Compliance: at the moment

Oct. 23, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

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Compliance: at the moment

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Compliance: at the moment

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Compliance: at the moment

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Compliance: at the moment

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Compliance: at the moment

Oct. 7, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

Oct. 5, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

Oct. 3, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

Sept. 10, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

  La lecture de la ➡️📝 Convention judiciaire d'intérêt public signée le 26 août 2021 par le procureur de la République financier près le tribunal judiciaire de Paris et la filiale française de la banque d'affaire américaine JP Morgan, validée par l'➡️📝Ordonnance rendue par le Président du Tribunal judiciaire de Paris du 2 septembre 2021, est instructive à plusieurs titres.

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On peut la lire sur le fond et au regard croisé du droit fiscal et du droit des sociétés, entre l'abus de droit et le montage, puisque les faits reprochés concernant un montage très sophistiqué élaboré par les cadres de l'entreprise Wendel ayant abouti à n'être pas soumis à une taxation immédiate, ce à l'égard de quoi l'administration fiscale a réagi en demandant la condamnation des intérêts pour fraude fiscale. 

Prenons plutôt du côté de la Convention judiciaire d'intérêt public (CJIP). Elle résulte de discussion entre le Parquet national financier et la banque d'affaire qui a conseillé les cadres dirigeants de Wendel dans "la phase finale des discussions avec les concepteurs de l'opération" et qui a prêté les fonds.

Celle-ci souligne qu'elle n'était pas partie prenante dans le montage et qu'on lui avait soutenu que le risque de requalification en abus de droit était relativement faible. Qu'il ne convient pas de prononcer d'amende à son endroit, puisqu'elle n'a quant à elle tiré aucun profit fiscal de tout cela.

Le ministère public estime que, même si la banque n'a pas été impliquée dans la construction de l'opération, il faut retenir la qualification pénale de "complicité de fraude fiscale par fourniture de moyens".

Il passe donc directement au calcul de l'amende d'intérêt public : il le calcule, selon les termes de l'article 41-1-2 du Code de procédure pénale qui se réfère aux "avantages tirés des manquements", et ce dans la limite de 30% du chiffre d'affaires!footnote-2123

 

I. LE MANIEMENT DU PRINCIPE DE PROPORTIONNALITE DANS LE CALCUL DE L'AMENDE D'INTERET PUBLIC

Le principe de proportionnalité a un rôle central dans le Droit de la compliance. Il requiert que les différents instruments, par exemple les punitions, soient non pas tant limités mais au contraire utilisés pour atteindre efficacement leur but, par exemple dissuader les auteurs de recommencer et les opérateurs qui observent la sanction d'en être dissuadés pareillement (sur le principe de proportionnalité comme technique d'efficacité de la Compliance, v. Frison-Roche, M.-A., ➡️📝Proportionnalité et Compliance, 2021) : c'est pourquoi l'amende d'intérêt public doit être proportionnée à l'avantage retiré du manquement.

Puisque la Convention judiciaire d'intérêt public a pour but de clore l'affaire avant sa phase proprement juridique, le procureur n'étant pas un juge, elle n'a pas pour fonction principale de punir mais de réparer le dommage causé à la société et aux victimes et d'améliorer la situation à l'avenir par la technique du programme de compliance, en évitant le coût de la procédure. Ainsi la Convention judiciaire d'intérêt public fut présentée comme une sophistication du pouvoir d'opportunité des poursuite, le procureur maniant toujours son pouvoir de poursuivre, et donc aussi de ne pas poursuite, sans entamer l'apanage du juge du siège : le pouvoir de juger, le pouvoir de punir.

Il s'agit aussi de créer un effet dissuasif, pour que les tiers voient qu'il n'est pas avantageux de violer la loi, le procureur représentant la loi, la société et l'Etat, le Droit de la Compliance reposant sur la rationalité des acteurs, qui calculent l'opportunité de se conformer à la règle ou de la méconnaître, et non pas sur leur amour de la loi (Sur l'analyse économique des deux branches de cette alternative, qui fait par ailleurs les délices des philosophes, v. Benzoni, L. et Deffains, B., ➡️📝  Approche économique des outils de la Compliance : Finalité, effectivité et mesure de la compliance subie et choisie, 2021).

C'est pourquoi l'article 41-2-1 du Code de procédure pénale dispose donc : " Le montant de cette amende est fixé de manière proportionnée aux avantages tirés des manquements constatés".

Dans la Convention du 26 août 2021 liant la banque Morgan Stanley,  le parquet fait bien référence au ratio de 30% chiffre d'affaire d 'affaire de la banque, à savoir environ 30 millions de dollars, mais c'est aux avantages  financiers non pas retirés par elle mais retirés par ses clients, à savoir environ 78 millions de dollars qu'il se réfère pour calculer la proportionnalité de l'amende.

A partir de ce moment-là, le parquet fait jouer deux autres critères non visés par les textes, l'un classique et en faveur de l'entreprise, à savoir sa faible implication dans le montage, et l'autre moins classique et considéré comme une circonstance aggravante pour l'entreprise, critère t souvent visé en analyse économique du droit, à savoir la "complexité du montage" qui est visée en ces termes, dans le point 36 : "la complexité du montage fiscal justifie la prise en compte d'un facteur aggravant sa responsabilité".  En effet la complexité d'une opération la rend plus difficilement détectable pour le gardien de la règle et il faut donc sanctionner plus fort.

De cela, l'on peut souligner deux choses :

1️⃣L'interprétation que le parquet a de l'article 41-1-2 du Code de procédure pénale, la proportionnalité ne devrait donc pas viser que le profit retiré par la personne partie à la convention judiciaire d'intérêt public ; cela se conçoit car, même si l'interprétation littérale demeure la règle en matière pénale, puisqu'il s'agit encore d'une amende, cette référence à l'avantage retiré se superposant aux considérations classiques que sont l'implication (c'est-à-dire la faute...) et la difficulté à détecter ;

2️⃣ L'avantage retiré peut n'être pas celui de la personne partie à la convention judiciaire public mais, comme ici, l'avantage retiré par les intéressés principaux, clients de la banque.

C'est aller au-delà du texte, et dans sa lettre et dans son esprit, qui ne visait sans doute que les avantages retirés par la personne partie à la Convention. Cela aboutit à un amende de 25 millions, proche du maximum de 31 millions encourus.

Cela rejoint certes la définition de ce qu'est la complicité, puisque le complice encourt la même peine que l'auteur principal. C'est particulièrement sévère de faire jouer ce mécanisme qui va chercher dans les profits d'un autre le calcul de la sanction ainsi supportée et le principe de proportionnalité est d'un autre esprit que celui-ci.

Lors de l'audience qui s'est déroulée le 2 septembre 2021 devant le président du Tribunal judiciaire de Paris qui doit valider la Convention, l'établissement bancaire a indiqué n'avoir aucune remarque à formuler tandis que l'Ordonnance de validation indique que le ministère public "a été en mesure d'expliquer le calcul des avantages tirés des agissements constatés".

L'on ne sait pas à cette lecture si ce sont les agissements de la banque contrainte de payer l'amende d'intérêt public, tandis que ce sont les avantages d'un tiers, la formulation très générale masquant la distinction des deux qui pourtant caractérise ici la situation. 

Elle pourrait être d'importance dans de nombreux cas pour tous ceux qui "conseillent", "aident", "accompagnent", etc.

Mais est-ce que cela est conforme à ce qu'est la proportionnalité en matière de sanction ? Même s'il est difficile de cerner cette notion, il y a cette idée que la personne sanctionnée doit pouvoir supporter ce qu'on lui inflige, que cela ne doit pas être au-dessus de ces forces. C'est bien pour cela qu'au dehors de tout texte la jurisprudence a annulé les engagements "disproportionnés", parce qu'ils excèdent ce qu'une personne peut endurer, même si son consentement n'a pas été vicié!footnote-2125. Ici, le texte vise à amplifier l'amende en la proportionnant à l'avantage retiré, mais précisément c'est un avantage qui est retiré par un autre. Dès lors, la personne qui va payer l'amende n'est plus protégée que par le plafond visé des 30% de son chiffre d'affaire...

