What technology development will create the most legal change in your jurisdiction?

Technology (3rd edition)

Armenia Small Flag Armenia

The discussions and drafting of changes in legislation concerning the blockchain technologies are now in process.

Dominican Republic Small Flag Dominican Republic

We think that all changes dealing with digital transformation, the cross over of OTT providers and platforms will certainly create tension in the existing telecommunications legal framework. Most of the social changes arising out of this Fourth Industrial Revolution will certainly require the adaptation of multiple legal texts and precedents, as digital and social behaviour will change.

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

Egypt has recently started, during the last couple of years, to use electronic means in government operations. However, the Egyptian law still does not recognize electronic communications in legal proceedings (except for e-signature, which is not widely used). For example, e-mails are still not completely acceptable before courts even if agreed by the parties to a contract.

In addition to that, the rapid development and increase in the usage of A.I. software worldwide is expected to take place in Egypt as well. Although the Egyptian law has general rules that may be adapted to deal with the issues that will result from using the A.I.; however, given the technical and complicated nature of such technology, extensive amendments to the legal regime may be required in order for the legal system in Egypt to be able to effectively deal with such issues.

Estonia Small Flag Estonia

It is somewhat difficult to see any technology completely changing the legal framework in Estonia. Estonia has a reputation for being a hotbed for certain types of new technologies.

The greatest legal changes will be brought by autonomous vehicles and other products or services based on artificial intelligence (AI). This is because currently it is not clear among legal experts how to solve liability issues, in case damages are caused as a result of using AI. However, it is unlikely at the moment, that a single all-encompassing law concerning AI will be enacted in the near-to-mid future. However, amendments to existing laws, regulating liability, right of representation and the use of AI within public services or even for formulaic court judgments are not out of question.

Also cryptocurrencies will bring some legal change. The reason is that that cryptocurrencies have difficult nature and they need clear regulation and legal regime for supervision. Estonia has been in forefront in regulating cryptocurrency related businesses. Already in November 2017 Estonia enacted relevant legislation, based on the 5th AML Directive, that was rather flexible licensing regime for cryptocurrency service providers (Estonia faced ICO boom in 2017-2018 due to simple. fast and inexpensive procedure) . However, currently amendments into the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act (MLTFPA) are going through its second and third readings in the Estonian parliament. The main reason for these is to strengthen the position of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in the authorisation and supervision procedure for cryptocurrency related businesses. The core changes shall be: the increase of state fee, requirement to have actual business and location of the management board in Estonia, longer procedural deadlines for FIU, stricter due diligence of the management board members.

Other technological developments which will probably require changes in the legal framework are the 5G network, use of IoT and facial recognition tools, and the use of big data by the government.

France Small Flag France

The blockchain is probably the development that generates the most substantial legal change, in France like elsewhere. As this technology relies on a chronological transactions database that is both distributed and encrypted, it ensures the integrity of the identification of the author of a legal act as well as the apparently flawless traceability of the origin and subsequent stages of a transaction.

While countries are competing to attract Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) with crypto-currencies based on this technology, this type of transaction challenges lawmakers because it potentially by-passes the rules applicable to public tenders on stock markets, enables start-ups and businesses to raise funds beyond government agencies’ control, and offers anonymity despite anti-money laundering regulations. Similar challenges will be posed by the blockchain in other areas of the law such as with regard to financial transactions, land registration, royalty collection societies, the issuance of bonds, etc..

China Small Flag China

The various technological developments in cross-border e-commerce, blockchain, cloud computing and Internet of Things are likely to create the most legal change in the PRC in coming years.

Israel Small Flag Israel

The OTT platform will create a significant legal change. The increasing demand for Audio-Visual content provided via the Internet platform, instead of consumption of "traditional" multi-channel TV, such as Cable or Satellite TV. Foreign content service provides (Netflix, Amazon Prime and others), as well as local telecoms operators, are offering a variety of "TV like" content to the Israeli public, at attractive prices, while competing with the Israeli Cable TV and Satellite operators. Since OTT services are not at all regulated, whilst the "traditional" TV operators are heavily regulated, a problematic competitive imbalance has been created in the Media market which led the Government, following public consultations and recommendations of several committees, to publish a Bill according to which, regulation would be applied to the provision of audio-visual content over the Internet, to the extent that the providers are Israelis, alongside a relieving regulation which applies to multi-channel TV operators. With regard to foreign providers, the Government is considering whether to impose a duty for such providers to pay taxes, since they collect revenues from their subscribers in Israel in respect of the content services provided by them.

