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Augmented Reality (AR) uses technology to overlay real world, physical environments with virtual components like light, sound, video, images or GPS data.  Once seen as a futuristic and ‘gimmicky’ area, AR is growing at a rapid pace and will soon form part of our everyday technology. Microsoft recently unveiled its AR wearable technology, ‘Hololens’ which is geared towards gaming and design and comes in the form of a headset.


Continue Reading Augmented Reality Poses New Legal Challenges

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Symantec released their annual Internet Security Threat Report (the Symantec Report) last week (available at http://www.symantec.com/security_response/publications/threatreport.jsp) and it makes for alarming reading. The risk of cyberattack is one that has been brought to the forefront of popular consciousness by the devastating cyberattacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 and the Symantec Report shows that 2014 saw a worryingly exponential increase in the number, severity and sophistication of such attacks.


Continue Reading Symantec Cyberattack Report a timely reminder of increasing Cyberattack risk

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The political machinations continue at EU level and predictions for publication of a final form Data Protection Regulation increasingly refer to 2016 as the likely date. But to read behind the headlines continues to be a useful exercise for corporates who need to give real consideration now to what their regulatory landscape might look like in the not too distant future.

A key issue will be determining the place of “main establishment” which in turn will determine the appropriate lead authority.

If that isn’t clear, or there is disagreement, it is being proposed that an EU Data Protection Board (EDPB) would have power to make a binding determination.


Continue Reading Data Protection Reform – One Stop Shop Complexity

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On 3 February 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") both issued cybersecurity reports to the US securities industry. The SEC is the US Federal Government’s securities regulatory agency, while FINRA is a private company that acts as a self-regulatory organisation for US securities firms. The publications highlight the increased US regulatory focus in this area.

SEC: Risk Alert – Cybersecurity Examination Sweep Summary

The Risk Alert summarises the SEC’s findings following its examination of 57 broker-dealers’ and 49 investment advisers’ controls regarding cybersecurity preparedness. Notable statistics from the firms examined include:

       88% of broker-dealers and 74% of investment advisers have experienced cyberattacks either directly or through one of their vendors. The majority of the cyberattacks involved the use of malware and fraudulent emails but no single loss exceeded $75,000;

       93% of broker-dealers and 83% of investment advisers have written information security policies in place, of those, 89% of broker-dealers and 57% of investment advisers periodically audit policy compliance;

       58% of broker-dealers and 21% of investment advisers maintain cybersecurity insurance, however, only one broker-dealer and one investment adviser reported that they had filed claims; and

       Only 15% of broker-dealers and 9% of investment advisers offer security guarantees to protect their clients against cyber related loss.


Continue Reading Two US regulatory bodies simultaneously publish cybersecurity reports

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The Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, spoke at the Society for Computers and Law’s ‘The Evolution and Reform of Data Protection’ event this morning. The Commissioner gave an overview of the activities of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) in 2014 and set out the aims of the ODPC for the year ahead.


Continue Reading Data Protection Commissioner reviews 2014 and sets out plans for 2015