 

 

II. 10 ANS APRES, LA NON-OUVERTURE D'UNE PROCEDURE PAR LE PROCUREUR, A LA SUGGESTION DU JUGE D'INTRUCTION

Cette sévérité s'explique aussi par le temps qui s'est écoulé depuis les faits qui remontent à 2004, la plainte formée au pénal par l'administration fiscale datant de 2012. 

Après un arrêt de cassation, annulation une partie de la procédure, c'est le juge d'instruction qui, après de multiples investigation, a retransmis au procureur le dossier pour qu'une CJIP soit envisagée. 

Cette procédure a souvent été présentée comme ce qui permet d'éviter efficacement le coût et la lenteur des procédures.

L'on dira qu'il s'agit là d'un contre-exemple, puisque c'est l'Ex Post, par la volonté d'un juge d'instruction, qui aboutira, environ 10 ans, à finalement ne pas ouvrir le dossier. 

 

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1

Cet article vise dans son 1° : "Verser une amende d'intérêt public au Trésor public. Le montant de cette amende est fixé de manière proportionnée aux avantages tirés des manquements constatés, dans la limite de 30 % du chiffre d'affaires moyen annuel calculé sur les trois derniers chiffres d'affaires annuels connus à la date du constat de ces manquements. Son versement peut être échelonné, selon un échéancier fixé par le procureur de la République, sur une période qui ne peut être supérieure à un an et qui est précisée par la convention."

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V. par ex. Com. 4 nov. 2020, n°18-2524, Petites Affiches, 26 février 2021, obs. S. Andjechairi-Tribillac sur la nullité d'une clause de non-concurrence disproportionnée, ce qui peut être évoquée par voie d'exception. 

Sept. 8, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

► La question de l'aptitude à vouloir et à choisir est essentielle dans le Droit de la Compliance dans son existence même. Si cela n'est pas requis, parce que tout ne serait que performance et addition de connaissance, alors il n'est pas besoin d'êtres humains pour manier les règles de compliance, cela devrait pouvoir être confié à des algorithmes, les robots étant toujours plus performants que les humains pour stocker les informations et les croiser. Cela est très souvent proposé. Si en plus les algorithmes peuvent repérer les manquements, voire les "juger", alors il conviendrait de retirer la Compliance des mains humains pour les convier aux machines. La question du rapport entre Compliance et Intelligence artificielle est très discutée, dans laquelle les intérêts économiques ont leur part, puisque la vente des outils technologiques dépend aussi de la place que le système de Compliance lui fera.

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Pour alimenter la réflexion, allons du côté de la propriété intellectuelle, dans un cas qui se déroule actuellement : les algorithmes peuvent-ils être reconnus comme des "créateurs" ? Car s'ils peuvent l'être, les brevets pouvant leur être délivrés, alors - qui peut le plus peut le moins - 

➡️📝Aux Etats-Unis, dans l'Etat de Virginie, une audience s'est déroulée en avril 2021, d'où il résulte que la juge à la fois semble admettre que l'algorithme est doté de créativité mais pose qu'en l'état des textes ce fait est nouveau et qu'il n'a pas encore été intégré par la législation, ce qui ne permet pas d'en tirer des conséquences juridiques. 

Pourtant la même juge n'a pas persisté dans ce sens et dans ➡️📝 un jugement du 2 septembre 2021 a rejeté la demande d'attribution de droit de propriété intellectuelle au bénéfice de l'algorithme pour la raison suivante  : en admettant qu'un algorithme ait la "créativité" suffisante pour remplir la condition requise pour recevoir la protection attachée au mécanisme du brevet, encore faudrait-il qu'un serment puisse être fait de respect de l'Etat de Droit.

Or, cette dimension du serment, qui n'est pas que mécanique, le caractère non-humain de l'algorithme exclut que celui-ci puisse jamais l'exprimer.

C'est sur cette base que la juge exclut par principe la brevetabilité des innovations faites par un algorithme.

 

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Si l'on transpose une telle problématique et un tel raisonnement aux questions de Compliance, l'analogie est très forte.

En effet, la collecte des informations, leur mise en corrélation, les alertes, les suivis des comportements, etc. sont sans doute mieux assurées par de algorithmes que par des êtres humains. C'est pourquoi 

 

Sept. 3, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

An August 10, 2021 New York Times article chronicles the relationship presented as "tumultuous" between President Biden and Facebook, the president, in person or through his closest administration, blaming Mark Zuckerberg, in person or through his closest collaborators, for the Facebook insufficient action against vaccine misinformation: ➡️📝Inside the White House Facebook Rift Over Vaccine Misinformation

The article insists on the opposition between the two entities: " Frustrations grew behind the scenes among top leaders on both sides, potentially hurting the government's efforts to overcome the pandemic ".

And reports many facts for this conclusion.

But is it not possible to propose  another reading of these events?

A reading that would be more strategic and more optimistic with regard to what is the obligation of digital operators obliged by Compliance Law.

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In fact, if we come back to the subject itself, it is a question of fighting against disinformation, including that which is raging about vaccination against Covid (the causes of the spread of the virus, its modes of spread and the effects of different vaccines, in particular) is just one example.

To stem the health crisis, public policies for economic issues do not encounter the same major difficulty as public policies for health care: disinformation.

On this major question, see the presentation of the May 2021 colloquium organized by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and the Faculty of Law of Montpellier on ➡️📅 Public Norms and Compliance in time of Crisis: Monumental Goals put a test, the work being the basis of contributions in the book ➡️📘 Compliance Monumental Goals. 

Faced with the spread of disinformation, especially during a health crisis, not only the jurisdictional Ex Post, certainly legitimate to sanction disinformation, is not enough in such a fight but the administrative action is not enough either. because the digital space has for characteristic not so much the novelty of these manipulations (which do not differ from the preceding methods) but their speed of propagation  and their dissemination which until now had never reached such dazzling and such dust.

Faced with this, only a mechanism which entrusts, willingly or by force (the " free will" referring to the points of contact between Compliance Law and Corporate Social Responsibility, the "force" referring to the repression strongly present in the Compliance Law) to companies in a position to do something (what the banking sector referred to as "systemic firms" and which can be qualified more generally as "crucial companies" (➡️📝 Frisian- Roche, M.-A., "Proposition for a notion: the "Crucial Operator", 2006), the function of blocking or even destroying the crucible of disinformation is concretely possible (➡️📓 Frison-Roche, M.- A., The contribution of Compliance Law in the Governance of Interne, 2019).

But many protest before such a mission which, under the pretext of "necessity" and under the guise of "weight" given to these companies, also gives them considerable powers over people: thus many have criticized the closure of Donald Trump's account as being an illegitimate political act and many saw the May 5, 2021 Facebook Oversight Board decision as an intolerable takeover of power, with the company allowing itself to become a complete legal system on its own : for one analysis of this very important decision, and commented on, often in a severe manner, but for a more approving approach because in the perspective of Compliance Law, the internalisation of repressive and jurisdictional functions is more of a principle: ➡️📧 " By its decision of May 5, 2021, the Oversight Board imposed a Compliance program on Facebook, May 2021; for a perspective that remains critical ➡️📝Heymann, J.," The Legal Nature of the "Supreme Court" of Facebook ", in➡️📘 Compliance Jurisdictionalisation, 2022).

 

These criticisms are on several levels; they can be summarized as follows:

  • a company maintaining a platform on which contents may be published by anyone and controlling these contents would exercise "censorship", which would be unacceptable with regard to the freedom of speech;
  • a company controlling the contents carries out an activity of judgment, while only a judge or at least a public authority could do it, therefore it would be unacceptable;
  • a company controlling contents would exercise control over what is socially admissible, which would be a political activity, and a company is not politically legitimate to govern us.

 

These arguments are solid, especially from a judicial perspective.

