The explosion of technological advances in business creates many benefits for businesses and consumers.
Technology also helps any business reach a broad audience.
Thanks to technology, checking account balances, reaching out to a friend across the world, and making purchases are now more convenient than ever. However, the use of these modern conveniences brings questions regarding limitations of privacy, protection, and innovation.
The fast-paced field of technology law governs this acquisition of private information, protection of ideas, and new platforms emerging in the ever-evolving world of technological advances.
What Are the Focuses of Technology Law?
Technology law mainly focuses on the following categories.
Intellectual property rights are an area within the field of technology law focusing on intangible property like patents, ideas, copyrights, and trade secrets.
Intellectual property rights determine how patents, ideas, copyrights, and trade secrets are disseminated, along with how profits are divided amongst parties.
One of the main focuses of technology law centers on the gathering, storing, disseminating, and using of information acquired through the use of technology.
This area of technology law includes consumer privacy, cybercrime, and government surveillance.
Digital Media and Entertainment
Digital entertainment in technology law encompasses the world of gaming and how technology laws impact the use of gaming. Digital media includes the use of social networking sites, online distribution channels, and streaming services for music, television, and movies.
This fast-paced field within technology law is continuously changing as new platforms offer new services for consumers.
Software licensing focuses on the innovation of computer software. A software license governs the use and redistribution of software. Upon purchasing computer software, a consumer must agree to certain conditions before gaining permission for its use.
The license agreement provides detailed information about copying, modifying, or redistributing the software. A software license will also govern the areas of software updates, troubleshooting, and warranties related to the software.
What Is a Technology Lawyer?
Technology lawyers focus their practice on laws governing the field of technology and its uses within the government sector and the private sector.
Technology attorneys in the government sector help to draft, create, and enforce technology laws on a federal and state level. Tec hnology lawyers in the government sector aid in the creation and enforcement of technology laws. Technology law in the government sector focuses on privacy rights and intellectual property.
Private-sector technology lawyers are those that help businesses understand and plan for any technological issues that may arise. Technology lawyers also counsel companies on the rights and obligations existing at the state and federal level when using technology.
These rights and obligations specifically concern the privacy of information acquired from customers and individuals using the services and products of these private companies.
Sources of Technology Law
The majority of technology law is governed in the United States by federal laws, though state and international laws may apply as well.
Federal Technology Law
Federal regulations dictate how companies may use and disseminate any information acquired through technology. Federal laws also dictate how the government itself may use, store, and distribute information obtained through technology.
Federal technology legislation that impacts information acquired through technology includes the following acts.
Privacy Act of 1974
The Privacy Act of 1974 established a code governing the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of information stored by federal agencies.
It provides individuals with the right to request their records, request changes in records if the information is not accurate, and protection against invasion of privacy from the collection, maintenance, use, and storing of personal information.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
This act establishes a code for physical and electrical surveillance in addition to the collection of foreign information.
This act controls the information collected by financial institutions and requires those financial institutions to disclose to consumers where the information is stored, how it is acquired, and how it is used.
Homeland Security Act of 2002
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 was established in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Act establishes a group of departments, including the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD). The mission of the department is to collaborate with private, government, military, and intelligence shareholders to calculate risks and reduce threats to civilians and government operations.
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act established many facets of information gathering within the intelligence community.
Regarding technology law, the Act ensures that the use of technologies does not compromise privacy protections related to gathering, disseminating, and storing personal information.
State Technology Laws
State laws also govern areas of technology law, specifically within criminal and civil law. For example, many states have laws that prohibit the use of a computer to commit a crime.
Additionally, some states have incorporated laws banning the use of computers to intimidate or harass another person. Improper access and use of credit cards or financial information are examples of other laws that states have incorporated to protect individuals.
State laws are also consistently toeing the line between state regulations and constitutional issues as use of speech on electronic platforms, which potentially implicates First Amendment rights, continues to increase.
International Technology Law
International laws also come into play to govern the borderless capabilities of technology. Drafting and implementing international treaties and agreements governing technology use require cooperation and collaboration between foreign governments and foreign companies.
Do You Need a Technology Lawyer?
In the rapidly evolving world of technology law, it can be easy to be left behind. As a business, proper collection, storing, and disseminating of any private customer information is complicated and fast-paced.
BrewerLong is a Florida business firm specializing in helping small to medium businesses in the field of technology law.
BrewerLong focuses on intellectual property protection and licensing, as well as serving as general counsel for various technology and information technology companies. Contact BrewerLong to speak with an experienced technology lawyer today!