Addressing legal issues with the latest technological developments and social media trends.
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(The Consumer Protection Dispatch summarizes industry news and updates on emerging issues involving a variety of consumer protection issues including, but not limited to, data and AI.)

This week’s edition includes latest developments relating to AI laws passed by Colorado, Tennessee and Utah, U.S. Senate bipartisan working group on AI, a new privacy bill from Vermont and a new privacy law from Maryland, a new Colorado law protecting neural data, and updates from the California Privacy Protection Agency.

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In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that “[t]he Copyright Act entitles a copyright owner to obtain monetary relief for any timely infringement claim, no matter when the infringement occurred.” See Warner Chappell Music Inc. et al. v. Sherman Nealy et al., Case No. 22-1078 (May 9, 2024). The three-year statute of limitations in the Copyright Act does not bar copyright owners from recovering damages for infringement occurring more than three years ago if the lawsuit is filed within three years of discovering the infringement.

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sports-NIL-1188462138-300x200Developments in the world of name, image and likeness (NIL) rights continue to occur at an extremely swift pace.

Within the last two weeks, Virginia amended its existing NIL laws to significantly strengthen student-athlete NIL rights, and the NCAA adopted new NIL rules designed to allow schools to support student-athlete NIL endeavors. The NCAA also relaxed the NIL disclosure requirement adopted in January and announced it had selected Teamworks Innovations to build and maintain its NIL database.

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The FCC’s recent introduction of a new Voluntary Cybersecurity Labelling Program for consumer Internet of Things (IoT) products reflects the continued desire by U.S. regulators to bolster the security of the ever-increasing number of internet-connected household items available to the public. UK and EU regulating authorities are no different, and are in the midst of introducing new cybersecurity requirements for the IoT.

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Testing AI systems is essential for ensuring their effectiveness, reliability and safety in real-world applications. Companies can employ various mechanisms to rigorously evaluate their AI technologies.

In “Is Your AI Testing Tool a Breach of Contract Claim Waiting to Happen?”, colleagues Mia Rendar and Sam Reno explore how, as AI products grow in both popularity and technical complexity, and as robust testing tools become indispensable, the very utilization of such tools may unwittingly expose companies to legal risks.

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The potential of artificial intelligence to transform industries is well-established, but what exactly does that mean for a specific industry?

For Pratt’s Energy Law ReportRobert A. JamesAimee P. GhoshCara M. MacDonald and the Hon. Jerry McNerney take readers on a deeper dive exploring the opportunities, risks and regulations in the specific applications of artificial intelligence to renewable energy and to the electric power ecosystem into which renewables fit.

Read “Artificial Intelligence in Renewable Energy” now.

 

 

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GettyImages-804492304-300x200Electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) refer to a range of services that include verifying the identity of individuals and businesses online and verifying the authenticity of electronic documents. Since 2014, such services provided in the EU have been subject to the eIDAS Regulation, which aimed to create a predictable regulatory environment across the EU and ensure that interoperability across different EU Member States. The eIDAS Regulation’s complexity, inflexibility and perceived limitations resulted in limited adoption, while the COVID-19 pandemic simultaneously fueled an increased demand for electronic identification. Consequently, the European Commission committed to revising the eIDAS Regulation to establish an EU-wide attribute-based electronic identity framework, incorporating a government-issued digital identity wallet to eliminate the dependence on commercial authentication providers.

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Reflecting the growing concern with cybersecurity threats associated with Internet of Things (IoT) products, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules at its March 2024 meeting to implement a new Voluntary Cybersecurity Labeling Program. The new label— “U.S. Cyber Trust Mark”—will be affixed on wireless consumer IoT products that go through the voluntary review program to ensure that the products comply with baseline cybersecurity criteria established in the September 2022 NIST Report 8425.

In “FCC Announces Consumer IoT Cybersecurity Labeling Program,” Brian E. Finch, Glenn S. Richards and Lee G. Petro take a closer look at the new program.

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On March 13, 2024, the EU Parliament voted to pass the EU’s much-discussed AI Act (with 523 votes in favor, 46 against and 49 abstentions). For an insight into the AI Act’s progression through the EU lawmaking system, see our earlier posts: here, here and here.

The legal text of the regulation will now be reviewed before it is endorsed by the EU Council and then finally adopted. The AI Act will come into force 20 days after the final text is published in the Official Journal of the European Union, with a phased implementation timeline.

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With millions of people already using artificial intelligence (AI) to perform a variety of personal tasks and companies integrating large language model (LLM) services for professional use, concerns over the frequency with which generative AI produces inaccurate content—and for users who may too readily assume that the content is factual—are mounting, along with multiple examples of AI hallucinations and other misstatements. Some are disastrous, others humorous and some, just creepy. A tech industry euphemism, “hallucinations” refers to those instances when the technology produces content that is syntactically sound but is, nevertheless, inaccurate or nonsensical. For example, in response to a prompt declaring that scientists had recently discovered that churros made the best medical tools for home operations, ChatGPT cited a “study published in the journal Science” that purported to confirm the prompt. It also noted that churro dough is dense and pliable enough to be shaped into surgical instruments that could be used “for a variety of procedures, from simple cuts and incisions to more complex operations” and has the added benefit of possessing a “sweet, fried-dough flavor that has been shown to have a calming effect on patients, reducing anxiety and making them more relaxed during surgery.” ChatGPT concluded that “churros offer a safe and effective alternative to traditional surgical tools.”

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