"Big data commercialization in the absence of proper understanding of the challenges it will entail and protection is far from being the best idea". YURIY KOTLIAROV, PARTNER OF JUSCUTUM LAW FIRM WARNS
— Why do law firms unite technology, media and telecommunications into one practice?
— Our whole life is TMT. There is ubiquitous interweaving and convergence. The entire TMT practice focuses on technologies regardless of their scope of application: communication, media or any other business.
TMT is the sphere of law currently experiencing the greatest boom of innovations. Growth of Internet giants, phenomenal immersion of business in the Internet, increase in content and its distribution, databases and their protection — all these issues are so interrelated that it’s impossible to implement any serious project without understanding what happens in these areas.
That's why we have brought together specialists from different segments to see the overall picture as a united team and not to miss all the details when implementing specific projects.
This does not mean that we don’t deepen point specialization in a particular field. Rather, the coverage of the whole picture allows us in a timely way to observe and develop the competencies for which there is a need or which will be in demand in the near future.
— What range of questions are TMT practice clients interested in?
— The uniqueness of our practice is that the range of questions we cover is quite broad. Classic services are undoubtedly available, but our strong point is full immersion in the business in question, comprehension of trends and relationships. Hence, there is a need primarily for consulting, often strategic consulting. Regulatory aspects, the building of relations with the state and structuring of deals are equally demanded. Questions arise frequently in IP practice and competition, first in separate segments, and now we compete on these issues with serious colleagues from law firms specializing in other spheres.
— What world trends in telecommunications can you identify?
— This market is being transformed, consolidated and goes beyond traditional telephony. What makes the market different today? The growing boom in data transmission, where, unfortunately, Ukraine lags behind. Global telecommunication service providers are entering the Internet of things to offset the decline in demand for traditional voice services and Internet access.
Another market development trend is the development and expansion of own content and messengers. The development of mobile ID services is another trend. This service is already provided in 28 EU states, and operators in Ukraine are ready to implement it. These are huge opportunities and advantages.
Telecom ceases to be a traditional business of providing access to the Internet or voice telephony, seeking to offer additional or convergent services which give competitive advantages, increasingly generate revenue and take the place of the main ones.
— What other global forecasts are relevant for Ukraine?
— First of all, attention should be paid to issues related to cybersecurity. In this regard, measures are being taken to protect all critical infrastructure facilities. The notorious Petya.A virus resulted in the suspension of business and activities of even a number of Government agencies, energy and infrastructure companies, and all of them are important elements, without which it is impossible to imagine modern life.
Another trend is data transfer, accumulation, use and distribution. Unfortunately, Ukraine currently ignores this issue. There is personal data protection legislation, there is an oversight agency, but in general everything does not look serious and comes down to formalism: there must be internal documents regulating the processing and storage of personal data, existence of written consent to their processing — and that's all, real protection is not an issue, and that's disturbing.
We leave personal and sensitive data (for example, about health) everywhere, if we speak in the telemedicine context.
In Ukraine, two mobile operators announced their intentions to commoditize big data.
I'll explain the possible the consequences by using an example. In Germany, where national legislation is strict enough regarding the processing, transfer and storage of personal data, some company conducted an experiment: after receiving anonymized encrypted data from big data, it applied it to a certain program which, using open information from social networks, was able to compare and, as a result, to identify specific persons, including public people, and their personal activity.
In the absence of proper understanding of what challenges this provides, how we can be protected, as commercialization of big data is far from being the best idea.
Sure, business would like to use this data. A complete ban is the wrong approach. But it is necessary to think carefully about how to allow this in order to maintain a balance of interests. The EU’s experience should probably be studied. That is, the European Commission adopted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), significantly strengthening legislation in the field of data protection and its turnover.
— Another acute issue relates to cryptocurrencies. What should Ukraine do with them? Regulate, equate to investment documents or prohibit completely?
— I would not like to exaggerate the role of cryptotechnologies in our world. Yes, they rushed into public relations, but they are unlikely to replace everything.
As cryptocurrencies already exist and they are used, certainly, there is a need to define what they are, and to establish basic rules of their circulation. The need to regulate a great deal in detail is the question. At least Ukraine needs to resolve the status of cryptocurrencies in civilian circulation.
— What challenges can lawyers face in connection with the development of technologies? Is it worth studying the law right now. or will robots replace a section of lawyers?
— There is hardly any need for such a number of lawyers as we have today. Especially in Ukraine, where there is a surplus of specialists of various levels. Robotics already perform some legal functions, and future programs will be more and more perfect. But someone should create, control and fill these products, and they are not just techies.
There are still no regulations on the development of artificial intelligence, as there is no regulations on certain other new technologies. The question is a rather philosophical one: will humanity want to replace itself with artificial intelligence and come under its control? In general (though people behave often irrationally, but still) there is hope.
In my opinion, talking about complete replacement of lawyers with technologies (I mean artificial intelligence here) is not quite justified in the near future.
Simple technical legal functions are replaced very quickly. The rest is not fact. But lawyers will not be an exception if the whole world and all spheres are pervaded with technologies. The intellectual work of lawyers will be replaced with artificial intelligence as quickly as other spheres of public relations, requiring not so much the application of logic as many other qualities.