Three Common Legal Issues from the Tech World

In the UK, the tech sector employs over 1.7 million people and is expected to create an additional 678,000 jobs by 2025, making it a significant driver of economic growth and opportunity and the industry with perhaps the greatest potential when it comes to the immediate future. Innovation is the lifeblood of the sector and with a generation of digital natives now leaving University, we’re poised to enter a new golden era for technology in the UK.

However, with all this growth and innovation also comes the legal challenges and loopholes that tech companies must navigate to ensure their success alongside compliance with the law. Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law could seriously complicate and derail even the most ambitious of tech companies.

Data Privacy and Security

We are entering the data age where data will officially be worth more than money. But with the ever-increasing amounts of data being collected and processed by businesses, data privacy and security have never been more important. Laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impose strict requirements on how businesses collect, store, and use customer data and failure to comply with these regulations can lead to significant fines and legal consequences.

Under GDPR, companies must provide transparency about data collection and usage, obtain explicit consent from individuals, and ensure the security of the data. Non-compliance can result in fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is higher. So, tech companies must invest in data privacy and consult with experts in the field if they’re even remotely unsure about where they stand.

Cybersecurity and Data Breaches

As technology advances, so do cyber threats and cybercrime in the 21st century is arguably even more devastating than its physical counterpart. No matter the size, all businesses with an internet connection are vulnerable to data breaches, hacking, and other cyberattacks and when companies fail to adequately protect customer or employee data, it can lead to some serious legal problems.

The consequences of a data breach can include everything from legal liabilities to reputational damage and catastrophic financial losses. Indeed, the global average cost of a data breach currently sits at over $4 million! To prevent data breaches and cybersecurity-related legal issues, tech companies should implement comprehensive cybersecurity measures including regular security audits, employee training, and encryption.

Intellectual Property Rights

Technology-driven businesses often create and rely on intellectual property (IP), such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, as their bread and butter. Without IP, a company such as Apple or Microsoft would be nothing so protecting these valuable assets and respecting the intellectual property rights of others is key.

Trademark infringement is a common legal issue in the tech industry so companies must ensure that their branding and product names do not infringe on existing trademarks. Failing to do so can result in legal disputes, financial penalties, and lasting damage to your reputation that can be almost impossible to claw back. To avoid the risk of IP-related legal issues, innovative tech companies should always conduct thorough searches, secure the appropriate licenses and permissions, and establish safeguards to protect their creations.



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