The Internet of Things, M2M services, and other such network-connected smart devices, will also give rise to and spur significant legal changes. These technological developments will require a real reform and re-perception of the basic norms of existing tort law and contract law. The existing legislation is inapt for this new technology in which machines/devices are capable of entering into contracts with other machines/devices and things/vehicles, in order to operate without human intervention. It will require a new legislative approach that will need to address the contractual and tortious aspects. For example, when an autonomous car or a machine causes an injury or damage, the tort law should address the question who bears tort liability in the event of an injury occurring and whose fault it is or when damage has occurred as a result of the transfer of misinformation from one machine to another, who will bear the damage and how will the mens rea - the "intention of the parties", be interpreted or apply, which is currently a basic rule of contract and tort law.

Italy Small Flag Italy

The large telecom players in Italy are aiming to speeding up the roll out and obtaining costs synergies with respect to ultra broad band as well as of 5G networks also by means of mergers of infrastructure providers and/or ad hoc agreements for joint roll out. Whilst these plans will have the potential to substantially speed up the roll out process, on the other hand they shall have to under-go the necessary approval processes.

Japan Small Flag Japan

While it is expected that Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) will continue to cause substantial changes in the legal arena, blockchain or distributed ledger technologies have the potential to make a significant impact on various transactions (such as payment transactions and financial instruments) and will most likely create a new legal system (such as smart contracts, IP rights management and property title registrations). Such movement will entail substantial changes in laws and regulatory bodies.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

The increased global adoption of blockchain technology and AI appear to be the principal technological harbingers of legal change in Malaysia. There is no regulatory framework in place to govern the use of such technology in Malaysia but services which rely on blockchain technology to operate, such as digital asset/cryptocurrency exchanges (“DAX”), have seen increasing regulatory intervention from the authorities in Malaysia.

The SC has issued the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 and revised its Guidelines on Recognized Markets to introduce new requirements for DAX operators to register with the SC and obtain the SC’s approval for establishing and operating such exchanges. Operating a DAX without such registration and approvals is an offence under securities laws and a person in breach may be liable to a fine or imprisonment term or both.

DAX operators are also required to register with BNM as reporting institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (“AMLATFA”), pursuant to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) - Digital Currencies (Sector 6) policy document issued by BNM. Failure to comply with BNM’s requirements is an offence under the AMLATFA.

MESTECC has established a special taskforce to study the implementation of blockchain in the country as well as the Shariah compliance component thereof as it has identified that blockchain has immense potential applications across various industries, especially the Islamic finance sector. While the taskforce is presently at a nascent stage, MESTECC is determined to engage in discussions with various stakeholders on the development of blockchain and to develop a Shariah-compliant guideline for blockchain technology.

The UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (“UN/CeFact”)’s whitepaper titled, ‘White Paper on the technical applications of blockchain to UN/CeFact deliverables’, was brought to the attention of the Malaysian National Standards Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (“Committee”) and the Committee has been tasked with the development of standards and guidelines on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in Malaysia.

Purveyors will soon be subject to greater regulation and scrutiny in the near future, and the widespread implementation of blockchain technology and AI will have a domino effect on the Malaysian legal framework. New legislation will need to be introduced and implemented, and existing legislation and regulations will need to be amended to account for the impact blockchain and AI technology have on the various industries in Malaysia.

Malta Small Flag Malta

The Maltese communication sector is working hard to keep up with rapid technological development and new business models for the provision of communication services. Consumer and business needs are changing, in turn driving new technological demands which, in turn, has increased the demand for bandwidth. The use of cloud based services is on the rise, as is the use of connected devices and services, many of which are bandwidth intensive. The need for data is growing, and showing no signs of stopping – highlighting the need for resilient, consistent and high quality network services for a variety of different customers. Local undertakings within the sector have also started to look into implementing 5G networks that could provide far greater speeds than those currently being offered on the market.

