From February 25th to 28th 2019, the Faculty of Law of the Complutense University of Madrid hosted the International Seminar on “NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND LAW. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES ARISING FROM ROBOTICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE”. Professors Sánchez-Urán Azaña and Grau Ruiz directed this Seminar organized with the Brazilian Federal Judges Associations (AJUFESP & AJUFE).

Some of the topics discussed were the legal challenges in a world of total connectivity; fiscal and administrative issues related to robotics in a digital economy, the future of work, social protection and data protection. During the seminar, the idea of granting electronic personality to robots was criticized, highlighting the differences with natural and legal persons.

When physical and cyber world meet, some risks appear: managing huge amounts of information may affect privacy, and the systems may be vulnerable. The scope of the industrial secrets may lead to some legal uncertainty for the users of an algorithm.

Regarding direct taxation, the robot can be depreciated, through different means, and sometimes R&D incentives are also applicable. Being subject to VAT, it can be recovered. So, the fiscal treatment of capital goods is better than payments to workers. In the future, the tax benefits should be better adjusted and it would be preferable to adapt existing taxes, instead of creating new specific ones.

With regard to work relationships, some technological elements often diffuse the limits with the private sphere, and problems referred to the control of workers may arise. Additionally, the Social Security has to be redefined, to be sustainable, maybe delivering only one social benefit, taking into account all the working life and establishing layers of protection. Financing adequately the social system is an investment in social peace.

The right of data protection in the European Union has been evolving to better protect residents in the EU, now as stated in article 8.1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. This applies even when data are treated outside the EU to offer goods or services in the EU. In this sense, the Spanish Agency for Data Protection, has served as a model to implement national authorities that deal with prevention and have powers to carry on research and impose sanctions.


Discussion on Data Protection and ciber-crimes

During the debate on the tax and accounting treatment of robots with César García Novoa from the University of Santiago de Compostela and on measures for the taxation of digital services in the OECD and the EU with Cristina García-Herrera, from the Instituto de Estudios Fiscales del Ministerio de Hacienda de España.


Discussion on work and social protection also with great speakers. Among them, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, President emeritus of the Spanish Constitutional Court.