At a glance.

  • Enforcement worries for the EU’s new digital services laws.
  • Singapore contemplates additional crypto trading laws. 
  • UK and South Korea agree to data transfer deal. 
  • UK and US lawmakers support further restrictions on Chinese tech.

Enforcement worries for the EU’s new digital services laws.

Lawmakers in the EU yesterday approved the Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires online platforms to take more responsibility in preventing the dissemination of illegal content, Reuters reports. The European Commission has taken several steps to support enforcement of the new rules, including the establishment of an eighty-person task force, 12 million euro in monetary backing, and the launch of the European Centre for Algorithmic Transparency, designed to attract data science and algorithm scientists to aid in enforcement. EU industry chief Thierry Breton explained, “We have started to gear the internal organisation to this new role, including by shifting existing resources, and we also expect to ramp up recruitment next year and in 2024 to staff the dedicated DG CONNECT team with over 100 full time staff.” Still, some officials are concerned more needs to be done to ensure successful enforcement. Ursula Pachl, Deputy Director General of the European Consumer Organisation, stated, “We raised the alarm last week with other civil society groups that if the Commission does not hire the experts it needs to monitor Big Tech’s practices in the market, the legislation could be hamstrung by ineffective enforcement.” 

Singapore contemplates additional crypto trading laws. 

Heeding warnings from the Singaporean government that cryptocurrency is too risky for the general public, the country is considering additional measures to regulate crypto trading. Senior Minister and Minister in Charge of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Monday explained that MAS had already issued restrictions on the marketing of cryptocurrency services in public areas, called for the removal of removal of cryptocurrency ATMs, and prohibited the depiction of crypto trading as trivial. ZDNet explains that the Payment Services Act has given MAS the power to put further measures into effect. Tharman stated, “MAS has been carefully considering the introduction of additional consumer protection safeguards. These may include placing limits on retail participation and rules on the use of leverage when transacting in cryptocurrencies. Given the borderless nature of cryptocurrency markets, however, there is a need for regulatory coordination and cooperation globally. These issues are being discussed at various international standard setting bodies where MAS actively participates.”

UK and South Korea agree to data transfer deal. 

The UK has signed an agreement with South Korea allowing for the restriction-free transfer of data between the UK and the Republic of Korea. TechCrunch notes that this is the UK’s first international data sharing deal since Brexit. The agreement covers data pertaining to services including GPS, online banking, research, and smart devices, especially significant given that South Korea is home to Samsung and LG, two of the world’s largest mobile tech companies, and accounts for £1.33 billion in international digital trade. UK Data Minister Julia Lopez remarked, “Today marks a huge milestone for the U.K., the Republic of Korea and the high standards of data protection we share. Our new agreement will open up more digital trade to boost U.K. businesses and will enable more vital research that can improve the lives of people across the country.” Republic of Korea Commissioner of the Personal Information Protection Commission Jong in Yoon agreed, “Strengthening cooperation between the U.K. and the Republic of Korea based on the shared recognition of high standards of protection can contribute to forming a healthier and more sustainable global data landscape.” The UK selected South Korea – as well as the US, Australia, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre, and Colombia – as a country of focus for its an international data adequacy initiative aimed at increasing cross-border data flows since the UK’s departure from the EU (though It’s worth noting that South Korea already has a data adequacy deal with the rest of the EU). 

UK and US lawmakers support further restrictions on Chinese tech.

A group of UK politicians have expressed their support of a ban on the sale or use of CCTV systems manufactured by Chinese state-owned companies Hikvision and Dahua. The tech giants have been linked to human rights abuses in China, including “re-education” camps in Xinjiang where a million Uyghurs are being detained. The Register reports that a total of sixty-seven parliamentarians – which include Conservative Members of Parliament, Labour human rights figures, members of Scottish National Party, and representatives of the Green Party – announced plans to sign a letter from campaign group Big Brother Watch, and also called for “an independent national review of the scale, capabilities, ethics and rights impact of modern CCTV in the UK.” 

Hikvision and Dahua are already banned in the US, and now the Economic Times reports that Washington has asked the Netherlands to bar ASML Holding NV from selling chip-making gear to China. The proposed ban would expand an existing moratorium on the sale of tech systems to China In the hopes to prevent the country from becoming a world leader in chip manufacturing. The move follows US Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves’s visit to the Netherlands and Belgium last month when he visited ASML’s headquarters and met CEO Peter Wennink. Sources say the Dutch government has not yet agreed to the ban as it could damage the Netherlands’ trade connections with China. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment, and an ASML spokesperson stated, “The discussion is not new. No decisions have been made and we do not want to speculate or comment on rumors.”