Evolving data protection law could boost cyber policies
Data breaches are set to become more costly. The proposed new European Data Protection Regulation is expected to bring mandatory breach notification requirements. Before then, regulators and the courts are increasingly looking to companies to take action to protect or compensate individuals who suffer the misuse or loss of their personal data. This could well prove a boon for standalone cyber insurance policies, reinforcing the need for this emerging class of insurance, but insurers of other classes also need to review their existing policies as to how they might respond to a potential flood of claims for data breaches and privacy infringements against their policyholders.
This is the year for big media and IP decisions
The next year is likely, finally, to see some cases under the Defamation Act 2013. How should the ‘seriousness threshold’ be applied? How far does the ‘public interest’ defence go? These may well be questions the courts are asked to address. Within the intellectual property world, brands seem to be more ready to protect their trademarks and copyright, with the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in London going from strength to strength. The big theme for the future remains finding a coherent and efficient way of cross-border enforcement, but that is still some way off.
Wearable devices herald fresh liabilities for insurers
Wearable devices, with their ability to record almost every aspect of our waking and sleeping lives, will bring with them a host of previously unconsidered liability scenarios for insurers to think about. For example, employees will be able to record audio and video of colleagues; devices will distract motorists; privacy liabilities associated with data recorded by the device will require consideration, as will intellectual property breaches as a result of recording commercial events. The launch of the Apple Watch in 2015 has finally brought this latest innovation to the mainstream consumer. If previous Apple devices are a sign of things to come, our initial scepticism will soon be replaced with a question as to how we ever lived without our wearable devices or doubted the prospect of these potential liabilities.