out a gigabit internet service across Germany by 2025, through a government and private consortium known as Netzallianz Digitales Deutschland. The €100bn project will focus on bandwidth, security and response times, minister for transport and digital infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Mar 2017
Conveyor belt production of jam-topped biscuits. Photo by Shutterstock

Planned 'cookie law' update will exacerbate problems of old law – expert

Newly proposed reforms to EU ePrivacy rules could exacerbate problems that stem from existing rules governing the use of "cookies". The plans, outlined by the European Commission earlier this year, would not resolve the problem businesses currently have in finding mechanisms for obtaining device users' consent to cookies that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 01 Mar 2017
Robot drives a car. Conceptual illustration from Shutterstock

New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability

Insurers would be primarily responsible for paying out damages stemming from accidents caused by "automated vehicles" under new UK legislation laid before the UK parliament. The Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill sets out how the liability for accidents involving automated vehicles should be apportioned, and factors in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Feb 2017

New EU rules on portability of online content services move closer

Planned new EU laws aimed at making online content more accessible to those that subscribe to it are closer to being finalised after a deal struck on the new rules earlier this month was endorsed by representatives of national governments across the EU. At the beginning of February, the Maltese presidency of the Council of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Feb 2017

Cloud industry body sets up new data protection code

A number of cloud infrastructure providers operating in Europe have signed up to a new data protection code of conduct. The code, established by Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE), places restrictions on the processing of personal data that cloud customers store with providers, defines responsibilities …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Feb 2017
CCTV camera trained on a garden. Photo by Shutterstock

Scottish court issues damages to couple over distress caused by neighbour's use of CCTV

A Scottish couple have been awarded damages of more than £17,000 in total for the "extreme stress" they suffered as a result of the "highly intrusive" use of CCTV systems by the owner of a neighbouring property. Debbie and Tony Woolley were awarded £8,634 each after Sheriff Ross, in a ruling issued at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Feb 2017

Study shows 'BYOK' can unlock public cloud market for businesses

Businesses would be more likely to use store data in a public cloud environment if they were allowed to "manage and control their own encryption keys", a new study has found. According to the 2017 Thales Data Threat Report, the "bring your own encryption key" (BYOK) concept has been identified as the most popular way to secure …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jan 2017
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

EU policy makers consider FRAND licensing of machine-generated data

EU policy makers are considering introducing a new licensing regime for anonymised "machine-generated data". It is one of the options the European Commission said could be introduced to facilitate greater access to the ever-growing volumes of data generated by "computer processes, applications or services, or by sensors …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Jan 2017
DOor to a bank vault. Photo by Shutterstock

Rethink on bank cybersecurity rules might only follow major bank breach, says expert

It might take a major bank to fail as a result of a cyber attack for meaningful changes in cybersecurity practices, regulation and governance in the UK banking market to be implemented, a leading industry commentator has said. In an interview with Out-Law.com, professor Richard Benham, chairman of the National Cyber Management …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Jan 2017
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Routes taken by UK prosecutors over supply of modified TV set-top boxes

Analysis Prosecutors are turning to fraud charges in cases against people supplying set top boxes that can be used to access copyrighted material without paying for it because it makes cases easier for juries to understand. But a barrister who acted in one recent such case has told Out-Law.com that those conspiracy to defraud charges …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Jan 2017
Johnny Cab

New US rules on 'vehicle-to-vehicle' communications under consultation

Car manufacturers active in the US market will need to ensure new models are fitted with technology that allows those vehicles to "talk" to other vehicles from as early as 2021, under new government proposals. The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has opened a 90-day consultation on a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Dec 2016

Data use rules set to be loosened under new EU e-Privacy laws - report

New EU laws set to be proposed in January will give telecoms companies more options over how they might use data they gather that relates to customers' communications, according to a media report. Telecoms companies can currently process "traffic" or location data if it has been anonymised or if they have consent to do so from …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Dec 2016
Old school emissions testing at the EU's Joint Research Centre

Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating

The European Commission has begun legal action against seven member states over emissions cheating in the "dieselgate" scandal. The Commission is frustrated with how national authorities have handled the issue, which began last year when Volkswagen admitted to emissions 'discrepancies' in engines fitted in 11 million vehicles …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Dec 2016
Passenger in back of cab using smartphone app/cab app. Photo by Shutterstock

EU court to determine how Uber's business should be defined

The EU's highest court has begun hearing arguments on how Uber's business should be legally defined in a case that could have widespread implications for other businesses, an expert has said. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has been asked to rule on whether Uber is a transport service provider, information society …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2016

European Council agrees to remove geoblocking

The Council of Ministers has agreed on draft regulation to ban unjustified geoblocking in an attempt to remove barriers to e-commerce across the European Union. Geoblocking is the practice of preventing consumers in one country from accessing products and services via a website based in another country. The draft regulation …
OUT-LAW.COM, 01 Dec 2016
Well-dressed man drinks whisky in expensive flat. Photo by Shutterstock

Confirmation of who constitutes average whisky consumer helps resolve dispute

The average consumer of Scotch whisky is reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect member of the general public who has an average level of attention, the EU's General Court has confirmed in ruling over a trade mark dispute. The determination by the Court helped whisky manufacturer William Grant & Sons …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Nov 2016
Gavel

Rivals' keyword marketing activity censured by High Court

Online marketing activity carried out separately by two rival bathroom retailers respectively infringed trade mark and passing off rights, the High Court in London has ruled. The case related to keyword advertising on Google's search engine by Victoria Plum and Victorian Plumbing. Keyword adverts appear when words an …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Nov 2016
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference. Credit: 360b / Shutterstock.com Release Information: Editorial Use Only.

Merkel calls for balanced approach to data protection

EU countries must not be too restrictive in how they apply EU data protection laws or risk damaging the development of big data projects, German chancellor Angela Merkel has said. Germany has traditionally been cautious over data collection, but if countries are too restrictive then "big data management will not be possible", …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Nov 2016

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017