Even if it is possible to articulate the fight against the disinformation which rages thanks to the digital novelty (), and the constitutional freedom of expression (Minow, M., "How the government can support a free press and cut disinformation ", 2021), the risk of a weakening by courts, whether American or other, for example in France where judges have criticized the companies powers, even in China where it is in the name of privacy that the new control on the technological sector is taking place ....

If the federal government of the United States, because it wants to carry out its public health policy and has little influence on the policies of the states, some of which are hostile to vaccination or believe that all of this is there Everyone's business, wants Facebook to exercise its power to deactivate the accounts of those who practice disinformation, especially in vaccine matters, or even exercise it in political matters (Timothy Snyder having shown that the practice of disinformation in the matter put endangering the American political system itself: ➡️📧 "Listening to Timothy Snyder: the United States like Europe defend democracy, but Europe uses Compliance Law more for that", June 2021), then it is necessary but enough that the Government accuses Facebook of "killing people" by not doing it.

So, the Government allows the company to do it.

This is what President Biden has just done.

This is to be compared with the position taken in May 2021 by the US federal administration allowing companies to require employees to both return to work on sites and be vaccinated. This was already a sign that it is indeed the federal administration which, in order to make its public vaccination policy "effective", relies on companies, with the necessary powers for them to play their role:  see the analysis of this communication from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of May 28, 2021 ➡️📧 "In Compliance Law, the political authority must clearly tell the company the extent of its power; fault from which the company will pass from the status of executor to that of Legislator ", June 2021.

 

It is therefore not an "opposition" but a strategic alliance.

 

Moreover, Facebook has just deactivated a series of accounts which systematically practice disinformation in matters of vaccination.

The fact that the President of the United States characterized their inaction as "murder" makes it much easier for them when their action will be challenged in court. Because in front of a judge vis-a-vis whom it will be reproached for violating, by its too offensive action, the freedoms of the people the company will be able to take advantage of the fact that it was made accused of "murder" for not having had enough offensive action, and this by the Head of State.

We are legally close to the hypothesis of "the order given by the legitimate authority".

This reinforces an opinion expressed in March 2020 according to which Facebook, when it refers people to public information centers for the fight against the virus, is not acting either as a publisher or as part of its social responsibility but executes purely and simply its obligations arising from Compliance Law: ➡️📝Frison-Roche, M.-A., "Facebook, Facebook, le coronavirus et la Compliance", March 2020.

In addition, as in any Compliance Law mechanism, such execution of their Compliance obligation by Facebook and all others who follow the exchanges between the crucial digital company and the Federal Executive, is supervised by the Regulatory Authorities, administrative authorities before which the operator can be prosecuted for failure, for example for not only for having done too much but also for having not done enough.

This is particularly true in France, where the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel - CSA French Superior Audiovisual Council) supervises digital operators in their obligations to limit the spread of infox, specifically questioning operators on the due diligence carried out and the results obtained, a specific annual report being published each year (see the report published on July 30, 2020 on the "application and effectiveness" of the fight against disinformation to be carried out by the platforms, in its English version).

 

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Sept. 2, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

Le Droit s'appuie sur des définitions, permettant de classer les mots dans des catégories lesquelles déclenchent des régimes juridiques.

Ainsi le mot "paiement" a pour définition d'être l'exécution d'une obligation.

Il est si usuel que cette exécution s'opère en monétaire que le langage courant associe au "paiement" le transfert d'une monnaie au bénéfice du créancier.

Ce premier raccourci ayant été fait, cela renvoie à l'activité bancaire, la monnaie renvoyant aux émetteurs de monnaie que sont les Banquiers centraux et les banques, lesquelles en tant qu'elles sont aussi Etablissement de crédit accroissant la masse monétaire par l'attribution de crédits.

Mais la pratique du "paiement fractionné" se diffère du crédit en tant qu'elle ne constitue pas une

C'est pourquoi, de la même façon que les entreprises technologiques se sont développées dans les technologies de paiement sans pour autant être soumises aux contraintes régulatoires visant les opérateurs bancaires et financiers, ces entreprises technologiques commencent à se déployer dans la technologie du "paiement fractionné".

Par exemple PayPal, mais également Apple proposent un service technologique de "paiement fractionné" (v. par exemple Apple s'allie à Goldman Sachs pour lancer un service de paiement fractionné).

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Du point de vue du Droit, la qualification était jusqu'ici considérée comme une alternative à deux branches  un paiement fractionné peut être considéré soit comme une modalité de l'exécution (une "facilité") et ne justifie donc pas la lourdeur du Droit du crédit et des monopoles régulés associés, soit comme un crédit, ce qui renvoie au Droit de la Régulation.

 

I. PAYER, C'EST EXECUTER SON OBLIGATION, SOUVENT PAR L'UTILISATION D'UN FRAGMENT DE LA MASSE MONETAIRE 

Parce qu'il est plus simple de prendre des seuils, la législation française a fixé que jusqu'à 90% un "paiement fractionné" n'est qu'une modalité du paiement, ce dispositif entre les parties devenant un crédit (avec la protection de l'emprunteur et la régulation du prêteur) au-delà. 

Mais les faits font apparaître une troisième branche dans l'alternative : alors que le paiement immédiat peut s'opérer sans aucun transfert d'information du débiteur vers le créancier (ce qui constitue une des raisons pour lesquels billets et pièces constituent une spécificité, soit louée comme protectrice des libertés soit critiquée comme véhicule d'activités contraire à l'ordre public), le paiement fractionné ne peut s'opérer que par la transmission par le débiteur d'informations personnelles.

Cela peut n'avoir pas d'utilité pour le créancier qui a déjà des informations sur son débiteur ou à tout le moins représente une utilité accessoire par rapport à l'objet principal qu'est l'échange économique lui-même, qui a déclenché l'obligation du débiteur de payer en l'échange du bénéfice de la prestation qui a rendu son cocontractant créancier.

Mais si l'opération du "paiement fractionné" est externalisée vers un prestataire technique, que cela continue de n'être pas un crédit (sans la Régulation qui va avec) est pris en charge par une entreprise dont le seul objet est alors l'organisation technique de cet étirement dans le temps. 

L'on pourrait considérer que le seul objet de Régulation est celui de la Régulation du crédit, c'est-à-dire le risque systémique et la protection des consommateurs contre le surendettement.

Mais ici l'on peut considérer que ces très grandes entreprises, comme Apple, s'intéressent à ce service parce que leur objectif est la collecte la plus fine et croisée possible de données : or, les données, ces micro-informations d'un débiteur sont très précieuses.

Parce qu'il faut "repenser le monde à partir de la notion de donnée", ce à quoi nous sommes encore très malhabiles, la définition du paiement peut alors changer dans une troisième branche de l'alternative.

 

II. PAYER, C'EST DONNER DE L'INFORMATION SUR SOI-MEME : LE "DEBITEUR" APPORTE DE CE FAIT DE LA VALEUR. SI CET APPORT DEVIENT PRINCIPAL, DE QUI EST-IL LE CREANCIER ?

Dans une opération de "paiement fragmenté", si cela est pris en charge non plus par le cocontractant de l'opération économique qui a engendré l'obligation de payer ni par un prestataire choisi par le débiteur mais par un prestataire choisi par le créancier, qui offre ce fragmentation le plus souvent présenté comme "gratuit", la question est alors de savoir si ce prestataire peut s'approprier les données personnelles du débiteur sans limite, puisqu'il ne s'agit pas d'un crédit.

S'il s'agit d'un opérateur numérique par ailleurs très puissant, qui peut connecter ces informations de solvabilité et d'usage, cela donne à la fois une facilité dans les achats dans la vie quotidienne de chacun et un croisement des informations, tel qu'il est autorisé et promu en Chine (où le désir d'achat et l'obtention d'un crédit à la consommation peuvent être exprimés concomitamment).