On the other hand, the MCA is also gearing itself towards responding to the above-mentioned demands and advancements in new technology and it also plans to focus on the following matters (among others):

  • maintaining conditions for a multi-player scenario in the Next Generation Access environment;
  • facilitating the deployment of Next-Generation-Access Networks;
  • development of the Radio Spectrum Potential (development of a national radio frequency spectrum management strategy and review of the National Frequency Plan);
  • the introduction of a national roadmap for spectrum in the 700MHz band in order to initiate the process of providing the necessary spectrum for 5G by 2021;
  • ensuring that net neutrality principles are adhered to in line with the EU Telecoms Single Market Regulation;
  • monitoring mobile operators to ensure that they are observing the obligations set out in the roaming Regulations;
  • keeping an eye on the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the aim of facilitating innovation and investment;
  • monitoring the provisions of the newly implemented national legislation that was required to ensure legal consistency with eIDAS Regulation;
  • updating and publishing a revised National Broadband Strategy, which will reflect the European Commission’s communication ‘Towards a European Gigabit Society’ and the 5G action plan; and
  • development of satellite and space communications services in line with the Malta National Space Policy.

Market reviews are also on the table. In fact, the MCA will continue to observe the implementation of current ex-ante remedies ensuing from the analysis that it had conducted in the past with respect to the pertinent markets. Moreover, the MCA will continue to assess and observe the relevant electronic communications markets to ensure that markets review decisions remain applicable and that remedies are congruous to any changes in the markets since the previous review. The MCA has declared that it will strive throughout 2018 to review the following wholesale electronic communications markets:

  • wholesale local access provided at a fixed location market (Market 3a); and
  • wholesale central access provided at a fixed location for the mass-market products market (Market 3b).

On a separate note, the MCA is in the process of revising its Amateur Radio Licensing framework. Currently, the MCA issues licences to individuals holding a valid radio qualification. Because the general principles regarding the current amateur radio licensing framework were drawn up a long time ago, the MCA deems that it is necessary to review and update this framework to regulate this service in an effective manner and to apply the ‘best practice’ licensing principles. Interested stakeholders were invited to submit their opinion by 2 February 2018.

As a result of the aforesaid public consultation process the MCA has submitted proposals to the Maltese government to adopt revisions to the Amateur Radio licensing regime. MCA's proposals are still being considered by the government.

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

In New Zealand, the most legal change is unlikely to be caused by a single technological development, but rather by the combined general trend toward the digitalisation and automation of previously manual processes, the increasingly connected nature of the world around us and the increasing prevalence of intelligent algorithms. This combined wave of development inevitably involves a tension between efficiency gains, utility and innovation on the one hand and the protection of individuals' safety, privacy and basic human rights on the other. This is, in our view, likely to cumulatively result in the most significant legal changes in New Zealand in this area.

Germany Small Flag Germany

The most legal change is to be expected regarding artificial intelligence. As mentioned above the liability for malfunctions of A.I. is still unsolved in German law. The lack of liability provision will trigger need for a legal reform. Essential questions that have to be solved soon are for example: Who will be liable for robots? Will intelligent machines be able to conclude valid contracts and under which requirements, e.g. in the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Indonesia Small Flag Indonesia

Every new technology such as AI, blockchain, cloud-based service, virtual reality, over-the top service platform as well as the deployment of deep learning system, will certainly pose legal challenge in Indonesia.

The recent technology development that has become the focus of the Indonesian government over the past of few years is the existence of foreign OTT in Indonesia. This is mainly due to jurisdictional issue. The government is having hard time to enforce its local law to the foreign OTT and to collect tax for the revenue generated from the Indonesian market.

Another legal challenge posed by OTT is to classify the service offered by the OTT. Because the service is offered through internet, it sometimes difficult to determine whether particular service fits with the existing regulatory regime e.g. whether Voice over IP (VoIP) service is subject to telecommunication law; whether video streaming service should be subject to broadcasting law.

Nevertheless, a new OTT regulation is currently prepared by the government to tackle this issue.

