Impact Lab


Subscribe Now to Our Free Email Newsletter

» Currently browsing: Legal Issues


French court recognises Bitcoin as “money”

March 12th, 2020 at 11:42 am » Comments Off

The ruling, the result of a dispute between Bitcoin marketplace Paymium and crypto investment firm BitSpread, could benefit the French crypto market. A French court has ruled that Bitcoin is money, for the first time. The result of the ruling could lead to more action in the French Bitcoin market. It’s the first time a […]



3D Printing and the murky ethics of replicating bones

January 15th, 2020 at 12:50 pm » Comments Off

Bone scan databases offer scientists new ways to study human remains. But some worry they could be misused. Ten years ago, it wasn’t possible for most people to use 3D technology to print authentic copies of human bones. Today, using a 3D printer and digital scans of actual bones, it is possible to create unlimited […]



AI judges and verdicts via chat app: the brave new world of China’s digital courts

December 13th, 2019 at 1:03 pm » Comments Off

Inside the Hangzhou Internet Court, litigants appear by video chat as an AI judge – complete with on-screen avatar – prompts them to present their cases A ‘mobile court’ offered on popular Chinese social media platform WeChat has handled more than three million legal cases or other judicial procedures since its launch in March Artificial-intelligence […]



The great American tax haven: why the super-rich love South Dakota

November 24th, 2019 at 12:20 pm » Comments Off

Late last year, as the Chinese government prepared to enact tough new tax rules, the billionaire Sun Hongbin quietly transferred $4.5bn worth of shares in his Chinese real estate firm to a company on a street corner in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, one of the least populated and least known states in the US. Sioux […]



Can you make AI fairer than a judge? Play our courtroom algorithm game

October 29th, 2019 at 2:50 pm » Comments Off

Can you make AI fairer than a judge? Play our courtroom algorithm game The US criminal legal system uses predictive algorithms to try to make the judicial process less biased. But there’s a deeper problem    . As a child, you develop a sense of what “fairness” means. It’s a concept that you learn early […]



Women win the right to go topless in 6 states

October 23rd, 2019 at 12:21 am » Comments Off

  It’s unlikely that mayhem and anarchy will ensue The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down a ban on women being topless in public in Fort Collins, Colorado. The court’s decision makes it now legal for women to go topless in all of the states that fall under the 10th Circuit — Wyoming, […]



Netherlands passes law making everyone an organ donor by default

July 27th, 2019 at 1:53 am » Comments Off

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch senators have approved a new law that makes everybody a potential organ donor unless they decide to opt out of the system. The new system narrowly passed a vote in the upper house of the Dutch parliament Tuesday. The lower house last year passed the legislation with a one-vote majority. […]



Revealed: This is Palintir’s top-secret user manual for cops

July 24th, 2019 at 11:22 am » Comments Off

Motherboard obtained a Palantir user manual through a public records request, and it gives unprecedented insight into how the company logs and tracks individuals. Palantir is one of the most significant and secretive companies in big data analysis. The company acts as an information management service for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, corporations like JP Morgan […]



Consumer groups call for a moratorium on Libra until ‘profound questions’ are answered

July 16th, 2019 at 12:06 pm » Comments Off

Some 33 consumer and public-policy groups sent a letter Tuesday to five Congressional committees and federal regulators asking for a moratorium on the Facebook Inc.-backed Libra cryptocurrency. “We call on Congress and regulators to impose a moratorium on Facebook’s Libra and related plans until the profound questions raised by the proposal are addressed,” says the […]



His DNA solved a century-old jailhouse rape. The victim: His Grandmother

June 18th, 2019 at 11:39 am » Comments Off

Commercial DNA tests showed that Hiram and Bruce were related. But their link proved to be much deeper — and darker — than either could have imagined. As a black teenager in Compton, California, in the 1970s, Hiram Johnson began to wonder about his father’s fine curly hair, and the light-brown skin that strangers sometimes […]



The best reason for your city to ban facial recognition

June 17th, 2019 at 12:01 pm » Comments Off

  The technology isn’t ready. Society isn’t ready. And the law isn’t ready. This week, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to bar itself from using facial recognition systems. The city’s Board of Supervisors voted 8–1 on Tuesday to prohibit the police and other public agencies — though not private companies — from using the emerging technology […]



This DIY biohacker is under investigation

May 26th, 2019 at 2:52 am » Comments Off

Josiah Zayner rose to internet fame after performing various biohacking stunts on himself — including a livestreamed attempt to edit his own genes using CRISPR. Those antics are coming to haunt Zayner. Now, the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is investigating a “complaint of unlicensed practice of medicine” filed against him — a strange […]



Understanding the future through the eyes of a child