Insights

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Not if, but how: digital regulation in the UK

TMT

Peter Mandelson
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Global Counsel brings together the leaders of the four UK regulators for a panel discussion about the future of digital regulation. The speakers include Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive, Competition and Markets Authority; Melanie Dawes, Chief Executive, Ofcom; Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, Information Commissioners Office; Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive,…

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General Politics

The role of digitisation in the 'geopolitical' commission

General Politics

Tom White
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A striking element of the current European Commission is its emphasis on supporting individual technologies, sectors and “ecosystems”. 

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General Politics

Ways to engage: EU public consultations

General Politics

Conan D'Arcy
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With the onset of covid-19 and the lockdowns across Europe, it might feel like policymakers are out of reach. However, there are currently a number of public consultations which companies can respond to, providing formal feedback to the various policy proposal that have been put forward by the European Institutions. Practice Lead, Conan D'Arcy, Practice Lead Ermenegilda…

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Europe’s rapprochement with Big Tech – too good to be true?

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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“It’s the first time tech companies act in such a strong way. They reacted immediately, and made very important, practically spontaneous, decisions. The crisis will without doubt accelerate this.” This intervention from Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, marks a major change in tone from the European Commission which has spent the past five years locked…

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EU infrastructure policy: Key considerations for investors

Energy & Commodities

Tom White
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A key challenge for the European Union’s 2019-2024 policy cycle will be to secure a larger share of the economic opportunities offered by new technologies, in a more explicit race with the United States and China. Hopes in the previous cycle that this could be secured by a new generation of start-ups and by establishing the EU as a global regulator are being replaced by a…

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Information quality in the age of AI

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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The initial promise of the internet age was for a free and open space to exchange information. However the advent of algorithm-driven content raises important questions about what we see, how much we share a common information landscape and the reliability of what we rely on for news.

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The future of cyber resilience in UK financial services

Financial Services

Conan D'Arcy
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The Global Counsel TMT and financial services teams served as the rapporteurs for the 2018 UK Finance Cyber Resilience Leaders’ Summit, held at Wilton Park on 8-9 October 2018. With cybersecurity now second only to political risk as one of the key challenges facing the UK financial sector, this two day gathering of the industry’s leading practitioners under the auspices…

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Fear and loathing in data protection

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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All eyes in the tech community in Europe and beyond are fixed on 25th May 2018 when the EU’s General Data Protection Agreement (GDPR) finally enters into force. But many are misunderstanding what is driving the agenda here - focusing on the apparent loathing of big tech in Brussels when, in truth, the European Commission is driven more by fear of failure.

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Power and responsibility for big tech: a last chance for self-regulation?

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the EU and the US legislated for an online ‘liability exemption’ under which websites and online platforms are broadly not held liable for the content or products that their customers and users upload to their sites. This approach was replicated globally and has been key in allowing user-generated and user-uploaded platforms such as…

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Cybersecurity regulation gets personal

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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UK government proposals on cybersecurity in the automotive sector highlight how one unexpected outcome of digitisation could be the introduction of strict corporate governance rules previously unseen outside of the financial services sector.

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The Digital Single Market has a new commissioner – will Mariya Gabriel censor social media?

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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After an eight-month hiatus, the EU looks finally set to have a new Commissioner in charge of its flagship, the Digital Single Market (DSM) agenda. Mariya Gabriel is a former MEP, and it showed, in an effective hearing before the European Parliament, which is now certain to rubber stamp her appointment. This support matters for Gabriel as she will need to mobilise MEPs to…

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European policy and the future of the EU

General Policy

Stephen Adams
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Ten years of serial crises and rising voter scepticism about mainstream political parties have definitively buried the managerialist consensus that dominated EU policymaking in the early 2000s. The financial crisis, strained public finances and large-scale immigration flows have exposed the delicate balance between technical problem solving, solidarity of national…

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The audio-visual single market unravels – saying goodbye to the country of origin principle

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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A vote today in the European Parliament’s Culture Committee on the reform of the Audio-Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive signals a significant re-nationalisation of the EU’s single market in online broadcasting.

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General Politics

Silicon Valley’s conflict of interest over Trump

General Politics

Conan D'Arcy
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In the 2016 Presidential election, Silicon Valley burnished its credentials as a liberal bastion. In the combined counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda, 78% of voters supported Hillary Clinton with only 16% voting for Donald Trump.

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Vestager dislikes Facebook status on WhatsApp data

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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The European Commission today brought charges against Facebook, alleging the company misled the EU’s competition authorities during its acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. The social media giant stands accused of submitting evidence to the Commission to the effect that it was technically impossible to match its users’ accounts with WhatsApp’s, something subsequently shown…

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Protecting Tech – is it in the public interest?

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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"I am tackling the longstanding problem of our fastest growing technology firms being snapped up". So said UK Chancellor Philip Hammond this week. Yet the very next day it was announced that Skyscanner, one of the UK’s leading tech companies, had been “snapped up” up by Ctrip.com, the Chinese online travel company for £1.4 billion. Should we see this as an example of the…

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Political support for the “gig economy”: nowhere left to hide?

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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Ed Vaizey made a splash at Global Counsel’s breakfast “Digital Tech: Bridge or Barrier to Social Mobility?” when he suggested that self-employed platform workers should receive the minimum wage. The former Minister of Culture and the Digital Economy was responding to a succession of controversies over working conditions in the so-called “gig economy”: Deliveroo riders…

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Brexit and the audio-visual sector – facing up to life outside the single market

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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As Whitehall limbers up for the UK’s exit negotiations from the European Union by establishing new departments and recruiting new staff, it will be some time before the government reaches its full capacity for managing the negotiations. Before this point, however, fundamental decisions will need to be taken about the direction of the negotiations, such as whether to…

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