CLIP-ings: January 21, 2022

Internet Governance

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Big Tech Antitrust Bill: If passed, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act would prohibit tech companies from promoting their own products or services over their competitors’ and would require the companies to apply their terms of service uniformly across users; Big Tech companies have come out against the bill, arguing that it will make their services less effective and will risk users’ privacy and security, while other lawmakers have introduced amendments to cover issues of privacy, censorship, and national security. 

Spain To Implement Transparency Rules For Cryptocurrency Promoters: In an effort to curb a recent wave of crypto scams, the country will require influencers and other cryptocurrency promoters with more than 100,000 followers to notify the National Securities Market Commission, as well as publish warnings about the risks of crypto investments alongside paid promotions; rule violators may face fines of up to €300,000.
Privacy

IRS Introduces Face Recognition Verification To Access Taxes Online: Beginning this summer, users who wish to file their taxes or make payments online via IRS.gov will have to submit a selfie, their government-issued photo ID, and other documents to third-party identity verification company ID.me, who will perform face matching to verify users’ identities; in addition to potential complications with the technology itself, the plan may complicate tax filing for individuals who wish to verify their identification through non-biometric means.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Biden Signs National Security Memorandum To Improve The Federal Government’s Cyberdefenses: The memorandum requires that the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense, and other intelligence-gathering organizations implement cybersecurity measures that are up to par with those implemented in the federal civilian networks, including encryption and multifactor authentication, incident reporting, and tools for sharing data between classified and unclassified systems. 

Crypto.com Cryptocurrency Exchange Confirms Hack: After earlier statements from the company vaguely referred to a security “incident,” the exchange’s CEO this week confirmed that nearly 400 users had their accounts breached and their funds stolen.
Intellectual Property

German Court Rules That Ad Blocker’s Alteration Of Code Doesn’t Amount To Copyright Infringement: The court sided with the creator of an ad blocker in a suit alleging that the blocker’s AdBlock Plus browser extension altered the defendant-publisher’s websites in violation of copyright law; a similar ongoing suit in the U.S. alleges that Google’s superimposing its own footer element, which blankets the plaintiff’s website with ads from its competitors when clicked, amounts to trespass to chattels.
Free Expression and Censorship

UK Royal Society Challenges Efficacy Of Science Misinformation Bans: In a report published this week, the Society suggests that content removal and bans may simply force misinformation peddlers into unreachable corners of cyberspace, and that “collective resilience” that pushes back on scientific disinformation may be more effective than other tactics such as demonetization and displaying fact-checking labels.
On the Lighter Side

So Simple A Seven-Year-Old Could Read It: A project called “tl;dr papers” uses AI-driven language processing techniques to generate “accurate and pithy” summaries of academic article abstracts.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: January 14, 2022

Internet Governance

FTC Defeats Facebook Motion To Dismiss In Antitrust Case: After dismissing the Commission’s original complaint earlier this year, the court found that an amended complaint’s “more robust and detailed” allegations that the company formerly known as Facebook employed a “buy and bury” technique to eliminate competition “cleared the pleading bar”; the court rejected both the Commission’s claim that the company also acted anti-competitively by restricting access to its APIs as well as the company’s argument that FTC Chair Lina Khan be recused.
Privacy

Austrian Data Protection Authority Finds Website’s Use Of Google Analytics Violated GDPR: In a ruling that raises red flags for the use of U.S.-based cloud services in the EU, the data watchdog found that an unnamed German publisher violated data-transfer provisions of the GDPR in light of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s decision in the Schrems II case by transferring users’ IP and cookie information to Google through the use of Google Analytics; Max Schrems, who brought the complaint, said that his nonprofit filed 101 similar complaints in almost all EU member states, and that additional rulings are expected to issue soon.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Washington To Meet With Tech Firms To Discuss Open-Source Software Security: In light of the recent Log4j vulnerability, representatives from the major tech companies and the Linux and Apache open-source software organizations will meet with the Biden administration to discuss how open source code can be made more secure.

