Latest news

We have collated here the most important developments in 2020. This page was last updated on 2 December 2020. To receive our blogs directly into your inbox sign up here.

The AI Law Consultancy’s Twitter feed is @AILawHub


AI Barometer” (18 June 2020)

“Snapshot Paper – Facial Recognition Technology” (28 May 2020)

“Review into bias in algorithmic decision-making” (November 2020).


The ICO published new guidance entitled, “Explaining decisions made with AI” in May 2020.

Council of Europe

“Recommendation CM/Rec(2020)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the human rights impacts of algorithmic systems” (April 2020)

European Commission

“White Paper: On Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust” (February 2020).

Report on the safety and liability implications of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and robotics” (February 2020).

Our blog on these reports is available here.

Inception Impact Assessment which sets out various proposals for regulation to be implemented in the first quarter of 2021.

Podcast featuring Robert Spano

Robert Spano, who recently commenced his tenure as President of the European Court of Human Right, discusses AI, automated decision making and regulation in this podcast


A national AI strategy was published in May 2020 – “National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence” and is available here.


Matthew Ryder QC and Edward Craven from Matrix, along with Ravi Naik solicitor and legal director AWO, a new data rights agency, and Gayatri Sarathy of Blackstone chambers, were instructed by Open Society Foundation to provide a legal opinion on smartphone contact tracing and other data driven proposals that are part of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Doctors are using AI to triage covid-19 patients. The tools may be here to stay”, MIT, 23 April 2020.

“We need mass surveillance to fight covid-19 – but it doesn’t have to be creepy”, MIT, 12 April 2020.

“We mapped how the coronavirus is driving new surveillance programmes around the world”, OneZero, 9 April 2020.

“Automated decision-making systems and the fight against Covid-19”, Algorithm Watch, 2 April 2020.

Facial Recognition Technology

WEF, “A Framework for Responsible Limits on Facial Recognition Use Case: Flow Management” (March 2020).

Scottish Parliament, “Facial recognition: how policing in Scotland makes use of this technology” (February 2020).

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (AIPPG) was established in January 2017 with the aim of exploring the impact and implications of AI. It has published many reports including a July 2020 document entitled, “Face and Emotion Recognition: How can regulation protect citizens and their privacy?” which touches upon the use of biometric data in recruitment.

Inventory of ethical standards

At the end of April 2020, Algorithm Watch produced an incredibly detailed AI Ethics Guidelines Global Inventory.

AI auditing tools and papers

Ada Lovelace Institute, “Examining the Black Box: Tools for Assessing Algorithmic Systems” (April 2020).

Institute for the Future of Work, “Artificial Intelligence in hiring: Assessing impacts on Equality” (April 2020).

PWC, “Responsible AI Tool Kit” (April 2020).

Microsoft researchers, “Co-Designing Checklists to Understand Organizational Challenges and Opportunities around Fairness in AI” (April 2020).

ICO, “ICO consultation on the draft AI auditing framework guidance for organisations” (February 2020).

Academic papers

“The explanation game: a formal framework for interpretable machine learning”, David S. Watson & Luciano Floridi (April 2020).

“How to Design AI for Social Good: Seven Essential Factors”, Luciano Floridi, Josh Cowls, Thomas C. King & Mariarosaria Taddeo (April 2020).

“Strengthening legal protection against discrimination by algorithms and artificial intelligence”, Frederik J. Zuiderveen Borgesius (March 2020).

“Why Fairness Cannot Be Automated: Bridging the Gap Between EU Non-Discrimination Law and AI”, Sandra Wachter, Brent Mittelstadt & Chris Russell (March 2020).

AI in the workplace

TUC report “Technology managing people: The worker experience” (November 2020).

ACAS, “My boss the algorithm: an ethical look at algorithms in the workplace” (March 2020).

Our blog on Facial Recognition Technology in the workplace is also available here.

Our new page looking at the interplay between AI and recruitment was also launched on 5 May 2010 alongside a video with the TUC.

AI in the public sector

RUSI, “Data Analytics and Algorithms in Policing in England and Wales: Towards A New Policy Framework”, Alexander Babuta and Marion Oswald (February 2020).

The Committee on Standards in Public Life, “Artificial Intelligence and Public Standards A Review by the Committee on Standards in Public Life” (February 2020)

Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW)

“Artificial intelligence in hiring: Assessing impacts on equality”, April 2020.

“Machine learning case studies”, February 2020.

An Accountability for Algorithms Act”, November 2020.

Case law

Facebook (June 2020): German Federal Court reinstates case concerning the anti-competitive nature of Facebook’s use of personal data. Our English translation of the German language press release from the court follows –

The lack of choice for Facebook users not only affects their personal autonomy but also the protection of their right to informational self-determination, which is also protected by the GDPR.  Against the background of high hurdles to change that exist for the users of the network (“lock-in effects”), it also represents an exploitation of the users that is relevant under antitrust law, because the competition is no longer effective due to Facebook’s dominant position . According to the findings of the Federal Cartel Office, significant parts of private Facebook users want a lower level of disclosure of personal information. If the competition in the social network market works, a corresponding offer would be expected. This could be used by users for whom the scope of the data disclosure would be an essential decision criterion.

The terms of use designed in this way are also liableto hinder competition. Facebook’s market position is primarily characterized by direct network effects, since the benefits of the network for private users and for advertising companies increase with the total number of people connected to the network. Facebook’s market position can only be successfully attacked if a competitor succeeds in winning a sufficient number of users in a reasonable time for the attractiveness of the network. However, access to data is not only an important competitive parameter in the advertising market, but also in the social network market. Facebook’s access to a significantly larger database reinforces this. In addition, this larger database improves the possibilities of financing the social network with the proceeds from advertising contracts, which also depend on the scope and quality of the data available. Finally, due to the negative effects on competition for advertising contracts, an impairment of the market for online advertising cannot be ruled out. Contrary to the opinion of the appeal court, there is no need to establish that there is an independent market for online advertising for social media and that Facebook also has a dominant position in this market. The impairment does not have to occur on the controlled market, but can also occur on an uncontrolled third market. In addition, this larger database improves the possibilities of financing the social network with the proceeds from advertising contracts, which also depend on the scope and quality of the data available. 

Parcoursup (April 2020): France’s Constitutional Council (Le Conseil Constitutionnel) handed down its long-awaited decision concerning the lawfulness of a national algorithmic platform that assists educational establishments to select students and assign them to undergraduate courses in an equitable way. 

Sandvig v Barr (March 2020): US case rules that research aimed at uncovering whether online algorithms result in discrimination do not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

SyRI (February 2020): The Court of the Hague that the Government’s use of SyRI breached the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.