23 Juin 2014 Big data in a global world
On June 5 & 6, 2014, the conference of IFCLA (the international federation of computer law associations) took place in Anvers (Belgium). This event takes place every two years and is a unique opportunity to share experience with other lawyers from all over the world, whether they work in-house or in private practice.
I have moderated one of the sessions dedicated to the Big Data, when other sessions were also directed to this issue, which higlights the practical importance of the subject.
The questions raised on Big Data are but a few. They are not totally solved, but it is possible to foresee some solutions. The hot issue seems to be at the moment the compatibility of the business practices with the privacy laws in Europe. At any rate, the global actors (US ones, but they are not alone) take the subject very seriously. As the saying goes, Big Data is the future black gold.
We have also talked about SaaS practices, and cloud contracts, and the way contracts and terms & conditions should be drafted. As usual, the US legal landscape is ahead of the way, and this type of conferences is a way to share best practices. With a huge warning : some US practices will not resist the court test in Europe. So our constant struggle to explain to US lawyers that, yes, US dominates the world, but the US legal framework is not to be translated as such (believe me, some big actors tend to impose their Ts & Cs without any « French Touch »).
Other workshops were directed to more specific issues (which can be of interest for some actors of the IT sector, such as software vendors and/or integrators, or internet service providers) : online gambling, cybercrime, the finance sector.
So a necessary (and pleasant) time to spend with fellow lawyers. One slight regret : even if it was in Anvers, so with a 2-hour trip Thalys from Paris only, French lawyers were only a handful.