En France, le Conseil constitutionnel avait invalidé la loi qui avait validé la mise en place d'un "fichier positif" des clients bancaires solvables pour faciliter l'accès au crédit, le Conseil estimant que si le risque systémique justifie la mise en place de fichiers des clients bancaires fragiles, protégés par une interdiction bancaire, l'absence d'un tel risque exclue la mise en place d'un fichier d'informations concernant les personnes.

Mais c'était en France et c'était il y a longtemps.

 

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Sept. 1, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

  An article published on July 14, 2021 by The Wall Street Journal, "Brain Implant Lets Man 'Speak' After Being Silent for More Than a Decade", relays the information that it is now possible, on an experimental basis, to implant in the brain a device allowing a person deprived by a neurological accident to speak to be able to express himself again by writing his thoughts directly on a computer screen, on which the words thought are displayed in sentences.

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Several years of "fundamental" research, notably on the part of Facebook, which, in particular by subsidizing the French professor of neurosciences Stanislas Dehaene, in a comparison between the learning development of the brain and the development of "deep learning", have been successful. to allow people who have lost the use of the voice to write directly on screens without this vocal medium by going directly from thought to writing.

This leads to three reflections, putting Law and Technology at the center:

1. at first glance, speech being only a medium between thought and expression, it would be conceivable to do without it;

2. However, it is required to draw a parallel with the new technology of "emotional recognition" by which thoughts are accessible to third parties, which thwarts the fundamental right to make one's thoughts inaccessible to others; 

The news has shown precisely that this technology, making possible to capture the true thoughts of others despite feigned facial expressions, poses a problem with regard to the fundamental right to lie or to remain silent (see in this regard 📧 MaFR, "Compliance and Ethics Technologies may be inadmissible "in themselves" and conceiving of their "ethical use" is therefore not admissible: practical case on the control of workers' emotions ").

3. By anticipating the possible use of this new technology and the legal reaction to this potentiality, the same question raises whether, per se, such an implantation of a tool for "capturing thoughts directly in the brain" to obtain their "direct translation on a screen" should not be considered as the equivalent of capturing thoughts, just as infringing on everyone's fundamental right to keep their thoughts inaccessible.

Here again, the fact that in one or two cases, this made it possible to cure a person does not legitimize the technology in itself.

Likewise, the fact that the person "consents" is not sufficient to legitimize what may be a per se attack on the dignity of the human person if the technology has the effect of capturing thoughts with a loss of control. the person concerned. For the moment, in the description given by the researchers according to the article which relates the innovation, it is the transmitter who controls the technology but the elimination of the medium of speech or writing deserves to be conceptualized, in the loss of isolation of the individual, isolation to which the Western tradition has often associated Freedom.

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Aug. 31, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

Par un article publié le 13 juillet 2021, "Targeted ads isolate and divide us even when they’re not political – new research"  des chercheurs ayant mené une étude à propos d'intelligence artificielle et d'éthique , rendent compte des résultats obtenus. Il ressort de cette étude empirique montre que les technologies, mises au point à des fins politiques pour capter les votes afin de faire élire Trump ou pour obtenir un vote positif pour le Brexit, utilisées à des fins commerciales, auraient deux effets sur nous : en premier lieu elles nous isolent ; en second lieu elles nous opposent.

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Le seul lien social qui a donc vocation à avoir serait donc l'agression.  


Certes l'usage ainsi fait de nos informations personnelles, auquel nous "consentons" tous, que cela soit pour obtenir notre adhésion à des discours ou à des produits, casse ce qu'Aristote appelait "l'amitiés" comme socle de la Cité Politique.
L'on mesure que la notion de "consentement", qui est une notion juridique, relativement périphérique dans le Droit des Obligations, que beaucoup voudraient mettre comme l'alpha et l'omega, ne nous protège en rien de cette destruction de nous-même et des autres, de cette perspective de la Cité.
Il est important de penser la régulation de la technologie, sur laquelle est construit l'espace digital sur une autre notion que le "consentement".
C'est pourquoi le Droit de la Compliance, qui n'est pas construit sur le "consentement", est la branche du Droit de l'avenir.
#droit #numérique #amitié #consentement #haine #politique

Aug. 30, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

An article from March 3, 2021, Smile for the camera: the dark side of China's emotion-recognition tech, then an article from June 16, 2021, "Every smile you fake" - an AI emotion - recognition system can assess how "happy" China's workers are in the office describes how a new technology of emotional recognition is able, through what will soon be out of fashion to call "facial recognition", to distinguish a smile that reflects a mind state of real satisfaction from a smile which does not correspond to it. This allows the employer to measure the suitability of the human being for his or her work. It is promised that it will be used in an ethical way, to improve well-being at work. But isn't it in itself that this technology is incompatible with any compensation through ethical support?

The technology developed by a Chinese technology company and acquired by other Chinese companies with many employees, allows to have information on the actual state of mind of the person through and beyond his or her facial expressions and bodily behavior.

Previously, the technology of emotional recognition had been developed to ensure security, by fighting against people with hostile plans, public authorities using it for example in the controls at airports to detect the criminal plans which some passengers could have.

It is now affirmed that it is not about fighting against some evil people ("dangerousness") to protect the group before the act is committed ("social defense”) but that it is about helping all workers.

Indeed, the use that will be made of it will be ethical, because first the people who work for these Chinese companies with global activity, like Huawaï, do it freely and have accepted the operation of these artificial intelligence tools (which is not the case with people who travel, control being then a kind of necessary evil that they do not have to accept, which is imposed on them for the protection of the group), but even and above all, the purpose is itself ethical: if it turns out that the person does not feel well at work, that they are not happy there, even before they are perhaps aware, the company can assist.

Let’s take this practical case from the perspective of Law and let’s imagine that it is contested before a judge applying the principles of Western Law.

Would this be acceptable?

No, and for three reasons.

1. An "ethical use" cannot justify an unethical process in itself

2. The first freedoms are negative

3. "Consent" should not be the only principle governing the technological and digital space

 

I. AN "ETHICAL USE" CAN NEVER LEGITIMATE AN UNETHICAL PROCESS IN ITSELF

These unethical processes in themselves cannot be made "acceptable" by an "ethical use" which will be made of them.

This principle was especially reminded by Sylviane Agacinski in bioethics: if one cannot dispose of another through a disposition of his or her body which makes his or her very person available (see not. Agacinski, S., ➡️📗Le tiers-corps. Réflexions sur le don d’organes, 2018).

Except to make the person reduced to the thing that his or her body is, which is not ethically admissible in itself, that is excluded, and Law is there in order to this is not possible.

This is even why the legal notion of "person", which is not a notion that goes without saying, which is a notion built by Western thought, acts as a bulwark so that human beings cannot be fully available to others, for example by placing their bodies on the market (see Frison-Roche, M.-A., ➡️📝To protect human beings, the ethical imperative of the legal notion of person, 2018). This is why, for example, as Sylviane Agacinski emphasizes, there is no ethical slavery (a slave who cannot be beaten, who must be well fed, etc.).

That the human being agrees ("and what about if it pleases me to be beaten?") does not change anything.

 

II. THE FIRST FREEDOM IS THE ONE TO SAY NO, FOR EXAMPLE BY REFUSING TO REVEAL YOUR EMOTIONS: FOR EXAMPLE HIDING IF YOU ARE HAPPY OR NOT TO WORK

The first freedom is not positive (being free to say Yes); it is negative (being free to say No). For example, the freedom of marriage is having the freedom not to marry before having the freedom to marry: if one does not have the freedom not to marry, then the freedom to marry loses any value. Likewise, the freedom to contract implies the freedom not to contract, etc.

Thus, freedom in the company can take the form of freedom of speech, which allows people, according to procedures established by Law, to express their emotions, for example their anger or their disapproval, through the strike.

But this freedom of speech, which is a positive freedom, has no value unless the worker has the fundamental freedom not to express his or her emotions. For example if he or she is not happy with his or her job, because he or she does not appreciate what he or she does, or he or she does not like the place where he or she works, or he or she does not like people with whom he or she works, his or her freedom of speech demands that he or she have the right not to express it.