Cyberattack On New Mexico County Incapacitates Jail And Forces Lockdown: The attack crippled government services in Bernalillo County, home of Albuquerque, and forced building closures, including a lockdown at the County’s Metropolitan Detention Center, which lost access to key security features such as camera feeds and automated doors.
Intellectual Property

Apple Removes Wordle Clone Apps From App Store: After numerous publications wrote about the many copycat versions of the popular web-based word game that appeared on the App Store, Apple seems to have cracked down and removed the unauthorized copies.
Free Expression and Censorship

Nigeria Restores Twitter Access After Seven-Month Ban: President Muhammadu Buhari imposed the ban in the interests of national security and cohesion after Twitter deleted one of his tweets in which he threatened to kill rebels, but lifted it after Twitter made a number of concessions to restore service in the country, which include establishing a physical presence there.
Practice Note

FCC Proposes New Data Breach Notification Rules: The Commission issued a proposal for a new rulemaking to craft stricter data breach notification rules that would, among other things, require notification to customers impacted by “inadvertent” breaches, do away with a mandatory one-week waiting period for notifications, and impose upon carriers a duty to disclose breaches to the FCC, FBI, and Secret Service.
On the Lighter Side

AI-Powered App Turns You Into A Composer: This music-making app allows users to create songs using AI and send them to music streaming sites to be heard.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: January 7, 2022

Internet Governance

Antitrust Class Action Alleges Google Pays Apple To Forego Search Business: The suit alleges that the companies held “clandestine meetings” to form agreements that Apple would make Google’s search engine the default on its devices, avoid developing its own search functionality so as to not compete, and receive a share of Google’s search ad profits.
Privacy

CNIL Fines Google And Facebook Over Cookie Consent: The data protection authority fined Google €150 million and Facebook €60 million after finding that the companies’ practice of offering users a single button to accept cookies, while requiring “several clicks” to refuse them, nudged users to agree to the cookies in violation of data protection rules mandating that consent be freely given.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Morgan Stanley To Settle Data Breach Class Action For $60 Million: The suit alleges that Morgan Stanley failed to wipe clean decommissioned data center equipment, and that a software flaw on the old servers left vulnerable the remaining data, which included Social Security numbers and birth dates.
Intellectual Property

Snap Sues USPTO For Rejecting Application To Trademark “Spectacles”: The suit is the latest development in the company’s five-year battle to trademark the term in connection with its camera-equipped eyewear; while the Office has determined that the term is generic, Snap maintains that the product’s media coverage, coupled with the term’s declining popular usage, makes “Spectacles” distinctive to Snap.
Free Expression and Censorship

Twitter, Facebook, Suspend Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Over Covid Misinformation: Twitter permanently banned the Republican lawmaker’s personal account after she posted false claims about the safety of Covid vaccines, while Facebook removed a similar post and suspended her account for one day.
Practice Note

FTC Urges Organizations To Patch Log4j Vulnerability: In an alert issued this week, the Commission urged organizations to patch the vulnerability, which Microsoft says remains “complex and high-risk,” to reduce the likelihood of harm to consumers and avoid legal action for failing to take reasonable steps to protect consumer data.
On the Lighter Side

Sicilian Police Arrest Mobster After Spotting Him On Google Maps: The mafia boss, who had been on the lam for 20 years, was perplexed about how the police found him, as he purportedly hadn’t contacted even his family in over a decade.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: December 31, 2021

Internet Governance

D.C. Circuit Ruling Rejects Challenges To 2020 FCC Wi-Fi Upgrade Order: The order, which was challenged by AT&T, will open up 1,200MHz of spectrum in the 6GHz band for unlicensed use.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

“Serious” Cyberattack Halts Operations At Norwegian News Publisher: An attack on the central systems of Amedia, which owns 78 newspapers, has resulted in the stoppage of printing and subscription services, and it’s possible that employees and subscribers have had personal data compromised.

T-Mobile Suffers Another Cyberattack: After a data breach exposed nearly 50 million of its customers’ data in August, another attack has compromised “a small number” of customer accounts to expose billing account names, phone and account numbers, and plan information.
Intellectual Property

Dutch Competition Authority Orders Apple To Allow Dating Apps To Offer Alternate Payment Options: The Authority for Consumers and Markets said that payment conditions for dating app providers are unreasonable, and that Apple must change its policy to allow dating apps to offer users methods for payment that are alternatives to the App Store.
Free Expression and Censorship

TikTok Content Moderator Sues For Failure To Provide Adequate Protection And Psychological Support: The proposed class action alleges that moderators, who spend up to 12 hours per day reviewing “disturbing content” including “genocide in Myanmar, mass shootings, children being raped, and animals being mutilated,” suffer psychological trauma as a result of the company’s inadequate support systems.

