Governance of Data Innovation: Risks and Rewards for Business – Key Takeaways from our Discussion with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office

On September 21, 2021, Sidley partners Alan Raul and William Long engaged in a fireside chat with Elizabeth Denham and Claudia Berg of the United Kingdom (UK) Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Elizabeth Denham is due to end her five-year tenure as UK Information Commissioner on October 31, 2021. Claudia Berg is the ICO’s General Counsel. The webinar entitled “Governance of Data Innovation: Risks and Rewards for Business” touched on the crucial issues in data protection and cyberlaw including the future of international data transfers, emerging technologies, and Brexit. Please see below our “10 Key Takeaways” from this fascinating and timely discussion.

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National AI Strategy: The UK Government Publishes Its Artificial Intelligence Strategy for the Next Decade

On 22 September 2021, the UK Government (the “Government”) published its Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) strategy. The paper outlines the Government’s plan to make Britain a “global superpower” in the AI arena, and sets out an agenda to build the most “pro-innovation regulatory environment in the world”. This post highlights some of the key elements from the UK AI strategy. Significantly, the UK’s proposed approach may diverge in some respects from the EU’s GDPR. For example, the UK strategy includes consideration of whether to drop Article 22’s restrictions on automated decision-making, and whether to maintain the UK’s current sectoral approach to AI regulation.  The UK will publish a White Paper on regulating AI in early 2022, which will provide a basis for further consultation and discussion with interested or affected groups before draft legislation is formally presented to the UK Parliament.

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FTC Issues Civil Penalty Notice to 700 Companies Regarding Endorsements and Reviews

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on October 13 published a Notice of Penalty Offenses advising more than 700 companies that they could incur significant civil penalties if they use endorsements in ways that run counter to the FTC’s guidance. The FTC, in its own words, “blanket[ed] industry” with these notices to send a “clear message” that companies cannot use “fake reviews and other forms of deceptive endorsements” to “cheat consumers and undercut honest businesses.”

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Tech Forum Webinar: Data-Driven Technology Development— IP Ownership and Rights

As businesses across industries turn to artificial intelligence and machine learning for insights, data is driving innovation and technology development. Who owns the underlying data and the resulting technology? How can restrictions on data use limit the resulting technology applications?

Companies need to keep pace tracking and monitoring intellectual property ownership and rights in this fast-paced environment, without stifling innovation. During this webinar, we will explore how IP and technology licensing principles apply to data licensing, and trends we are spotting as we help companies navigate new deal structures.

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The U.S. Federal Government Continues Its Focus on Ransomware Attacks: CISA, FBI, and NSA Publish Technical Advisory on the Conti Group

On September 22, 2021, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and National Security Agency (NSA) published a cybersecurity advisory (the “Advisory”) outlining the Conti ransomware group’s tactics, techniques, and procedures (“TTPs”) to help companies protect against their attacks. This Advisory is especially notable because it is an example of the type of information sharing promised by the Biden administration, which includes technical details about the Conti group’s TTPs. It also heralds the launch of new website called: StopRansomware.gov.

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Is the SEC Coming for Your Texts? SEC’s New Enforcement Director Telegraphs a Warning to Registrants About Improper Use of Personal Devices for Business-Related Communications

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Enforcement is stepping up investigative efforts looking at registered firms’ use of personal devices for business communications, which can implicate their recordkeeping obligations and result in failure to retain and produce responsive business-related communications in SEC investigations. These risks are particularly acute in the current work-from-home posture at many firms, where employees may more easily blur the line between personal and business communications. Firms should review their policies, procedures, and communication monitoring to ensure that employees are not engaging in business-related communications outside of the firm’s official channels and in a manner that the firm is unable to capture and preserve if required.

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