If the employer has a tool that allows him or her to obtain information about what the worker likes and dislikes, then the employee loses this first freedom.

In the Western legal order, we must be able to consider that it is at the constitutional level that the infringement is carried out through Law of Persons (on the intimacy between the Law of Persons and the Constitutional Law, see Marais , A., ➡️📕Le Droit des personnes, 2021).

 

III. CONSENT SHOULD NOT BE THE ONLY PRINCIPLE GOVERNING THE TECHNOLOGICAL AND DIGITAL SPACE

 

We could consider that the case of the company is different from the case of the controls operated by the State for the monitoring of airports, because in the first case observed people are consenting.

"Consent" is today the central notion, often presented as the future of what everyone wants: the "regulation" of technology, especially when it takes the form of algorithms ("artificial intelligence"), especially in digital space.

"Consent" would allow "ethical use" and could establish the whole (on these issues, see Frison-Roche, M.-A., ➡️📝Having a good behavior in the digital space, 2019).

"Consent" is a notion from which Law is today moving away in Law of Persons, in particular as regards the "consent" given by adolescents on the availability of their body, but not yet on digital.

No doubt because in Contract Law, "consent" is almost synonymous with "free will", whereas they must be distinguished (see Frison-Roche, M.-A., ➡️📝Remarques sur la distinction entre la volonté et le consentement en Droit des contrats, 1995).

But we see through this case, which precisely takes place in China, that "consent" is in Law as elsewhere a sign of submission. It is only in a probative way that it can constitute proof of a free will; this proof must not turn into an irrebuttable presumption.

The Data Regulatory Authorities (for example in France the CNIL) seek to reconstitute this probative link between "consent" and "freedom to say No" so that technology does not allow by "mechanical consents", cut off from any connection with the principle of freedom which protects human beings, from dispossessing themselves (see Frison-Roche, M.-A., Yes to the principle of will, No to pure consents, 2018).

The more the notion of consent will be peripheral, the more human beings will be able to be active and protected.

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June 25, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

Under the scientific direction of Professor Emmanuelle Claudel, the French Association Droit et Commerce  devotes its annual conference to ➡️📅 "La concurrence dans tous ses états". In her introduction retracing the entire evolution of this Law, Emmanuelle Claudel underlined that competition Law takes a distance from its basic concepts, such as the notion of "market". The branch of Law is finding more and more points of contact with Regulatory and Compliance Law.

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In fact, in an economic and social system whose organization needs to be readjusted, the notion of “chain" must find its rightful place in conjunction with the notion of "market". For many objects, it is relevant to think not only in terms of "market" but in terms of chains. Indeed the "chain" gives consistency to the object itself. For example forests or food, as European Commission did (I).

But looking more concretely at the economic space, directly seeing people and things, such as agricultural products and what they are used for, that is to say to feed human beings, then this "Monumental Goal" must be entrusted to Crucial Entreprises the task of achieving it (II). Compliance Law can in the future caring of this, by setting new obligations, but also by loosening the so violent relationship, by its very indifference, between competition and food products.

 

I. NO LONGER THINK ONLY IN TERMS OF "MARKETS" BUT IN TERMS OF CHAIN: THE EXAMPLE FROM THE FARM TO THE FORK

We are starting to assert this for the forest but also for agriculture that the European Commission now connects with food. So food should not be seen simply as a succession of "markets". In fact, if we only conceive them in this way, the agricultural markets, which should benefit from the financing offered by financial markets, are sometimes grabbed by them, which can literally starve the world rather than helping to feed it.

Today, we agree to think about agriculture as a "chain" and, as the European Commission writes: From farm to fork. Indeed if agriculture is an important "sector" it is because it allows to feed the population. This basic fact has often been forgotten, in particular because competition Law, based on trade in products and not on the products themselves (of which it only measures the substituability, to identify the relevant markets) is not interested in what things are made for. We should not blame it, but in return, it cannot claim to dominate everything, since it is only pertinent for this small part of our life.

European Commission, which is emerging more and more from the neutral notion of the market to move towards the substantive notions of products and of what they are made for, of their results (happy or unhappy), is in the process of setting up an industrial policy and what could be a real agricultural policy, which is not made only of subsidies.

It consists in saying that it is necessary to design a chain which starts from the soil, its agricultural and livestock use to achieve what it is for: feeding the population.

It seems simple, but in a Law dominated by the sole Competition Law, which fought for example by the techniques of price support, it is a new way, because it is concrete, to conceive.

But how to do it ?

Because Economy does not necessarily have to be administered, Compliance Law can be of great help, especially through the wholesale markets.

 

II. INTERNALIZING THE MONUMENTAL GOALS OF AGRICULTURAL SECTORS IN THEIR CRUCIAL ENTERPRISES

Rather than administering the sectors, it is advisable to internalize in crucial companies the Monumental Goals which concern the future of the social group, for example feeding the population.

It is for this reason that we must conceive "wholesale markets", not only as does Competition Law, which qualifies them as markets between the producers and the resellers, but as companies which are, within vital chains, are in charge of supervising the link between upstream and downstream so that the goal is realized.

This is why these companies are directly concerned by Compliance Law, in its not mechanical definition of Compliance with the legal requirements applicable to them (which is our obligation to all) but in its definition which puts Compliance as something beyond Competition Law (➡️📝Frison-Roche, M.-A., Competition Law and Compliance Law, 2018)

Wholesale markets for food therefore have a decisive role to play, as demonstrated by the French Rungis market company which, during the time of the health crisis, helped to ensure the continuity of supply (see more generally Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Montpellier University, ➡️📅colloquium Public Norms and Compliance in times of crisis: monumental goals put to the test, contributions serving as a basis for a chapter in ➡️📘Compliance Monumental Goals, 2022).

The internalization of these Goals in Companies resolves the aporia with which States are confronted in their intimacy with the notion of borders.

Indeed, il is useful to adopt a definition of "wholesale markets" no longer through the definition of the "market" but through the definition of "the crucial enterprise", which is itself "regulated" (Frison- Roche, M.-A., ➡️📝The Crucial Companies and their Regulation, 2014).

"Wholesale markets" are businesses where retailers go to get their supplies every day, remembering what the market place was like, remembering the time when the market is the place where human beings met, where the exchanges were not between capital and commodities but between people (Supiot, A., ➡️📕Mondialisation ou Globalisation, 2019).

These companies are grouped together in a global association: the World Union of Wholesale Markets. For wholesale companies, it is a question of coming together to ensure that the chains operate from soil maintenance to the mouths of human beings.

Because it is so difficult to find a World Regulator which is at the same time legitimate and effective in agricultural matters.

It is possible that a public regulator is more legitimate but it is for the moment impossible to establish worldwide (see generally ➡️📕Collart-Dutilleul, Fr. and Le Dolley, E., ed., Droit, économie et marchés de matières premières agricoles, 2013).

Therefore, an alliance between the political authorities, which care about public health and crucial companies, of which these "wholesale markets" are an example, by "Compliance Obligations" thus understood, is a concrete prospect.

This then results in an obligation and a power of Vigilance and coordination, which can already be found in banking (a sector where Compliance Law is more mature than elsewhere) which must develop, rather than being the object of the segmentation that, by nature, traditional Competition Law generates, market by market, market against market.

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June 24, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

► Compliance Law is above all a Time Management. This is why it is located in Ex Ante, before disasters happen, with the goal that they do not happen, to intervene at least on time to break the domino effect. This is why the achievement of Monumental Goals has been internalized in companies, this achievement being until now States’ affair. This does not mean that Ex Post is irrelevant. Especially because when the Ex Post entities are the most legitimate. It is the case of Judges. What has just happened to Rudy Giuliani illustrates this perfectly.

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On June 24, 2021, the Supreme Court of the State of New York published its decision concerning Rudy Giuliani (➡️⚖️Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, June 24, 2021, Giuliani)

Rudy Giuliani, who was federal prosecutor, then mayor of New York, then counsel to President Donald Trump, then lawyer was sentenced to the provisional suspension of his professional license in the State of New York (➡️📝New York Times, Court Suspends Giuliani's Law License, citing Trump Election lies, June 24, 2021).