Tumblr Blocks “Sensitive Content” To Remain On App Store: To ensure that it meets Apple’s guidelines, Tumblr will begin to limit the results for tags or search terms that fall under an expanded definition of “sensitive content”; due to the blocks, it may be more difficult to find content related to mental health, racism, and sexuality on the site
Practice Note

West Virginia Federal Court Rules Retweet Does Not Reset Statute Of Limitations In Defamation Suit: The court ruled that a defamation defendant’s retweet of the earlier, allegedly defamatory article did not reset the one-year statute of limitations period because the retweet served as a mere “reference for [the article’s] existing audience” rather than the “republish[ing of] old content to new target audiences.”
On the Lighter Side

Out With Touchscreen, In With Tastescreen: A professor from Japan’s Meiji University has developed a prototype “lickable” screen that can imitate the flavors of items appearing on it.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: December 24, 2021

Internet Governance

FCC Settles With Mobile Carriers Over Failed 911 Calls During Network Outages: AT&T, Verizon, Intrado, and CenturyLink will pay a combined $6 million and have ensured that they will comply with the Commission’s 911 availability rules after network outages in mid-2020 caused 911 calls to fail.
Privacy

Internal Facebook Documents Reveal Company Position On International Data Transfer: Legal documents obtained by POLITICO conclude that “relevant U.S. law and practice,” including the Federal Trade Commission’s role in policing data practices, “provides protection of personal data that is essentially equivalent to the level of protection required by EU law,” and that recent rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union striking down data transfer frameworks between the EU and U.S. “should not be relied on”; the revelations come as Ireland’s Data Protection Commission finalizes a decision about whether to stop Facebook from transferring data to the U.S. pursuant to the rulings.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Hackers Access Belgian Ministry Of Defense Systems By Exploiting Log4j Vulnerability: The Ministry confirmed that unidentified attackers breached its network through a vulnerability in the Log4j logging utility that is bundled with the widely-used Apache Server; Apache has issued numerous updates to patch the vulnerability after its discovery, and CISA, the FBI, the NSA, and the cybersecurity agencies of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK have released a joint Cybersecurity Advisory on mitigation.

United States, Britain, Send Cyberwarfare Experts To Ukraine To Prepare For Potential Russian Attack: The countries dispatched the teams in response to intelligence suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be planning another cyberattack against Ukraine’s infrastructure in an effort to destabilize the country to justify an invasion and the eventual installation of a puppet leader.
Intellectual Property

Meta Sues Phishing Scammers For Trademark Infringement: The lawsuit alleges that the scammers infringed the company’s trademarks by impersonating the login pages of the Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger sites as a way to capture the personal information of users who had unknowingly been automatically re-routed to the fake sites.
Free Expression and Censorship

India Blocks YouTube Channels And Websites For Alleged Anti-India Content: The country’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting invoked the controversial IT Act to order the blocking of twenty channels and two sites, which allegedly had 3.5 million subscribers and 500 readers, on the basis that they comprised a “coordinated disinformation network operating from Pakistan” that spread “fake news” and “divisive content”  about “various sensitive subjects related to India.”
On the Lighter Side

Vodafone Turns First-Ever Text Message Into NFT: The NFT of the first text, which was sent in December 29 years ago and read “Merry Christmas,” sold at auction for $150,000 worth of Ether; Vodafone will donate the proceeds to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: December 17, 2021

Internet Governance

Facebook Oversight Board Calls For Investigation Of Company’s Role In Ethiopian Violence: As part of a decision to uphold the removal of a post claiming without evidence that Tigrayan civilians perpetrated violence against women and children, the Board asked the company to “commission an independent human rights due diligence assessment on how Facebook and Instagram have been used to spread hate speech and unverified rumors that heighten the risk of violence in Ethiopia.”

European Commission Proposes Algorithmic Management Rules For Transparency In The Gig Economy: The proposed Directive builds off and clarifies the GDPR to provide for limitations on data collection, human oversight of AI systems, the right to challenge job-related automatic decisions, and others.
Privacy

Norwegian Data Protection Authority Fines Grindr €6.5 Million For GDPR Violation: The fine, which is the largest the DPA has issued, was levied after an investigation revealed that the popular dating app shared users’ GPS locations, IP addresses, advertising IDs, ages, and genders with third parties “for behavioural advertisement without a legal basis.”

