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How far is the internet colliding with the law?

August 2018 - Employment. Legal Developments by Hudson McKenzie.

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With innovation, comes the need for new adaptation. Law must continually adapt with the inventions and development of mankind to keep order, withhold ethics or resolve conflict.

With innovation, comes the need for new adaptation. Law must continually adapt with the inventions and development of mankind to keep order, withhold ethics or resolve conflict.

There is, however, a buffer period in the middle of a new idea surfacing and a new law being created around said idea. However, how detrimental can this gap between developments be for mankind as a whole?

During this period, there can be loopholes for some activity that people can take advantage of, or that seem unfair in comparison to other rulings in place. Is this because the development of technology is overriding the development of fundamental law?

For example, employers may incur misdemeanors during the employment process if they are found to discriminate against someone’s race, gender, and isn’t allowed to ask about religious affiliation or sexuality.

They can however decline hiring someone based on their LinkedIn not matching the information on their Facebooks, if a computer algorithm deems them to be “socially undesirable,” and can refuse providing loans based on the track record of their Facebook friends.

The criteria that can be discriminated against are aspects that would not affect the skills of an individual in the workplace, making them unfair and unreasonable reasons to discriminate, on par with the other aspects employers are not allowed to judge. Hence, it would be expected to be dealt with similar legal repercussions, regarding the discrimination faced from a technological perspective and the use of social media.

However, at present, that isn’t the case. Since the internet is continually developing since its inception in the 1980s, it may become evident that several sectors, such as law, are struggling to keep up to date with the changes.

If you would like to discuss this article further or have any general legal inquiries, please contact one of our highly qualified solicitors on 020 3318 5794 or via email at londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com

Author: Annaliese Druitt