As technology pervades our work, play and leisure, it will bring several changes that we cannot even imagine today. We must start thinking what new laws, enforcement and dispute resolution frameworks will be needed…In order to develop an ideal platform for Technology Law Evolution, we should ask questions as follows:1. What is an ideal platform for Technology Law Evolution?2. Why is...
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As technology pervades our work, play and leisure, it will bring several changes that we cannot even imagine today. We must start thinking what new laws, enforcement and dispute resolution frameworks will be needed…
In order to develop an ideal platform for Technology Law Evolution, we should ask questions as follows:1. What is an ideal platform for Technology Law Evolution?2. Why is it needed?3. What role can it play?4. Who should be involved?5. What should it do?6. And not do?7. Are there such forums already? How many do we need?The time to ask these questions is now! Because technologies such as the following are already impacting our work, study, entertainment and social interaction:
This article seeks to initiate the search for answers to these questions.
To my mind, an ideal platform for Technology Law Evolution should be one that:a. Studies and understands significantly and deeply, the challenges, risks and issues that Technology Law must address.b. Defines its own goals with care and understanding for the needs of those who develop technologies; those who apply these to products, services and business models; those who use such products, services and business models; those whose lives, health and wellbeing are impacted by the advancement and application of technologies. This last
issue is becoming more crucial as advancing technologies deeply impact our work, social interaction and entertainment. For instance, such a platform should help shape Technology Law in a way that encourages innovation,
development of new products, services and business models; encourages co-operation and collaboration while keeping competition fair; all the while considering the impact on health, environment and inclusiveness.Itself evolves to respond appropriately to fast changing technologies and new technologies that are changing the way we eat, work, travel, sport, meet, transact, interact socially and seek and provide entertainment.
As technology pervades our working, social and leisure lives, it will accelerate actions, magnify implications, raise new issues and challenges, and disrupt careers and social structures in ways that we cannot even imagine today. Will the old legal framework cope with such changes? And such accelerated changes? What new law making,
law enforcement and dispute resolution frameworks will we need? How do we define these? And redefine these as technology advances?
Such a platform can do things like the following:a. Identify the specialists who will be needed to help understand the new risks, challenges and issues that technology advancements will present.b. Update specialists on developments in areas in which they are not specialized. For example, law makers will need to know about technology changes that can be anticipated in the near future, and their possible implications on work,
play and society. And technologists of various types will need to get a feel for the social, legal, economic and
environmental implications of technological advancements they are involved in making or applying.c. Develop models for law making, law enforcement and dispute resolution that respond to technological advances and also make use of technology advancements for these purposes. In other words, the platform should help identify technologies that can help address the challenges that emerging technologies will present to the legal framework.
An example of this would be the use of Artificial Intelligence in dispute resolution where hundreds of pages of facts and past judgments are cited by the parties.
This question is crucial to the evolution of an ideal technology law platform. New technologies are likely to be
pervasive and have complex implications in relation to the following:a. Transactingb. Fund-raisingc. Payment systemsd. Evidence gatheringe. Storage and presentation of evidencef. Allocation of responsibilities in product liability claimsg. New business modelsh. The environmenti. Social interactionj. Intellectual property rights' identification and allocation and so onA think tank that understands and grapples with such a wide range of aspects would need to involve people from industry and academia, such as :1. Technology specialists2. Technology pundits3. Business executives/management teachers4. Lawyers familiar with technology issues5. Law enforcement specialists6. Dispute resolution specialists7. Information security experts8. Specialists in standards-setting9. Social scientists10. Environmental experts11. Health and wellbeing experts12. Economists13. Safety and security professionals14. National security and internal security specialistsThe development of the legal framework would need to become, increasingly, a multi-disciplinary activity, involving a wide range of specialists acting in cohesion and learning from one another.The advent of artificial intelligence, for instance, would raise many questions of an ethical and moral nature. Thus inputs and insights from social scientists and moral and religious leaders could be crucial to the development of a fair and harmonious legal ecosystem. And the use of drones or UAVs would heighten risks to internal and national security. In fact, payments systems and the like, based on the internet would become "critical infrastructure" that is central to the national and international economy, thereby necessitating the highest standards of security and integrity. Therefore specialists in internal and national security would need to participate in shaping the new technology law ecosystem.
Each such platform [and there could be several of them] should cast its net far and wide to do the following:a. Research, discuss and document the implications of new and changing technologies on work, play and social interaction - and the wellbeing and health of humans as well as the wellbeing of the Earthb. Find innovative solutions to address the rising velocity and reach of business transactions. And new business models in trade, manufacturing, agriculture, entertainment, social interaction and the like.c. Harness contemporary technologies to speed up dispute resolution, ensure fairness and harmony in the IPR ecosystem, in technology standards-setting and in allocating responsibilities for new and complex risks that new technologies may present.d. Consider multi-layered approaches to legal issues and risks. For example, the new threats to personal data security are unlikely to be addressed by law making alone. Many remedies may have to be pursued
simultaneously, such as user education, user vigilance, voluntary restrictions and adoption of codes by those who gather personal data, increased compliance burdens on entities based on past incidents or expert audits, ombudsmen and regulatory authorities – perhaps one in each key sector?
Given the rapid changes that technology advancements may engender in business and society, it is difficult to
identify what such a platform should not do. But some principles come to mind, for instance, such a platform should not:a. Engage in litigation. This increases the risk of being seen as partisan and may erode credibilityb. Influence law making or enforcement actively [that is, engage in lobbying]. Its research and findings should be available to those who engage in law making or enforcement. Most importantly, such a platform should engage in education and research, thus benefiting a wide range of people who need to ask the right questions and seek the right answers
The Technology Law Forum, one such platform, was formed in 2004. But there is a need to reshape and grow that
forum. There is a need to induct a wider spectrum of experts to cope with the new challenges and risks that will be an inevitable outcome of the new technologies that are ahead of us – such as AI, UAV, 3 D Printing, Machine Learning, IOT, 5 G, autonomous cars and more.There is also a need for more such forums in more locations.Thus, the Technology Law Forum could be a forerunner in India for other such entities that will help develop a technology law ecosystem.
Disclaimer – The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the author and are purely informative in nature.