IP/IT News – January 2024

⭐ [ Best of ] Read the January's top news about intellectual property, technology and data protection.

🇪🇺 Media / Legislation: EU member states have agreed on new legislation aiming to establish a common framework for media services within the internal market, with the goal of preserving the freedom, pluralism, and editorial independence of EU media (Provisional Agreement dated January 19, 2024).

🌍 Cybercrime / Metaverse: INTERPOL warns against “metacrime” in the metaverse, emphasizing challenges for law enforcement such as the lack of standardization and interoperability, virtual worlds spanning multiple jurisdictions, and complex access to the metaverse across various devices. Moreover, virtual crimes involving assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs make evidence collection difficult. Therefore, INTERPOL underscores the need for a holistic approach and cross-border collaboration to combat metacrime (Press Release, Interpol, January 18, 2024).

🌍 BeIN Sports / Piracy: BeIN Sports has successfully managed to block 56 pirate websites since the start of the Africa Cup of Nations (Press Release dated January 22, 2024).

🇨🇳 TikTok / Search Engine: According to Adobe’s data released on January 3, 2024, TikTok is evolving beyond its role as a social network to become a major search engine for young generations, with users conducting searches on a diverse range of topics (Adobe Press Release, January 3, 2024).

🇺🇸 Meta / DMA: In accordance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) requirements, Meta will allow European users to stop sharing data between Facebook and Instagram starting from March 6, 2024. Users will be able to manage their accounts separately, with the option to create a specific account for connecting to Messenger, providing access to key services without requiring a Facebook account (Press Release on January 22, 2024).

🇫🇷  Personal Data / Justice: The CNIL (French administrative regulatory body for data privacy) has imposed a fine of 32 million euros on Amazon France Logistique for excessively monitoring the actions of its employees, using indicators deemed disproportionate to the rights of the employees. The parcel tracking system allowed Amazon to closely monitor the 6,200 employees and 21,582 temporary workers in its warehouses, and some indicators, such as “Stow Machine Gun,” were considered intrusive, violating the GDPR (Press Release, CNIL, January 23, 2024).

🇺🇸 AI / Disinformation: Voters in New Hampshire received fake calls that appeared to be from Joe Biden, urging them not to vote in the Democratic primaries. The call, generated by AI, falsely claimed to come from the number of the former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. The attorney general’s office considered these calls an illegal attempt to disrupt the presidential primary election. Consequently, concerns have arisen about the use of AI for political disinformation, generating deepfakes and misleading content. (Press Release, January 23, 2024).

🌍 Cryptocurrency / Cybercrime: Crypto-drainers, malicious programs based on phishing and siphoning cryptocurrency wallets, saw a significant increase in 2023, stealing around $300 million from 320,000 users. Inferno Drainer was the most prolific, stealing $81 million through a scam campaign. Users are advised to be vigilant, verify the legitimacy of smart contracts, and use hardware wallets to enhance security (Press Release, January 16, 2024).

🇺🇸 AI / Regulation: OpenAI aims to protect elections from the risks of AI by combating fake news and the misuse of ChatGPT for political purposes. Measures include banning the use of AI for political campaigns, lobbying, or voter deterrence. OpenAI will authenticate images using digital certificates from the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) to identify the origin of content and will have real-time access to global reporting to combat disinformation (Press Release, January 17, 2024).

🇪🇺 Disinformation: EU DisinfoLab has published two guides about disinformation on Facebook and on X/Twitter (Facebook, X/Twitter, January 16, 2024).

🇪🇺 EUIPO / Counterfeiting: According to a January 2024 EUIPO study, counterfeiting represents an annual loss of 16 billion euros in sales for the legitimate industry, also resulting in the loss of almost 200,000 jobs in the EU’s clothing, cosmetics and toy sectors (EUIPO study, January 16, 2024).

🇪🇺 GAFAM / Legislation: The 15% tax on multinational profits within the European Union, adopted in December 2022, came into effect on January 1, 2024. This directive aims to address the tax evasion of digital giants, imposing a minimum tax rate. It transposes agreements from the G7 and the OECD. France is thus ending its national “GAFAM tax” in favor of European rules (Press release of January 1, 2024).

🇺🇸 Piracy / Cryptocurrency : Hacking of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Twitter account caused confusion in the crypto market by falsely announcing the approval of Bitcoin ETFs. The tweet led to a temporary increase in the price of Bitcoin, reaching nearly $48,000, before the SEC denied the information (Press Release of January 9, 2024).

🇺🇸 Meta / Regulation : Meta announces measures to better protect minor users on its platforms. Content related to self-harm, anorexia, and other harmful subjects will no longer be visible to those under 16. New mandatory settings, such as “Sensitive Content Control” on Instagram, will be implemented for minors, with restrictions on interactions with strangers (Press release of January 9, 2024).

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