Pakistan Small Flag Pakistan

Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, 3D printing, blockchain, the internet of things, and neurotechnology are cutting-edge technologies that had limited practical applications until some time back, but have come to pervade daily life in a short span of time, and are galvanizing a paradigm shift in technological advances.

Having stated the foregoing, the front runners for technology which is potentially likely to create the most legal change in Pakistan is A.I and blockchain technology.

In recent news, a leading microfinance banks in Pakistan, in partnership with a Malaysian entity, has introduced Pakistan’s first blockchain-based cross-border remittance service, powered by industry-leading blockchain technology.

While SBP has prohibited banks and financial institutions regulated by it, from dealing with cryptocurrencies, the Government acknowledges the potential of blockchain technology. Currently, there is no regulatory framework in place to govern the use of such technology and related services in Pakistan.

Romania Small Flag Romania

It is noteworthy that Romania fosters a favourable environment for numerous start-ups as well as local hubs of major international players dealing with digital technology, with a strong emphasis on A.I. Thus, any legal change affecting the industry should be seriously considered beforehand.

However, it is hard to name only one technology development that would have the biggest legal impact, since any such important development has the ability to produce equally important legal change.

In Romania, as well as worldwide, one of the closest technology developments that have an appreciably effect on society is the development of the Internet of Things (”IoT”).

When all of your devices constantly collect data and communicate between themselves and even interact with the environment around them, one must be sure that they are not easily "corrupted" and that one`s data is not "stolen". Moreover, there is a need to develop devices and networks with an intense focus on security and create a compatible platform for the IoT. Currently, there are apps and devices that are unable to communicate between themselves due to lack of standardization.

Additionally, other technologies may have a strong impact on the legal framework.

For example, artificial intelligence alongside the increased automation of numerous industries (such as the quick rise of autonomous cars) as well as the interplay between artificial intelligence and other technologies may raise issues with regard to, amongst others, safety, compliance, intellectual property and accountability.

In its turn, the use of data and inherently of biased data may raise concerns from the perspective of human rights, equality and transparency due to their potentially adverse effects such as perpetuating discrimination).

An already common sight is the use of drones for a multitude of purposes from plain recreational purposes to wildlife monitoring, weather forecasting, filming, mapping, aerial delivery. While drones are becoming increasingly popular, their use may challenge the existing legal framework due to privacy concerns.

Hence, security and standardization are two major aspects to be dealt with by coming legislation.

As per the National Strategy of the Digital Agenda for Romania 2020, cybernetic security and the security of informatic systems is a priority for the Romanian government as well as a basic requirement for the electronic infrastructure of data networks, electronic services and communication.

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

Self-driving cars and AI will create the most legal change, since the secure operation of self-driving cars and the seamless implementation of AI technology require fundamental changes to be made to the existing legal system, which is centered on people and the protection of their rights/interests.

For example, the use of AI raises the questions of whether AI itself will be entitled to certain rights and thus be subject to civil and/or criminal liability, who will be responsible in the event AI malfunctions, whether intellectual property rights will be granted to works created by AI, the use and security of big data in connection with AI, and how to protect personal information.

Meanwhile, legalising self-driving cars would require legislators to consider issues of who the driver of the car will be (i.e., a person or something else), how legal responsibility will be divided between manufacturers, system administrators, and consumers/purchasers, and how victims will be compensated in the event of an accident. In sum, various issues relating to civil/criminal liability and insurance would need to be discussed.

Spain Small Flag Spain

Many digital technology trends will require the enactment of specific laws, otherwise our current legal system will be applied analogically to regulate these new legal trends. It is no secret that Artificial Intelligence and its derivatives would preferably need a specific regulation not only as regards its ethical use but also information obligations, liabilities etc. Also the regulation of blockchain (and/or cryptocurrencies) is also to be considered one of the most challenging legal changes that must be faced in order to totally secure all transactions and products based upon such technology. In February 2018, the Banco de España (Spanish Banking Authority) and the National Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, in Spanish o "CNMV") issued a joint declaration about "cryptocurrencies". In this declaration both bodies declared that "cryptocurrencies" are not regulated in the European Union. This implies that if a person buys or keeps "cryptocurrencies", he/she does not benefit from the guarantees and safeguards associated with regulated financial products. Additionally, both entities also argued that on many occasions the different actors involved in "cryptocurrencies" businesses are located in different countries, so that the resolution of any conflict could be outside the competence scope of the Spanish authorities and would be subject to the regulatory framework of the country in question, which may be a problem for the person acquiring these products.

