By: Kimberly A. Houser[*] and W. Gregory Voss[**]
Much has been written about the difference in the privacy laws of the European Union and the United States and ideologies behind the two regimes. One risk of the increasing divergence in views on privacy is the potential halting of data transfers from the European Union to the United States by the European Commission (EC). As data is a significant driver of the world economy, special care must be taken both to ensure that data is able to cross borders easily, and individuals’ rights to data protection are respected.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) prohibits the transfer of personal data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) to countries without “adequate” privacy protections. As the United States is considered to have insufficient protections, the EC requires that an approved mechanism, such as the Privacy Shield—its agreement with the United States that permits U.S. companies to self-certify that they will meet certain minimum privacy protections—be used for such transfers. Alternative mechanisms include standard contractual clauses (SCCs). Suspension of any one approved mechanism may call into question the legitimacy of the others.
Continue reading “The European Commission on the Privacy Shield: All Bark and No Bite?”
By Michael Medved
In early 2009 the United States, along with the rest of the world, was facing the largest financial crisis capitalism had endured since the Great Depression. Later research uncovered that this crisis mostly occurred due to banking institutions, rating agencies, and insurers undervaluing the risk of debtor’s becoming insolvent when banks in effect became their creditors through their offering of new “structured asset-backed securities.” As it turned out, the “assets” that backed these offerings were not as viable as the “Triple A” rating given to them made it seem. The practical result of the crisis was that these banks, which stored the vast majority of American family’s financial resources, were at a risk of becoming insolvent themselves. The same went for the insurers who insured these banks. Faced without any viable alternative, the government was forced to use citizen tax dollars to bail the banks out of impending insolvency. Eventually, financial markets mostly recovered. Looking back, it has been argued that it was the bankers’ fault for being too greedy, the government’s fault for having a lack of oversight, or even the American public’s fault for being uneducated when taking on these obligations. In practical matters, a combination of these factors caused the crisis. The banks failed, and it was the American citizens who had to pay for their failure to save capitalism from collapsing.
Continue reading “The Bitcoin Problem: An Impending Dilemma for Bankruptcy Courts”
By Zihui (Katt) Gu[+]
On September 3, 2018, the “Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Cases by Internet Courts” (hereinafter Provisions) was adopted at the 1747th session of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People’s Court, which, for the first time, provides a comprehensive guidance on the trial process of the Internet Court from perspectives such as the scope of jurisdiction, mode of trial, acceptance of evidence, and rules of procedure. Undoubtedly, the promulgation of this regulation will play an important role in regulating the litigation activities of Internet Courts, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of parties and other litigants, and ensuring fair and efficient trials of cases. As the most talked-about topic in 2017, blockchain technology has also been recognized in the Provisions as an eligible means to preserve evidence. Subsection 6, Article 11 of the Provisions, stipulate that, “if the authenticity of electronic data submitted by the parties can be proved through electronic signature, trusted time stamp, hash value check, blockchain, and other tamper-proof, technical evidence collection and preservation method or through electronic evidence collection and preservation platform, the Internet court should confirm its authenticity.”
Continue reading “Blockchain-Based Evidence Preservation: Opportunities and Concerns”