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Tech Legal Outlook – 2022 Mid-Year Update

Explore the key global trends in the technology sector 

2021 was a year of record-breaking tech growth – one of record global tech investment, deal-making, and unicorns. While this momentum carried through to the first quarter of 2022, as the months pass, geopolitical tensions, macroeconomic turbulence, and regulatory change are impacting the tech sector.  Global stocks have fallen, and investors are scaling back investment in private markets.

Yet technology remains critical to organisations as they adapt to a changing world and invest in a digital and more sustainable future. Businesses are seeking to leverage technologies such as AI and the first movers are pursuing strategies for the metaverse.

Growing business and consumer demand for technology and data continue to drive investment in tech companies with strong fundamentals.

We explore the key global trends in the technology sector that we believe will shape the legal outlook for businesses in 2022 and beyond.  

 

Outlook Spotlight

Click the buttons below to view the highlights from the publication

 

 

Tipped as the next iteration of the internet, the vision of the metaverse is to combine the physical and digital worlds to create a fully immersive experience where users will spend much of their lives. Use cases include everything we use the internet for today and more, with estimates for the target addressable market ranging from $1 trillion to $13 trillion: a market with far too much potential to ignore. Yet, the metaverse brings a number of inherent and novel risks to be tackled.

Read more in our full report here.

Global markets continue to be impacted by rulemaking that seeks to decouple the US and China’s technological dependences. However, it remains to be seen whether fully severing tech supply chains, and investment and financing channels between these superpowers is sustainable, or even feasible, as systematic links exist in parallel to any perceived issues.

Read more in our full report here.

Net zero tech attracted record investment in 2021 and funding was up nearly 70% in Q1 of 2022 compared to Q1 of 2021. There are strong tailwinds driving demand for net zero tech and even with significant geopolitical and macroeconomic headwinds, we expect to see significant investment in net zero tech.

Read more in our full report here.

Workplace activism is not a new concept, but one which has been amplified in recent times by societal, political, and environmental movements and the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is increasingly becoming a defining feature of the workplace – particularly for the tech sector which has been fertile ground for cases of high-profile activism over the years.

Read more in our full report here.
 

The increasingly interventionist approach to regulating the digital economy has been building. 2022 has seen, however, a major plank of those efforts crystalise with the finalisation of platform regulation in the EU and reform on the horizon in other major jurisdictions.

Read more in our full report here.

For several years, societies have debated how to regulate the online platforms that host huge volumes of content created by their users. Until now, social media platforms, search engines and messaging platforms have been regulated via an intermittent patchwork of discrete laws in various countries and a raft of self-regulatory initiatives. But, after a long incubation period, the second half of 2022 should see the finalisation of two of the most ambitious and holistic regulatory regimes for online harms: the UK’s Online Safety Bill (OSB); and the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA). These laws share common objectives for a mandatory content regulation framework, but have key differences in execution and scope.

Read more in our full report here.

As businesses increasingly seek to leverage the huge potential of AI including for improved customer engagement and operational efficiencies, lawmakers and regulators across the globe are considering how to address the novel legal and ethical challenges it raises. The past five years have seen developments in guidance and soft law, and more recently proposals for AI-specific legislation and regulation. Different approaches are emerging as key economies seek to balance fostering innovation against protecting consumers and markets from the potentially negative outcomes of machine-made decisions.

Read more in our full report here.

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