It is also to be noted that the Royal Decree Law 19/2018 of November 23, on payment services and other urgent financial measures, which has transposed the Directive (EU) 2015/2366 of 25 November 2015 on payment services in the internal market (Payment Services Directive or "PSD2") into the Spanish legal system, does not expressly consider cryptocurrencies as payment methods. Hence, transactions made by blockchain technology, including but not limited to financial transactions, would be one of the biggest legal changes not only for Spain but also for the European Union.

Additionally, 3D and 4D printing technology will have a huge impact on many fields, as it could imply a substantial change to the implementation of intellectual property and health regulations. In Spain 3D printing technology has been used in the food, architectural or clothing industries, where lot of start-ups are becoming specifically focused on 3D printing technology, whereas 4D printing technology has been tested and issued in the field of health. Certainly this technology will have to be regulated in order to protect everyone's rights as this printing technology must be controlled in order not to breach third parties' rights and to not create products which are subject to authorisations in Spain or even illegal items.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

It is plausible that the swift development of A.I. and self-controlling vehicles will result in the biggest legal change in the near future. However, one should not underestimate the legal and economic consequences that could occur if crypto currencies and blockchain technologies are allowed to further develop.

Taiwan Small Flag Taiwan

It would be "artificial intelligence". Depending on the advance and development of the artificial intelligence technology, the legal system may need to be changed or even re-written during the process and phases of the development of artificial intelligence. Currently, the regulators are dealing with the legal issues raised and triggered by "fintech" and "autonomous driving technology or vehicles", and most of the regulations are newly stipulated and experimental. Once the technology advances into the stage where machine has the ability to make decision as a human need to do or thinks like a human in a more overall manner, the traditional legal system will need to be adjusted or reshaped.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Developments in the blockchain technologies and AI might have the most impact in the Turkish jurisdiction in terms of legal changes.

While current laws can be interpreted in a way to apply to future disputes on these matters, new regulations might also be required to address issues arising for the first time in new contexts such as liabilities in terms of AI and transactions through the use of blockchain.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

We maintain our view that blockchain has yet to truly come into its own: there is going to be disruption across multiple industries once the security and trust issues are addressed, and everything from real estate transactions to IP rights management will be affected.

United States Small Flag United States

The Internet of Things, or network-connected smart devices, will drive significant legal change. For example, autonomous vehicles (reliant on network-connected sensors) require a rethinking of legal relationships, from who bears tort liability in the event of an injury, to the nature of driver and vehicle insurance. Smart devices may be capable of entering into contracts with other devices, using self-executing provisions in smart contracts maintained on a blockchain. These technological developments will require a re-evaluation of basic principles of contract law, including 'meeting of the minds' and contracting capacity.

Australia Small Flag Australia

The increased use of plant and equipment capable of operation with limited or no human intervention across industries raises many complex challenges to traditional legal concepts. It is unclear how established legal principles, including negligence, contract, privacy, cybersecurity, telecommunications and radio communications, will apply to the use of such technology. For example, information-sharing between automated products may increase the efficacy of such technology in the avoidance of hazards. However, such sharing may amount to an interference with privacy, leave the technology open to cybersecurity attacks, or raise questions with respect to intellectual property rights.

Use of automated technology also raises ethical questions with respect to liability allocation, particularly in instances where plant and equipment has been pre-programmed to interpret and respond to surrounding sensory information in specific ways. For example, it is unclear whether a manufacturer's duty of care should extend from the end user of an automated product to third parties impacted by its malfunction, particularly in the case of autonomous vehicles and road accidents. Negotiated contractual provisions may not adequately address this issue given the existence of established privity principles as against the likely presence of third party stakeholders.

Updated: August 27, 2019