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Law and Data Privacy

Mark Potkewitz

In this episode, Mark joins us to discuss how technological advancements have changed the legal sphere. __ Mark is the Co-Director at Legal Innovation Centre and Fellow at ForHumanity. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Privacy is a hot topic within the world of law. However, mark interestingly acknowledges that the concept of ‘privacy’ itself has changed with the evolution of technology. Before, privacy referred to legal frameworks around physical trespass (both in criminal law and tort). Now, privacy expands to the digital sphere and the internet, possibly creating even more confusing legal questions about data privacy acts and policies.

Back in the 1800s, in legal terms, physical trespass into one’s home was seen as a trespass on property – not privacy. As technology advanced, and with the invention of cameras, this changed. One could not just trespass into one’s home but also take pictures with proof of evidence of what they’ve seen. Our interaction with technology nowadays is also recorded, from the data collected on social media sites to mobiles pinging off telephone towers. The way we interact with social media and other algorithms and devices, a whole load of information can precisely be traced back to us.

Interestingly, autonomous vehicles also raise questions in the legal space as liability shifts from company to consumer. When upgrading software on our devices, it is impossible to disagree with its terms. When this is usually the case with a mobile phone or laptop, most of us click the “remind us later” option, especially when we don’t have time to update. However, with a car, a software upgrade might be related to the health and safety of passengers. What happens if we choose the “remind us later” option before travelling but have a car accident?

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