Digital transformation is not only changing business processes and operations, but EU law reform is also significantly affected by the rapid changes in our digital environment.
In March 2021, the European Commission (EC) proposed the Digital Decade, which envisages the digital transformation of Europe by 2030. Four main goals of the digital decade were identified: skills; digital transformation of business; secure and sustainable digital infrastructures; and digitization of public services. The EU’s digital ambitions are to be achieved at EU and national level through a joint governance structure and multinational projects that combine EU, Member State and private sector investment. Potential areas of partnership identified include 6G, quantum computing and the use of technology to combat climate change.
To support and complement the EU Digital Strategy, a set of new legislation has been and is being implemented to strengthen Europe’s digital sovereignty, set standards and focus on data, technology and infrastructure in this European digital sphere. Decade’. Over the next few weeks, our team at William Fry Technology will be reviewing the key pieces of legislation, what they mean for you and your business, and what next steps you may need to take to comply with the new regulations. We will consider the following legislative introductions:
- Artificial Intelligence: EU Aims to Build Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence Barry Scannell looks at proposed new EU rules and actions for AI. The Artificial Intelligence Act is the world’s first proposal for a legislative framework regulating specific uses of AI. The AI Liability Directive and the new Product Liability Directive, which increase liability risk for companies using AI.
- Data: The European Data Strategy aims to protect data by ensuring that it is stored safely and securely. Michelle Daly and Rachel Hayes look at both the Data Governance Act and the Data Act.
- Digital Services Package: Karolina Rozhnova and Briona Brogan look at the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These acts aim to ensure that European citizens can be confident that they are safe online and that businesses can thrive in the digital world. It also ensures that e-commerce regulations remain relevant in the digital decade.
- Cyber: The NIS Directive was the first pan-European legislation aimed at achieving a high overall level of cyber security in member states. Róisín Culligan looks at the proposed NIS2 Directive (which replaces the NIS Directive), the proposed extension of which will effectively oblige more organizations and sectors to take cyber security measures.
- Online privacy and security: Anna Kenna looks at the proposed ePrivacy Regulation, which aims to update the previous rules. The EU is currently debating new privacy rules that will strengthen online trust and security for the digital decade. The rules will give us more control over our data and devices.
- Copyright: One year after its implementation in Ireland, David Kirton reviews the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market (Directive 2019/790). The directive was designed to create a framework for more modern copyright law that will strengthen the rights and protections afforded to different categories of rightholders in the digital economy.
- New technologies: under the EU’s digital strategy, the EU is committed to fostering the growth of blockchain so that European citizens can benefit from it in these and other areas, and so that Europe can become a world leader in blockchain. Crypto is a largely under-regulated technology and industry, Rosin Culligan looks at the EU Regulation on Crypto Asset Markets, which is likely to be the first of many new pieces of legislation to regulate the industry. The EU is likely to adopt new legislation to regulate non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) in the coming years, with blockchain technology recognized in many other pieces of legislation.