Lawyer Monthly - March 2022

MAR 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 15 onboard to shore up some of the “dead zones” of protection as to how far the tech companies can go in collecting sensitive, private data of its customers. Before the Senate is the Customer Online Notification for Stopping Edge-Provider Network Transgressions (CONSENT) Bill (S. 2639) The CONSENT Act would require the Federal Trade Commission to establish an opt-in requirement mandating consent in order for edge providers to use sensitive information. Anyone with a business website in the United States would be expected to abide by the CONSENT Act. An edge provider is any business that provides online content, such as an eCommerce store, videos, images, or even just a blog about the business will qualify as such. The CONSENT Act is still pending before the Senate. With this inmind, what is the premise of Elon Musk’s Neuralink venture? Neuralink is a technology being developed by Elon Musk whereby a chip the size of a coin is implanted surgically in the skull connected to approximately 1000 flexible threads that are positioned in certain strategic locations of the brain near neurons. It is anticipated that the threads will convey information to and from the neurons. The threads are difficult to see and are measured in microns; they are much smaller than a strand of one’s hair. For that reason, Neuralink has invented a robot to actually perform the surgery of installing the chip and threads. The primary objective of Neuralink is part of a larger dynamic called brain-computer interfacing (BCI), which allows the human brain to communicate directly with a computer without the use of an IOS device, keyboard or mouse. However, this is not the first foray of humans entering the brain for scientific purposes. Over several decades, electrodes have been utilised for deep brain stimulation either on the surface of the head or at a fixed situs. Elon Musk has hosted several presentations discussing this new developing technology, promoting it as beneficial for those disabled with Pictures professionally shot by Angelica Reyn. Al-Law-Gory book cover designed by Mark Frazier. spinal cord injuries, such as tetraplegics and quadriplegics. He believes that if his technology can be pioneered, it may one day lead to flexible threads bridging the signals from the brain to other parts of the body to regain movement for limbs frozen with paralysis either by injury or defect. He has further inferred that the technology is also beneficial for the non-disabled, freeing them from manual data entry and thereby speeding up the transfer of data through direct contact with the computer. The claimed advantages are mind-boggling, with some suggestion that humans may become telepathic, through thought transference communicating with each other via computer, rendering manual texting as anachronism. Are other companies looking to develop similar technology? The field of neurotechnology involving BCI, brain-machine interfaces, neurostimulation, neuroprosthetics and

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