IT LAW IN THE WINTER SESSION 2022
Various IT law topics will again be dealt with in the 2022 winter session. The focus is on various digitalisation initiatives. Particularly noteworthy is the consultation on the Federal Act on Digitalisation in the Notary’s Offices.
IT Law topics in the National Council:
- Motion: Electronic prescriptions for therapeutic products. Better quality and higher patient safety. This motion asks the Federal Council to create the legal basis so prescriptions for therapeutic products can be issued electronically as part of the e-medication process and transmitted digitally. The Federal Council is requesting the rejection of the motion, as it considers the ordinance on medicinal products to be sufficient already. The ordinance already determines the minimum requirements for an electronic prescription in terms of authenticity, data integrity and confidentiality (Art. 51 Abs. 2 VAM; SR 812.212.21).
- Motion: Financing of decentralised digitalisation projects. This motion of the Finance Committee asks the Federal Council to design existing and temporary funding instruments in such a way that digital projects that enable interoperability and multiple use of digital public authority processes (e-government) and the exercise of political participation (civic tech) are also funded in the federal administration and subsidiarily in the municipalities and cantons.
- Motion: Ending the registration form chaos in lodging. This motion asks the Federal Council to implement the obligation to report the commercial accommodation of guests via a national digital solution. The enforcement sovereignty and federal competences are to be preserved. The Federal Council proposes to reject the motion, as there is no legal basis at national level. The implementation of this reporting obligation is governed by cantonal law and thus falls within the competence of the cantons.
IT law topics in the Council of States:
- Use of electronic means to perform government functions. The Federal Act on the Use of Electronic Means for the Fulfillment of Public Authority Tasks is intended to create the legal basis for an effective digital transformation in the federal administration and for cooperation between authorities of different communities and third parties in the field of e-government. After the National Council dealt with the Act in the fall session, it is now being considered again in the Council of States. There are still disagreements between the two chambers on various points.
- Motion: Protect under-16s effectively from pornographic content on the Internet. This motion asks the Federal Council to submit amendments to the law requiring telecommunications service providers to block access to providers who distribute pornographic content within the meaning of Article 197 (1) SCC without taking sufficient technical precautions to protect persons under the age of 16. The motion was already accepted by the National Council in the spring session. Implementation would represent the second case of sovereign network blocking after gambling.
- Motion: Participation of the Confederation in the establishment and operation of the National Test Institute for Cybersecurity. This motion requests the Federal Council to create the necessary legal basis for the participation of the Confederation in the establishment and operation of the National Test Institute for Cyber Security NTC and to determine the means by which it will participate. Critical infrastructures, public authorities and the economy are highly dependent on international hardware and software providers. Products from these vendors have increasingly been found to have serious security vulnerabilities in the past. In view of Switzerland’s social, economic and geopolitical stability, it is unacceptable that purchasers and providers of critical components do not have sufficient opportunity to ensure that the quality in terms of cyber security of the products being used is checked by an independent, trustworthy national organization. The National Council has already adopted the motion. The Federal Council is proposing that it be rejected, as it sees no need for a state institution that would compete with the private sector.
- Motion: Considering the gender perspective in digitalisation. This motion asks the Federal Council to integrate the gender perspective into its next digitalisation strategy. The National Council has already adopted the motion in the autumn session on the recommendation of the Federal Council.
- Notaries’ Digitalisation Act. For numerous legal transactions, the Federal Law prescribes the form of the public deed. Under current law, the original of the public deed must be drawn up as a paper document. With the draft law to which the dispatch refers, the authentication law is to be adapted to developments in society, technology and the economy. In the future, it should be possible to create the original of the public deed in electronic form. The Council of States will discuss the law in the winter session as the first Council.