The judgment evokes the insurrectionary events in the Capitol and relies on an ethics committee for the conduct that lawyers must have. First the convergence is remarkable in the motivation between the decisions made by Facebook with regard to Donald Trump, the professional structure to which Rudy Giuliani belongs and the decision of the state court (I).

The articulation is rather done in time (II). First of all, the company which intervenes as quickly as possible, because it is necessary to act (but for acting, it is also necessary to "judge", even if the entity is not a tribunal ...); then the profession (and here the person concerned belongs to a regulated profession but it is indeed in the name of "the general public interest" that the sanction will be pronounced), nothing that can escape the in fine validation or questioning of the Judge.

 

I. The articulation of the substantive principles implemented by the Company, the Jurisdiction and the Professional Regulator

In a Rule of Law, fundamental principles are the same for subjects of Law (companies being subjects of Law like others), intermediary bodies (like professional orders), jurisdictions and States.

In a Rule of Law, Truth is elementally kept by Law and Disinformation is sanctioned.

Thus, even if the power of Freedom of Speech in the United States has a constitutional power unlike any other, since "disinformation" is not sanctioned as such, the legal path of defamation action makes it possible to obtain protection against practices of massive disinformation.

Even if historians have worried about the paradoxical weakness of the United States because of its legal system (see 💻Snyder, T., The State of Our Democracy, 2021) Harvard Law professors have intervened to explain that no one could say everything, defamation action allowing a reaction.

This is the path that was used in January 2021 against Rudy Giuliani (➡️📝New York Times, Rudy Giuliani sued by Dominion Voting Systems over False Election Claims, May 4, 2021) for having unleashed a viral campaign of disinformation about what was presented as an incorrect result during the presidential election.

It is therefore "disinformation" which is sanctioned.

It was also prevented by systemic digital companies such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which disabled Donald Trump’s accounts, the other actor.

But besides, Rudy Giuliani is a lawyer.

As such, what he does engages the honor of his profession. It is therefore intended to be the subject of disciplinary procedures. 

This is why the jurisdiction of the State of New York took advice from an "ethics committee".

In particular with regard to the conclusions of the latter, the state jurisdiction declared that the false statements "tarnished the entire reputation of the legal profession". This justified his suspension in New York State. This suspension is temporary (disciplinary procedures will begin).

But on the other hand, the Court considers that the deontologically objectionable conduct "directly" increased the tensions which led to the violence of the events in the Capitol.

By taking such a justification, the Court operates the junction on the one hand with the other character that Rudy Giuliani advised, Donald Trump, but especially with the decision taken by the private companies, which suspended Donald Trump’s accounts.

Thus, in the name of the same principles, Public Order and respect for Truth, the Court by connecting, through its motivation, Companies - which had acted before - and Disciplinary Body which will intervene afterwards, has shown the coherence of the American legal system.

 

II. The articulation over time between crucial companies, jurisdictions and professions

The difficulty comes rather from the articulation in time.

Indeed, in this Donald Trump’s case who, in particular legally advised by Rudy Giuliani, affirmed that the elections had been stolen, which contributed to a start of insurgency and riots in Capitol, the question is the reaction time and the modality of reaction.

The first type of bodies which react were systemic digital companies: Google, Twitter, Facebook.

The modality was the deletion of Donald Trump's accounts, with the justification for inciting destabilization and civil war.

Controlling "hate speech", in Europe in name of Law, in the United States in name of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Therefore, the company is therefore instituted "Judge and prosecutor of itself" by Compliance Law, because it is in position to act at the right time, that is to say immediately (see ➡️📅 the colloquium, co-organized by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance and Lyon 3 University, The Firm instituted as Judge and Prosecutor of itselfCompliance Juridictionnalization, 2021).

It is remarkable that, despite all the criticisms that can legitimately be made of it (see eg Heymann, J., La nature juridique de la "Cour suprême" de Facebook" (The legal nature of the "so-called" Supreme Court of Facebook), in The Firm instituted as Judge and Prosecutor of itself, already quoted above.) this jurisdictionalization works, as soon as the procedural principles are respected (see ➡️📝Frison-Roche, M.-A., The judge-judged: articulating words and things in face of the impossible conflict of interests, in ➡️📕Compliance Juridictionnalization, 2022).

But in fine, the decision is always to come back to the Courts and systems depend above all on the probity of people, who are most firmly anchored in "professions".

What is remarkable in the present case is that we could "wait" for the time of justice, because the sanction of the adviser - and his neutralization by a ban to practice - is less urgent than the neutralization of Donald Trump on social networks. Their power as an "influencer” is not the same.

It is however remarkable that if the court took care to rely on the opinion of an "ethics committee", it did not wait for the disciplinary sanction itself.

This will come later.

Justice itself, above all sensitive to time, therefore pronounced in advance: a "provisional" suspension. In the same way that it has often been said that closing an account in the digital space was a capital punishment, one can consider that a professional suspension was, even in "temporary" form, a capital punishment for a professional.

We can see here that Professions, here the profession of attorney, are central to Compliance mechanisms. Indeed, the more States are weakened by their natural relationship with the “border”, the more the technical notion of “Profession”, which does not have this natural relationship, will have to be developed.

However, supervised by the Judge, a Profession has ethics at its heart. The same that the Judge, in anticipation, took as a basis to sanction for the future the adviser of a president immediately dismissed by the systemic company. 

So as long as crucial businesses, professional and jurisdictional structures adjust in substance, adjustment over time can work, by anticipation and feedback.

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June 23, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

 Compliance and proof; The company can force employees to return to work. It's way to control. The American Federal Health Agency has confirmed its "right" to require them to be vaccinated to do so, because they thus relay the general health policy. But how can companies monitor the effectiveness of these vaccinations? Because when the company thus becomes "prosecutor and judge" of its employees under Regulation Law (health in this case), there are probative questions that arise.

On May 28, 2021, the American federal agency The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - EEOC released a statement on whether employers can compel their employers to be back onsite (➡️📝EEOC Issues Updated Covid-19 Technical Assistance. Provided Additional Information on Vaccination, May 28, 2021).

If the New York Times immediately concluded that companies can immediately bring everyone back (➡️📝New York Times, Employers can require workers to get Covid-19 vaccine, US says, June 16, 2021), the Regulatory Agency is more nuanced because it follows the Anglo-American "balance of rights" method.

And the difficulty will probably lie rather in the probative question ... 

 

I. SUBSTANTIAL DEBATE ON THE BALANCE BETWEEN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

The first question is about this debate between “rights and responsibilities” of each other.

On the method, first of all: it is a British and American way which consists in balancing: here the "right" of the company to organize as it wants its operation, here conceived rather like a "right" taken from the employment contract, rather than as a unilateral disciplinary power. We know that legal traditions diverge on this essential point.

On June 10, 2021, BBC News relays the order in this direction from Goldman Sachs bank, on the managerial basis that teleworking for everyone would be an "aberration". It therefore expresses its power to organize the company, expressed moreover in a non-public note (➡️📻BBC News, "Goldman bankers ordered to report vaccine status before office return", June 10, 2021).

But it is in terms of balancing subjective rights that a British academic, quoted by the BBC, analyzes the situation: "Vaccinations create a conflict of legal protections, where the freedom of individual choice is weighed against the health and safety of others. "

"Some employees may have a justifiable reason for not wanting to take the vaccine, and we would always urge employers to discuss an employee's reluctance, whether it be related to a disability or religious reasons.".

As soon as we see Compliance through the contract, the analysis takes its foundations.

But the most important debate will be probative.

 

II. FORTHCOMING PROBATORY DEBATE ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF VACCINATION

How can we make sure that people are actually vaccinated?

Companies can organize the vaccination themselves.

But people presenting certifications, the risk is great of falsified certifications. The difficulty is already encountered for crossing borders or entering public places, providers of falsified certifications immediately proliferating.

