Technology

A new post on the Covington Inside Global Tech blog highlights key legislative, regulatory, and litigation developments in the fourth quarter of 2023 and early January 2024 related to technology issues.  These included developments related to artificial intelligence (“AI”), connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”), data privacy, and cybersecurity. As noted by the post, some of

Technology companies are grappling with unprecedented changes that promise to accelerate exponentially in the challenging period ahead. We invite you to join Covington experts and invited presenters from around the world to explore the key issues faced by businesses developing or deploying cutting-edge technologies. These highly concentrated sessions are packed with immediately actionable advice. Each

In late December 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) published a Report and Order (“Order”) expanding the scope of the data breach notification rules (“Rules”) applicable to telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP (“iVoIP”) providers.  The Order makes several notable changes to the prior rules, including broadening the definitions of a reportable “breach” and “covered data,” requiring covered entities to notify the FCC in addition to federal law enforcement of breaches, and modifying certain customer notification requirements.  The Rules are expected to become effective sometime in 2024, after they are reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget and the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) announces the effective dates by subsequent public notice.Continue Reading The FCC Expands Scope of Data Breach Notification Rules

On 9 October 2023, the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) and Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) agreed revised wording to amend the European Commission’s (the “EC”) proposed new Product Liability Directive (the “Directive”). The vote was passed with 33 votes in favour to 2 against. If adopted, the Directive will replace the existing (almost 40-year old) Directive 85/374/EEC on Liability for Defective Products, which imposes a form of strict liability on product manufacturers for harm caused by their defective products.Continue Reading EU Legislative Update on the New Product Liability Directive

On July 13, 2023, the Cybersecurity Administration of China (“CAC”), in conjunction with six other agencies, jointly issued the Interim Administrative Measures for Generative Artificial Intelligence Services (《生成式人工智能管理暂行办法》) (“Generative AI Measures” or “Measures”) (official Chinese version here).  The Generative AI Measures are set to take effect on August 15, 2023. 

As the first comprehensive AI regulation in China, the Measures cover a wide range of topics touching upon how Generative AI Services are developed and how such services can be offered.  These topics range from AI governance, training data, tagging and labeling to data protection and user rights.  In this blog post, we will spotlight a few most important points that could potentially impact a company’s decision to develop and deploy their Generative AI Services in China.

This final version follows a first draft which was released for public consultation in April 2023 (see our previous post here). Several requirements were removed from the April 2023 draft, including, for example, the prohibition of user profiling, user real-name verification, and the requirement to take measures within three months through model optimization training to prevent illegal content from being generated again.  However, several provisions in the final version remain vague (potentially by design) and leave room to future regulatory guidance as the generative AI landscape continues to evolve.Continue Reading Key Takeaways from China’s Finalized Generative Artificial Intelligence Measures

This quarterly update summarizes key legislative and regulatory developments in the second quarter of 2023 related to key technologies and related topics, including Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), the Internet of Things (“IoT”), connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”), data privacy and cybersecurity, and online teen safety.Continue Reading U.S. Tech Legislative & Regulatory Update – Second Quarter 2023

In the past year, plaintiffs have filed a wave of lawsuits asserting claims under the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) in connection with the alleged use of third-party pixels on websites that offer video content.  A recent decision establishes the limits of the VPPA’s reach and provides a well-reasoned ground for future motions to dismiss.

On 21 June 2023, at the close of a roundtable meeting of the G7 Data Protection and Privacy Authorities, regulators from the United States, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada and Japan published a joint “Statement on Generative AI” (“Statement”) (available here). In the Statement, regulators identify a range of data protection-related concerns they believe are raised by generative AI tools, including legal authority for processing personal information, and transparency, explainability, and security. The group of regulators also call on companies to “embed privacy in the design conception, operation, and management” of generative AI tools.

In advance of the G7 meeting, on 15 June 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) separately announced that it will be “checking” whether businesses have addressed privacy risks before deploying generative AI, and “taking action where there is risk of harm to people through poor use of their data”.Continue Reading UK and G7 Privacy Authorities Warn of Privacy Risks Raised by Generative AI

On 31 May 2023, at the close of the fourth meeting of the US-EU Trade & Tech Council (“TTC”), Margrethe Vestager – the European Union’s Executive Vice President, responsible for competition and digital strategy – announced that the EU and US are working together to develop a voluntary AI Code of Conduct in advance of formal regulation taking effect. The goal, according to Vestager, is to develop non-binding international standards on risk audits, transparency and other requirements for companies developing AI systems. The AI Code of Conduct, once finalized, would be put before G7 leaders as a joint transatlantic proposal, and companies would be encouraged to voluntarily sign up.Continue Reading EU and US Lawmakers Agree to Draft AI Code of Conduct

On 11 May 2023, members of the European Parliament’s internal market (IMCO) and civil liberties (LIBE) committees agreed their final text on the EU’s proposed AI Act. After MEPs formalize their position through a plenary vote (expected this summer), the AI Act will enter the last stage of the legislative process: “trilogue” negotiations with the European Commission, Parliament and the Council, which adopted its own amendments in late 2022 (see our blog post here for further details). European lawmakers hope to adopt the final AI Act before the end of 2023, ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2024.

In perhaps the most significant change from the Commission and Council draft, under MEPs’ proposals, providers of foundation models – a term defined as an AI model that is “trained on broad data at scale, is designed for generality of output, and can be adapted to a wide range of distinctive tasks” (Article 3(1c)) – would be subject to a series of obligations. For example, providers would be under a duty to “demonstrate through appropriate design, testing and analysis that the identification, the reduction and mitigation of reasonably foreseeable risks to health, safety, fundamental rights, the environment and democracy and the rule of law prior and throughout development” (Article 28b(2)(a)), as well as to draw up “extensive technical documentation and intelligible instructions for use” to help those that build AI systems using the foundation model (Article 28b(2)(e)).Continue Reading EU Parliament’s AI Act Proposals Introduce New Obligations for Foundation Models and Generative AI