That was the Month that Was: November 2019

3 November 

Right to Privacy ‘may exist on paper’ but not in online ‘Wild West’ says UK Joint Committee on Human Rights in paper on Right to Privacy (Article 8) and the Digital Revolution.

4 November

US Suffolk Law School issues release about Spot which ‘is an issue spotter. Give Spot a non-lawyer’s description of a situation, and it returns a list of likely issues from the National Subject Matter Index (NSMI), Version 2.’

7 November 

US National Center for State Courts reports on the 2019 International ODR Forum with a handy summary of developments in Utah, Ohio, Singapore, Connecticut, Brazil with discussions of various key issues including AI. The final word, as ever, went to the globe-trotting Richard Susskind.

Digital Trends reports on twitter that ‘the Pentagon can identify you by your heartbeat from 200 yards away’.

10 November

Publication of ‘Community Legal Centres in the Digital Era: the Use of Digital Technologies in Queensland Community Legal Cetnres’ by Stebin Sam and Ashley Pearson. Reported at

UK Ministry of Justice doles out another parcel of technology money. This time it is £2m for ‘digital transformation’ to Tech Nation a ‘scale-up network for tech entrepreneurs’.

11 November

‘ AI can predict if you’ll die soon – but we have no idea how it works’, says New Scientist.

13 November

Bank of America Merrill Lynch report suggests that ‘around 800 million jobs could disappear worldwide by the year 2035’ through automation.

14 November

Bureau of Investigative Journalism fears that ‘A new algorithmic tool for categorising prisoners in UK jails risks automating and embedding racism in the system’. ‘The digital prisoner categorisation tool was first developed by Deloitte, which won a tender in December 2017 to “identify possible methods to automate the categorisation and allocation of prisoners decision-making process, and improve data sharing across the criminal justice system”. The goal included “developing a more data rich process … aligned to the MoJ objective of becoming a more data-driven department.”’

18 November

Citizens Advice opens a new Innovation Lab. ‘We test ideas and concepts suggested by people from an ever increasing network as possible ways for us to support our clients better. In 2020 we will be crowdsourcing ideas from across Citizens Advice. We work in rapid 2–4 week experiments where we research, prototype and incubate solutions, testing them to gather data on what could work for our clients and volunteers, and what won’t.’

BC Civil Resolution Chair Shannon Salter talks on podcast Law Technology Now about ODR.

19 November

Controversy breaks over UK Conservative Party’s false flag operation in ‘temporary rebrand’ as FactCheckUK.

22 November

The ever-exuberant Joshua Browder tweets: ‘Exciting news! DoNotPay can now scan all Terms of Service and Credit Card agreements! It can warn you of terms like “forced arbitration” and even opt you out. Finally, it will even claim hidden benefits (like a insurance policy with your credit card).’

24 November

Tim Berners-Lee, father of the world wide web, launches a campaign to save it.

28 November

One time enfant terrible of the English legal education scene, Professor Nigel Savage, returns to announce an online law school for the proposed new qualification exam for solicitors in England and Wales. The former head of Nottingham Law School and the College of Law will head up the College of Legal Practice, a subsidiary of the Australian College of Law, to rival current providers.

‘European Commission’s new president pledges action on AI’, calling for GDPR style legislation, reports ITPro.

29 November

Doteveryone updates its Ethical Tech Directory. ‘There’s a lot of good work being done in ethical and responsible tech today, so we’re making this directory to help more people find out about the growing number of initiatives and their impact.’


Picture by Stux from Pixabay.

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