For many, the legal industry is something old and traditional. But this can’t be further from the truth. The legal industry is constantly evolving in order to adapt to new practices and technologies. The way it changes also affects the way people do business, especially when it comes to risk management.
Businesses have encountered plenty of challenges in the past few years, and they continue to do so as 2022 ends. In 2023, these challenges may amp up a little since there are plenty of issues the law needs to catch up on. Two of the main issues the legal industry is going to tackle this 2023 are data privacy, starting from the California Privacy Rights Act, and intellectual property, in light of the rise of artificial intelligence use.
New Data Privacy Laws
On January 1, 2023, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) will start to take effect. It’s expected to reshape the U.S. data privacy landscape. The CPRA is a beast that is set to make U.S. privacy laws more complicated. This law mandates policies that will give consumers the right to access and delete their data to prevent businesses from selling their information. CPRA is expected to take the nation by storm as it’s already been followed by plenty of other states, such as Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia.
However, as mentioned, the law can be a bit confusing because its definition of personal information is broad and it’s the first of its kind in the country. In the existing California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), consumers have the right to access their personal information and prevent it from being sold. The CPRA, however, extends the consumers’ right to request deletion. Once the act takes effect, the businesses it covers need to extend the same rights to their employees. But, it will not apply to personal information collected in job applications. This can become a source of compliance logistical issues in 2023, especially for companies that collect large amounts of data from workers.
More Debates on Intellectual Property Law
2023 will most probably be a challenge for tech companies that create generative AI programs. This year we’ve already seen a massive influx of AI tools, including predictive marketing that endangers consumers’ privacy rights and AI programs that generate illustrations, which are considered a violation of U.S. copyright law by artists in particular. There have been repeated efforts to have AI named as an inventor and it’s continuously being shut down by the court. Questions surrounding its ethics and legality are starting to come up.
There’s a possibility for courts to start looking into this intellectual property issue in 2023. Questions over authorship will be heavily debated in order to define the difference between transformative and infringing, given that a machine is not eligible to become an author as per the U.S. Copyright Office. With these unanswered questions, it’s already pushing the law to its limits, so there’s more possibility for state and federal-level intellectual property laws to be revisited in 2023 in order to protect everyone affected by the issue. At the same time, tech companies will likely address the issue by voluntarily giving consumers, particularly creatives, the option to opt-out, just so they can minimize the risk of facing liabilities when the law catches up on the issue.
David Clark, a trial lawyer, and partner at The Clark Law Office. David is a seasoned attorney working in the legal industry for more than 35 years, practicing in the state of Michigan and throughout the United States.