miércoles, 19 de diciembre de 2018

Exploring the digital regulatory challenges for the next EU legislation

The legislative period is coming to an end in Europe. Whatever its consequences and impacts in the long and medium term , the las five years will be remember as the starting of the era where regulation of the digital issues became the new normal. Approximately 40 regulatory proposals has been adopted by the EU institutions to build up the so called Digital Single Market, the EU acquis on digital issues has been multiplied by four. 

Nevertheless, there has been tough issues to tackle. Particularly, all the topics regarding digital platforms has been object of intensive debate, and only in the last stretch of the legislative period looks that it is going to be adopted the first comprehensive piece of legal framework regulating the relationship between platforms and business. However, it is light piece of regulation and would almost certainly need a refurbishment in two or three years. 

But new technological disruptions are on the table and will deserve the attention of the EU institutions in the forthcoming five years. AI, blockchain and 5G poses new challenges to tackle. The strategy to face these new issues should be cautious but decided. Firstly, exploring and confirming the issues that deserve a regulatory approach. Secondly, with the design of the appropriate rules to respond to these issues.

On the first place, each category of AI poses a new challenge. In the case of Artificial Narrow Intelligence , it is the transparency of the algorithms that define the intelligence and its behavior according with the social values and legality. Going fast forward to Artificial General Intelligence, it appears the issue of liability. Finally, Artificial Super Intelligence would bring on the table the topic of the assignation of legal personality to machines. Not all these issues will be possible to tackle in the next EU legislative period, of course, but any legislation should take into consideration the big picture.

Secondly, blockchain and the rest of the DLTs have as their main legal gap the compatibility with the the GDPR. It is needed to explore how to combine the development of these technologies with the protection of personal data principles, as the consent ofor handling data, the right to be forgotten or the anonymisation. Besides this transversal issues to blockchain there challenges related with its sectoral applications, as the need for a consumer regulation regarding smart contracts.

Last but not least, 5G may also disrupt some aspects of telco regulation. The main worry that has emerged is the compatibility of the usage of network slicing features with net neutrality regulation, but almost certainly other issues may emerge around the deployment of network infrastructure.

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