In the upcoming webinar “What Do Technology Businesses Need to Know about the GDPR?” Morgan Lewis partners Pulina Whitaker (London) and Ronald W. Del Sesto, Jr. (Washington, D.C.) and special legal consultant Dr. Axel Spies (Washington, DC) will discuss key issues and implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new EU data privacy regulation will have major implications for companies with goods and services that are directed to individuals in the European Union.
Topics will include the following:

  • What is the definition of “personal data” under the GDPR?
  • How does the GDPR apply to technology businesses specifically?
  • What policies and procedures need to be revised or created to achieve compliance with the GDPR?
  • What is the update on data transfers to the United States and Privacy Shield certification?
  • What are the penalties of noncompliance with the GDPR?

This one-hour webinar will be held on Monday, May 22, at 11:00 am ET. You can learn more about and register for this event here.

New data protection laws are scheduled to go into effect in Japan (May 30) and China (June 1) that significantly change the rules governing the collection, storage, and transfer of personal information in each country.

Amendment to Japan’s Act on the Protection of Personal Information

The amendment to Japan’s Act on the Protection of Personal Information—passed by the National Diet of Japan on September 3, 2015—is scheduled to go into effect on May 30, 2017. The first major amendment to the personal information law since its initial implementation in 2005, the amended law limits permitted transfers of personal information outside of Japan (1) to countries designated as having acceptable data protections, (2) to third parties where actions have been taken to ensure the same level of data protection as within Japan, or (3) with the data subject’s consent.

In a recent executive order, US President Donald Trump ordered his cabinet secretaries to suggest reforms to the H-1B visa program to help ensure that “H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.” While the executive order does not include any specific reform proposals for the H-1B program, remarks by an administration official suggest that reform efforts will focus on preventing foreign workers from undercutting American labor at less cost, which the official characterized as “abuse” of the system.

Morgan Lewis Moscow/London partner Brian Zimbler and Moscow associate Anastasia Dergacheva recently published an article in Cyber Security Practitioner that provides an analysis of current Russian cybersecurity issues. The article, titled “Russia continues its attempts to tighten control over the internet and IT industry,” discusses two key legal developments in Russia.

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is set to launch the FinTech Hive—an accelerator program for developing financial technology (fintech) startups and entrepreneurs—in the first quarter of 2017. The FinTech Hive will provide selected companies the opportunity to test and modify their fintech advances with the support of DIFC executives as well as regional and international financial institutions.

This launch comes at a time when, globally, fintech has brought in around $50 billion of venture capital and private equity investments between 2010 and 2014 (according to the consulting firm William Garrity Associates), of which the Middle East and Africa combined has attracted only about 2.44%.

On January 10, the European Commission proposed new legislation that would update and supplement current ePrivacy rules and extend their scope to all providers of electronic communication services.   

The following is a summary of certain key proposed rules:

Confidentiality of all Electronic Communications

Listening to, tapping, intercepting, scanning, and storing of electronic communications will not be allowed without the prior consent of the user. The proposed rules further indicate when processing of communications data is permitted without the consent of the user.

On December 20, a team from the Executive Office of the President released a report titled Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy  that assesses and provides recommendations based on the effect that evolving artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will have on the economy and policy matters. The team included staff from the Council of Economic Advisers, Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy. Notably, the report looks into the impact not only on jobs but also on the opportunities created for stronger cyber defense and systems to detect fraudulent transactions and messages.

Specifically, as machines continue to reach and exceed human performance on an increasing number of tasks, they have the potential to disrupt labor force; the report examines strategies to increase the benefits and mitigate the cost to the economy.

As 2016 comes to a close, we have once again compiled all the links to our Contract Corner blog posts, a regular feature of Tech & Sourcing @ Morgan Lewis. In these posts, members of our global technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions practice highlight particular contract provisions, review the issues, and propose negotiating and drafting tips. If you don’t see a topic you are interested in below, please let us know, and we may feature it in a future Contract Corner. These posts cover many different provisions and aspects of drafting commercial, outsourcing, and technology contracts:

Term (Part 1)
Term (Part 2)

The Drive to Automation and Your IT Outsourcing Contract

On December 1, the nonpartisan Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity (Commission) released a report on securing and growing the national economy. This report includes six imperatives for enhancing cybersecurity (and suggested action items to support each imperative) that will require significant commitment, cooperation, and collaboration between the public and private sector to implement.

US President Barack Obama charged the Commission with identifying ways to enhance cybersecurity while

  • protecting privacy;
  • ensuring public safety and economic and national security;
  • fostering discovery and development of new technical solutions; and
  • bolstering partnerships between federal, state, and local governments and the private sector in developing, promoting, and using cybersecurity technology, policies, and best practices.

The Imperatives

The Commission found six major imperatives containing 16 recommendations and 53 action items in the report.

As of December 1, 2016, new regulations promulgated by the US Copyright Office will take effect regarding the “safe harbor” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The regulations affect internet service providers and others whose websites allow third parties to post content, such as chat rooms or discussion forums, by requiring electronic filing for designating DMCA agents and renewals every three years.

For more information, read the full LawFlash written by our colleagues David O. Johanson and Jane W. Wise: DMCA Safe Harbor Protection Requires Action Under New Copyright Regulations.