It is increasingly common to hear about new technologies such as the metaverse, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, artificial intelligence, etc. And with the emergence of these new terms, doubts about their operation also begin to appear.
Among them, the legal aspect of these inventions is key: why would you invest in cryptocurrencies without even knowing if it is possible to use them legally? o How can I respond to the growing number of computer crimes? What rights do I have as a user and holder of my personal data? Some of this work begins in universities, where the lawyers of the future are trained to help create a safer environment in the new computing worlds.
What used to take decades, such as technological innovations, today is counted in years or months. Societies are advancing by leaps and bounds and the legal profession cannot be oblivious to it. The term “advocacy” comes from the Latin expression “ad auxilium vocatus” (“the called to help”), so, If we want to correctly fulfill our role of advising and representing the interests of clients in the law, we need to adapt to new technologies. Even though laws take time to appear and regulate new realities, from our role as educators in UADE We try to anticipate the future so that when our students have the tools that the market demands.
Steps. These paradigm shifts bring new challenges to society and the profession. One of them is the protection of personal data: today our conduct is recorded somewhere, even when we are not aware of it. Our life is in a parallel world called the internet, which has deepened with the appearance of social networks and now the Metaverse, for example. The countries concerned about this reality regulate the information obtained from individuals, as well as its protection and use. What kind of information can I keep from a third party? What happens if there is an information leak? Do I have to report it? These are various questions that are often raised and future lawyers must know how to answer.
In our country there is Law 25,326 on the protection of personal data that establishes obligations for those who store the data of third parties and is based on the consent of the person. In addition, internal procedures must be established to protect the information and its violation may be sanctioned. Similarly, the law dates back many years and must be updated to new realities. As we live in a globalized world, it is also important to analyze and study the laws of other jurisdictions, such as the European Union, where they have more robust regulations that directly impact our country.
Many of the crimes that used to be committed in person are now committed through the Internet, since it allows criminals anonymity from anywhere in the world and at a low cost-benefit. Before someone entered your house to rob you, when today it is much more common and beneficial for criminals to enter your PC or cell phone and take private information, as well as money from your account from anywhere in the world.
Training. Another detail to keep in mind is that criminals are usually advanced in techniques and technology, which is why it is a challenge for security forces and prosecutors that have limited financial resources. However, the country is creating specialized prosecutors with adequate tools and training them in the use of blockchain and cryptoactives, widely used in the so-called “ramsonware” (malicious program that encrypts databases in exchange for a sum of cryptocurrencies). However, the laws also struggle with this problem at a disadvantage. For example, the so-called “revenge porn” or publication without consent of private images, nor identity theft normally used to commit fraud, has not yet been punished as a crime.
During 2021, and according to a report published in February 2022 by the CERT.AR (National Computer Emergency Response Team), there was an increase in cybercrimes of 261.5% compared to 2020. It should be clarified that these data derive from the notices and complaints made by people to the body, so there are possibilities that the numbers are even higher. Taking into account these data (which due to technological progress are surely increasing), It will be crucial that in any professional field there are people with knowledge of new technologies.
From our place, it is important that we ensure that students can put all this information into practice. Whether doing internships in leading companies in technological innovation, or applying modern cases in the study of “traditional” subjects such as Criminal Law or Private Law. We believe that the concept of technology should be transversal throughout the Law career.
Without a doubt, technology is part of students’ daily lives, so we must be sensitive to this new reality and teach them in the same language that companies and the world speak.. If the career they decide to study does not adapt to the new paradigms, not only does it cease to be competitive in the market, but also young people lose interest.
Nicolas Durrieu is the dean in charge of the Faculty of Legal and Social Sciences at UADE.