Artificial Intelligence Act

2023 is set to be an important year for developments in AI regulation and policy in the EU. At the end of last year, on December 6, 2022, the Council of the EU (the “Council”) adopted its general approach and compromise text on the proposed Regulation Laying Down Harmonized Rules on Artificial Intelligence (the “AI Act”), bringing the AI Act one step closer to being adopted. The European Parliament is currently developing its own position on the AI Act which is expected to be finalized by March 2023. Following this, the Council, Parliament and European Commission (“Commission”) will enter into trilogue discussions to finalize the Act. Once adopted, it will be directly applicable across all EU Member States and its obligations are likely to apply three years after the AI Act’s entry into force (according to the Council’s compromise text).  

In 2022, the Commission also put forward new liability rules for AI systems via the proposed AI Liability Directive (“AILD”) and updates to the Product Liability Directive (“PLD”). The AILD establishes rules for non-contractual, fault-based civil claims involving AI systems. Specifically, the proposal establishes rules that would govern the preservation and disclosure of evidence in cases involving high-risk AI, as well as rules on the burden of proof and corresponding rebuttable presumptions. Meanwhile, the revised PLD harmonizes rules that apply to no-fault liability claims brought by persons who suffer physical injury or damage to property caused by defective products. Software, including AI systems, are explicitly named as “products” under the proposal meaning that an injured person can claim compensation for damage caused by AI (see our previous blog post for further details on the proposed AILD and PLD). Both pieces of legislation will be reviewed, and potentially amended, by the Council and the European Parliament in 2023.

Continue Reading EU AI Policy and Regulation: What to look out for in 2023

On November 28, 2022, the European Commission launched a public consultation on whether the following three EU consumer laws remain adequate for ensuring a high level of consumer protection in the digital environment:

  • the Consumer Rights Directive (Directive 2011/83/EU, as amended), which sets out the minimum information traders must provide to EU consumers and which offers consumers certain rights, such as the right to withdraw from a contract;
  • the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (Directive 93/13/EEC, as amended), which prohibits terms in “standardized” (i.e., non-negotiable) business-to-consumer agreements that cause a significant imbalance between the parties rights and obligations to the detriment of consumers; and
  • the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (Directive 2005/29/EC, as amended), which prohibits commercial practices considered unfair, for example, because they are misleading or aggressive.

The public consultation consists of filling out a short questionnaire, which needs to be submitted by February 20, 2023.  It is aimed at stakeholders that operate in the digital environment, such as online platforms.

Continue Reading New Data Laws Prompt European Commission to Open Consultation on EU Consumer Laws