The stake is therefore the pre-constitution of reliable evidence (on the "probationary culture", inseparable from the "Compliance culture", ➡️📝 see Frison-Roche, M.-A., Training: content and container of Compliance Law, in ➡️📘Compliance Tools, 2021).

However, in Law, preconstituted proofs are more "legal proofs" (which do not have for goal truth but rather security and commitment) while the truth of a fact is freely proven Ex Post. This is here the Ex Ante proof of a fact (the vaccine).

The question of "trusted third parties" (and its dark double that is the falsifier) ​​is at the heart of Compliance Law. As he or she manages the detection of risks and the prevention of crises to protect people, the construction of a reliable system, that is to say probative is central.

Proof of vaccinations is just a first example. However, it is up to companies to build this evidence. To design them structurally? To bear the cost?

Undoubtedly yes, since this power exercised over others is conferred so that companies perform their Compliance obligations.

 

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June 22, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

Timothy Snyder, an American scholar specialized in 20th century European history, particularly World War II, expressed his concern about the relationship between the United States and technology, when technology helps people to take power in democratic political systems (💻Snyder, T. The stage of Our Democracy, February 2021). He calls in particular Law to stem this new and disastrous alliance.

 

During this online conference, Timothy Snyder, worried about the future of Democracy in the United States, stressed that one of the weaknesses of this country lies in its lack of legal instruments to stem fake news that are spreading on platforms, observing that while the United States use the force of Antitrust Law, Europe has on the contrary equipped itself with legal instruments to directly counter what could bring down the American democratic institutions, in particular the mechanism of "disinformation" or "hate speeches", immune to Competition Law.

So let's follow Timothy Snyder's look at the European continent.

The various European countries do this by adopting, one after the other, specific legislation to counter and prevent disinformation and hate speeches. After France and Germany, which were the first countries to do so, it is Italy which took the plunge.

Yes, this is happening in all Member States to directly fight against disinformation (Italy will follow France and Germany (➡️📝British Association of Comparative Law, Italy's Fight against fake news, 2021)).

Europe, which remains liberal but wants to be sovereign, is in the process of building, in balance with the pillar of Competition, the autonomous and articulated pillar of Compliance to protect people against these mechanisms of disinformation and the spread of hate speeches which can sweep away democracies.

Europe is well placed to do so since it can relies on its humanist tradition to build a Compliance Law which targets above all human beings and not free competition and competitive dynamism (➡️📝Frison-Roche, M.-A., What can Compliance Law build relying on the European humanist tradition, 2019).

Europe is thus able to build "Internet governance" through Compliance Law (➡️📓Frison-Roche, M.-A., The contribution of Compliance Law to Internet Governance, 2020 ).

Europe is doing it through texts under discussion. The European Commission is writing three texts. One to ensure competitive dynamism: the 📜Digital Markets Act. Another to govern digital contents: the 📜Digital Services Act. And finally another to enable European companies to take joint initiatives supervised by the European Authorities: the 📜Data Governance Act.

The last two texts fall under Compliance Law, conceived as follows: they lead to a sovereign Europe (see for example ➡️📝Tardieu, H. Data Sovereignty and Compliance, in ➡️📕Compliance Tools, 2021).

 

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June 21, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

► It is in its "Risk and Compliance" section that the Wall Street Journal, by its article of June 18, 2021 (➡️📝Europe's Chief Prosecutor Has 300 Cases on Her Plate Already), presents the first steps of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, since June 1, 2021.

This inclusion presupposes that it is through a Compliance Law perspective that this new body must be understood, in order to understand and anticipate its action.

In this perspective :

➡️📧Frison-Roche, M.-A., European Public Prosecutor's Office comes on stage: the company having itself become a private prosecutor, are we going towards an alliance of all prosecutors?, June 2, 2021

➡️ 💬Frison-Roche, « Le parquet européen est un apport considérable au Droit de la Compliance » (“The European Public Prosecutor's Office is a remarkable contribution to Compliance Law"), June 14, 2021

 

I. AN ACTION THAT WILL FOCUS ON FIGHTING THE MEANS USED TO DAMAGE THE FINANCIAL INTERESTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

The article of the Wall Street Journal takes the form of an interview with the European Prosecutor. Her responses also confirm the consubstantial link between European Public Prosecutor's Office and Compliance Law.

It is remarkable that she immediately says that she hopes the treatment of many cases, especially on healthcare and infrastructure sectors: "Our expectation is to have more cases, especially in the healthcare system, in public procurement, infrastructure, and also in agriculture ".

However, the 2017 European Regulation which established the European Public Prosecutor’s Office said that its "mandate" is to prosecute offenses affecting the "financial interests of the European Union", without being hampered by the cumbersome procedures for cooperation between States while these offenses are most often cross-border.

But one could think that, knowingly taking the means (corruption, money laundering) for the goal, the European Public Prosecutor's Office would immediately pursue not only the defense of the financial interests of the Union (admittedly financial interests damaged by corruption or money laundering) but these facts themselves: thus the European Public Prosecutor's Office works with the European Supervisory Authorities, in particular banking and financial authorities, which fight in Ex Ante against these offenses and prevent them.

 

II. AN ACTION THAT FOCUSES ON SECTORS NOT LEGALLY REGULATED IN EX ANTE BY SECTORAL REGULATORY AUTHORITIES

Moreover, it will be noted that the European Prosecutor is targeting three economic sectors which are not "regulated sectors" in the legal sense of the qualification, that is to say not monitored by a sectoral Regulatory and/or Supervision Authority: Health, Infrastructure and Agriculture.

Thus, the power of Regulatory Law, which relies in its Ex Ante, and its weakness, which derives from the pre-required existence of a sectoral Authority, is compensated: the action of the Public Prosecutor's Office is not limited to legally regulated sectors.

While Competition Authorities are mandated (➡️📅La concurrence dans tous ses états, June 25 and 26, 2021) to protect the competitive functioning of the markets, a Public Prosecutor's Office can deal with any infringement without having to determine a market.

For instance, Infrastructures don't constitute pertinent markets but can constitute fields for criminal activities, such as corruption or money laundering, justifying Compliance Law mechanisms. 

What the new European Prosecutor is aiming for, namely Health, Infrastructures and Agriculture, have undoubtedly been damaged both by the sole primacy of the Competition perspective and by a Criminal Law constrained by the difficult inter-State cooperation, even though they are not subject to a supranational Ex Ante Regulation.

The European Public Prosecutor's Office aims to directly improve this, through Entreprises acting in Health, Infrastructures and Agriculture. 

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June 18, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

 Law is slow, but firm. By its judgment of June 15, 2021, Facebook , the European Union Court of Justice widely interprets the powers of National Authorities, since they serve the people protection in the digital space (➡️📝(CJEU, June 15, 2021, Facebook)

 

Law is slow. The reproach is so often made. But the bottom line is that, in the noise of changing regulations, it establishes clear and firm principles, letting everyone know what to stand for. The more the world is changing, the more Law is required.

When Law degenerates into regulations, then it is up to the Judge to make Law. "Supreme Courts" appear, de jure as in the United States, de facto as in the European Union by the Court of Justice of the European Union which lays down the principles, before everyone else, as it did for the "right to be forgotten" in 2014 (➡️📝CJEU, Google Spain, May 13, 2014), and then with the impossibility of transferring data to third countries without the consent of the people concerned (➡️📝CJEU, Schrems, October 6, 2015).

Facebook litigation is kind of a novel. The company knows that it is above all to the Courts that it speaks. In Europe, it is doing it behind the walls of the Irish legal space, from which it would like to be able not to leave before better dominating the global digital space, while national regulatory authorities want to take it to protect citizens.

