Gaidar Forum experts discuss legal risks of digitalization

An expert discussion of effective integration of digital technologies in the legal relations system in Russia took place on the second day of the 2018 Gaidar Forum.

The government faces a number of risks and challenges due to the rapid digitalization of business and public life, in particular, the spread of new concepts such as cryptocurrency, blockchain and bitcoin. Therefore, it is primarily important to decide whether these concepts are a stimulus for the development of the state or a potential cyberthreat.

Lyudmila Novoselova, President of the Intellectual Property Court, was the first to make a report. “The development of digital technologies involves a significant number of opportunities and prospects, but any major opportunity is always a risk,” she said. The expert highlighted the technological risks related to cybersecurity, standardization and the spread of innovation across the country; and organizational risks, such as the absence of a single expert center dealing with this issue. Legal risks are at the forefront, she said. The digitalization of the economy, although providing incentives to increase labor productivity, can also lead to the disappearance of a number of professions. However, Ms. Novoselova reassured her audience that jurisprudence is not subject to this risk, and that competent introduction of digital technologies will contribute to a qualitative improvement of the legal sphere.

Head of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) Grigory Ivliev cited examples of innovative technologies interacting productively with the conventional system of intellectual property rights registration – Rospatent’s new digital projects in the Information Infrastructure category approved by the Prime Minister on December 18, 2017. Mr. Ivliev also said that Rospatent actively uses blockchain technology in state registries, where it guarantees data unchanged during the entire storage period, but with the possibility of operational access. Nevertheless, the disadvantages of digitalization are inevitable. The risks of violation of patent owners’ exclusive rights are increasing; for example, with 3D printing technologies, civil law needs to include a clause prohibiting the use of digital copies without the consent of the right holder.

Head of RANEPA Applied Information Technologies Chair Pavel Golosov pointed out the danger of various speculations with cryptocurrency. However, legislative prohibitions on its use will not be a reasonable solution to the problem, since they will most likely lead to new violations, he said. According to the expert, the exchange rate instability, the anonymity of wallets, and the absence of a clear security system limit the use of electronic money as legal tender.

Having looked at the risks, the experts came to the conclusion that it is necessary to regulate the digital economy trends at the legal level, thus ensuring the security of private property. It is of fundamental importance to raise awareness of big data, robotics, artificial intelligence and other innovations through including them in educational programs, not only for technical professions, but also in jurisprudence. This will help train highly qualified personnel capable of adapting to the requirements of the time.

The organizers include the Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute) and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The program outline is available at the forum website.

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The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Novartis, Johnson&Johnson, RZD, MSD, AstraZeneca, the ACIG Group of Companies, Mastercard, Coca-Cola, Russian Agricultural Bank, Pharmstandard JSC, Microsoft; O1 Group, Unilever, EY, Russian Brewers’ Union, Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners and RVC.

The general information partners include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general online media partner is Gazeta.RU. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel and Interfax. The main information partners are Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Federalpress news agency. Other media partners include, PRIME news agency, EFE,, Expert RA, Radio Ekho Moskvy, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, BRICS, National Banking Journal, Banking Review, Financial One, Standards and Quality news agency, AK&M, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, Invest Foresight online magazine, Strategia magazine, Naans Media, the Public Administration scientific political journal, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, the Indicator online science journal, the Bankovskoye Delo (Banking Business) magazine, RNS news agency, Business Excellence magazine, Cision, the Budget magazine, Information platform “Russian planet – Smart Russia”.