There is therefore a technical question of "jurisdictional competence". The texts have provided for this, but Law is clumsy because it was designed for a world still anchored in the ground: the GDPR of 2016 therefore organizes cooperation between national regulatory authorities through a "one-stop-shop", forcing the authorities to relinquish jurisdiction so that the case is only handled by the "lead" National Authority. This avoids splintering and contradiction. But before the adoption of the GDPR, the Belgian data protection regulator had opened a procedure against Facebook concerning cookies. The "one-stop-shop" mechanism, introduced in 2016, is therefore only mentioned before the Brussels Court of Appeal, which is asked to relinquish jurisdiction in favor of the Irish Regulatory Authority, since the company has in Europe its head office in this country. The Court of Appeal referred to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling.

By its judgment of June 15, 2021 (➡️📝CJUE, Facebook, June 15, 2021), it follows the conclusions of its Advocate General and maintains the jurisdiction of the Belgian National Regulator because, even after the GDPR, the case still undergoes national treatment. In this decision, the most important is its reasoning and the principle adopted. The Court notes that the "one-stop-shop" rule is not absolute and that the national regulatory authority has the power to maintain its jurisdiction, in particular if cooperation between national authorities is difficult.

Even more, will it not one day have to adjust Law more radically? We need to consider the fact that the digital space is not bound by borders and that the ambition of "cross-border cooperation" is ill-suited. It is of course on this observation of inefficiency, consubstantial with the digital space, that the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) was designed and set up, which is not a cooperation, nor a "one-stop shop", but a body of the Union, acting locally for the Union, directly linked to Compliance concerns (➡️📝Frison-Roche, M.-A. "The European Public Prosecutor's Office is a considerable contribution to Compliance Law", 2021 and ., European Public Prosecutor's Office comes on stage: the company having itself become a private prosecutor, are we going towards an alliance of all prosecutors ?, 2021).

So that's what we should be inspired by.

June 17, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

 Compliance Law and Competition: for building, is it necessary to legislate ? Example of quasi-public interest judicial agreement: the French Competition Authority's Statement of June 3, 2021 on Facebook

 

The French law so-called "Sapin 2" of 2016, organized the "convention judiciaire d’intérêt public - CJIP" (Public Interest Judicial Agreement) which allows the prosecutor to undertake not to prosecute a company in returns for this company's commitments for the future. Is this mechanism reserved for this law, which only concerns corruption and bribery? The answer is often positive.

Is it so obvious?

Since the entity having the power to prosecute therefore always has the power not to prosecute. As the company always has the freedom to make commitments for the future. And everything stops.

News in Competition Law illustrate this. On June 9, 2021, as part of a transaction, the Autorité de la concurrence (French Competition Authority) sanctions Google (➡️📝 Communiqué of the Autorité de la Concurrence , translated in English by the French Competition Authority) , which has not contested the facts, for abuse of dominant position for having privileged its services in the online advertising services. Similar facts were alleged against Facebook. But on June 3, 2021, the Autorité de la concurrence (French Competition Authority) published a "communiqué de presse" (➡️📝statement translated in English by the French Competition Authoritysaying that Facebook has, during the investigation, proposed commitments regarding its future behavior. It is remarkable that this statement on Facebook is published as an “acte de régulation” (regulatory act).

Yes, it is indeed an regulatory act about the future and structuring the online advertising area, internalized in this company which engages itself in its future behavior. With its statement, the Competition Authority invites the “acteurs du secteur” (actors of this sector) to make observations, for the development of what will be a sort of compliance program.

In these negotiations which are akin to a game table, where everyone calculates without knowing if they enter into a negotiation or a confrontation, the first game assuming that one shows more cards than in the second, it is indeed towards a kind of Public Interest Judicial Agreement that they are going with a Competition Authority which is both Judge and Prosecutor, concludes the agreement and, through a later decision, gives it force. Under the various legal qualifications, it is indeed the same general mechanism of Compliance Law, well beyond the specific French law known as Sapin 2.

Managed in this way, Compliance Law being an Ex Ante corpus, transforms the Competition Authority, an Ex Post Authority, into an Ex Ante Authority, openly taking "acte de régulation" (Regulatory Act), and allows it to rely on the power of companies, thus “committed”, to structure markets, which are however not regulated. Like advertising or retailing areas (➡️📝see Frison-Roche, M.-A., From Competition Law to Compliance Law: Example of French Competition Authority's decision on central purchasing body in mass distribution, 2020).

Thus Compliance Law has achieved the autonomy of Regulatory Law with regards to the notion, which nevertheless seemed intimate to it, of "sector".

 

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June 16, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

 Compliance Law is essential for the future of Africa: this is also a lesson from the Juin 2021 G7 Summit in its Infrastructure Plan. 


It emerges from the G7 summit which ends on June 13, 2021 in Carbis Bay in the United Kingdom, a common desire to increase infrastructures in Africa, in itself and because otherwise China will do it, and will do it differently.

Compliance Law will be determinant in this common action for three reasons.

First and because the issue is about infrastructures, the construction and the management of infrastructures falling more under Regulatory Law than Competition Law (📕Chevalier, J.-M., Frison-Roche, M.-A, Keppler, J.EPPLER, J.H. et Noumba, P. (ed.), Économie et droit de la régulation des infrastructures. Perspectives des pays en voie de développement, 2009). However, Compliance Law is not a simple process for the effectiveness of rules which are external to it, it is the extension in companies of Regulatory Law. Where companies must implement regulatory goals within themselves, they develop Compliance rules (➡️📝see Frison-Roche, M.A., From Regulation Law to Compliance Law, 2017. 


Secondly and because the issue is about Africa, the Rule of Law is sometimes not very solid there. By internalizing Regulatory Law in companies (or even by associating Arbitration with it), Compliance Law makes it possible to get out of this dead end (➡️📝Salah, MM, Conception and Application of Compliance in Africa, in 📕 Frison-Roche, M.-A. (ed.), Compliance Tools, 2021.

Thirdly and because the topic si about China, Compliance Law in its European conception has the Monumental Goal of defending individuals while in its Chinese conception it aims to obtain their obedience to the rules (➡️📝Frison-Roche, M.-A., In China, Compliance Law deploys without, and even against democracy, China seeing Compliance only as an "efficiency process"; in Europe, it deploys with and even for democracy, 2021). On construction sites and in the human management of infrastructures, this changes everything.

G7 members share the first conception.


They must now implement it by their companies and thanks to them, private sector being in alliance with the political authorities which just expressed. Because Compliance Law is an alliance between political authorities and crucial economic operators.

 

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June 15, 2021

Compliance: at the moment

  Money Laundering, Cryptocurrency and the Art of Saying It: the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) statement of June 3, 2021 and the Art of Saying It. Law is softer than ever.

 

The English have their way of saying things: thus the Financial Conduct Authority -FCA, the British financial market regulator, published on June 3, 2021 a press release whose expression is remarkable. Its subject matter is crypto-assets and, like in an essay plan à la française, it is built in two parts.

 In the part I, it is just mentioned that the deadline for companies in this industry to obtain a registration, which was due to end soon, will be postponed to March 2022. Why? Because almost all of them have not been able to demonstrate their ability not to be resistant to money laundering and other criminal activities. This is in no way presented as a conviction, just the objective cause of a postponement of the date, the time for the Financial Regulatory Authority to better examine the files, themselves to be completed by applicants.

The part II concerns consumer protection. The Authority point out that the consumer can lose everything in an extremely risky products and underlines that it is unlikely that this ruined layman will even be able to access the ombudsman to obtain anything. It is purely informative.

This is how the English bodies formulate their opinion on cryptoasset.

It's elegant (the press is more direct).

This also makes it possible not to be covered with insults by the worshipers of these objects: are expressed just a technical delay granted and not a conviction that cryptoasset could be per se  an instrument of criminality, just a probationary difficulty ; and just a regret on the non-access to the ombudsman for these cryptoassets consumers.

But if the evolution of the bubble leads these investors to ruine shows, the Regulator will have warned and expressed in advance the regrets he had of the lack of legal technique to protect them. And if the facts show that it is massively through cryptocurrency that the crime is whitewashed, the Regulator has shown everyone his prudence, the delay it will have take to examine the files  and its kind foresight.

No one more than a British knows what Liability is. 

 

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