Huawei Documents Suggest Link To China’s Surveillance Programs: Over 100 “confidential” PowerPoint presentations once posted on a public-facing Huawei website showcase company products designed for voice analysis, detention center monitoring, location tracking for individuals, police surveillance, and employer surveillance; the company says that it did not develop or sell any product designed to target specific groups, and that “[p]rivacy protection is [its] top priority.”
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Ransomware Attack Of Payroll Company Jeopardizes Pre-Holiday Paychecks For Major Organizations: Ultimate Kronos Group, which provides payroll and HR services for organizations such as Tesla, Honda, MGM Resorts, and New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was affected by a ransomware attack that has some of its services offline without a timeline for when they may be available again.
Free Expression and Censorship

Artist Loses “@metaverse” Instagram Handle Shortly After Facebook Announces Name Change: Just days after Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would become Meta, Thea-Mai Baumann, owner of the decade-old @metaverse Instagram handle, found that her account had been blocked under the platform’s policy against impersonation; despite attempting to verify her identity with Instagram and hiring a lawyer, Bauman had the account restored only after The New York Times contacted Meta about the issue.
Practice Note

Amendment To Japan’s Telecommunications Business Law Would Require Disclosure Of Locations For Physical Data Storage: If passed, the amendment would require that search engines, social media platforms, and mobile phone companies disclose where they physically store users’ data; the move comes after data from LINE, a messaging app popular in the country, became vulnerable after being routed through China last year.
On the Lighter Side

Meta Develops Tech To Animate Children’s Drawings: The first-of-its-kind AI method automatically animates user-uploaded drawings of people and human-like figures.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: December 10, 2021

Internet Governance

Complaint Alleges Ads In Amazon Search Results Deceive Consumers: A complaint brought before the Federal Trade Commission by labor union coalition Strategic Organizing Center alleges that Amazon’s frequent inclusion of sponsored ads in its search results amounts to “near-categorical noncompliance” with FTC rules prohibiting search engines from deceptively including ads in organic search results. 

Italy’s Antitrust Authority Fines Amazon $1.2 Billion For Anticompetitive Logistics Servicing: The regulator determined that the company abused its market dominance by tying key features to the use of its Fulfilled By Amazon service, which put third-party sellers at a disadvantage.
Privacy

Apple Permits User Data Use For Targeted Advertising Despite Privacy Changes: Even though users have the option to ask apps not to track them as part of privacy changes Apple rolled out earlier this year, companies have nevertheless been allowed to rely on user-level iPhone signals for advertising purposes so long as the data is anonymized, aggregated, and not personally identifiable.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Google Disrupts Massive Botnet, While Microsoft Seizes Control Of China-Based Hacking Group Servers: In coordination with internet infrastructure service providers, Google broke up a network of nearly one million devices infected with Gulpteba malware and sued the botnet’s two Russia-based operators in an effort to “set a precedent, create legal and liability risks for the botnet operators, and help deter future activity”; similarly, Microsoft seized control of malicious websites and servers that the China-based Nickel hacking group used to perpetrate cyberattacks to advance the country’s geopolitical interests.
Intellectual Property

Clearview AI Set To Receive Patent For Its Facial Recognition-Powered Search Engine: The U.S.P.T.O. issued a notice of allowance to the controversial face-recognition company for a patent that covers “methods of providing information about a person based on facial recognition,” which includes an “automated web crawler” that scans and matches images on the web; civil rights and privacy advocates worry that the patent will help ensure the growth of facial recognition tech before lawmakers and regulators get the opportunity to evaluate all its potential dangers.
Free Expression and Censorship

Rohingya Refugees Sue Facebook For $150 Billion Over Failure To Stop Spread Of Misinformation Leading To Myanmar Violence: The lawsuits spearheaded by legal teams in the U.S. and the UK allege that Facebook knew about, but did little to stop the spread of, anti-Rohingya content on is platform.
Practice Note

German Court Enjoins Sharing Of Complete IP Address With U.S.-Based Cookie Consent Management Service: The court enjoined university Hochschule RheinMain from using a cookie preference service that shares users’ complete IP addresses with a U.S.-based company on the basis that the sharing runs afoul of data protection law and the Court of Justice of the European Union’s Schrems II decision.
On the Lighter Side

Uber Turns To Tree-Hailing: This holiday season, customers in select cities can use Uber’s Holiday Hub to order decorations such as trees and wreaths.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: December 3, 2021

Internet Governance

UK Competition Authority Orders Meta To Unwind Giphy Acquisition: In a first-of-its-kind effort, the Competition and Markets Authority ruled that Meta must sell Giphy after determining that the acquisition could harm competition by forcing more users onto Meta products and by removing Giphy’s competing advertising services from the market.
Privacy

UK Information Commissioner’s Office Fines Clearview AI £17 million: In the wake of a similar ruling out of Australia, the ICO provisionally fined the controversial photo-gathering company for allegedly failing to notify individuals about its data-scraping practices, processing data unfairly, and lacking a lawful basis to process data, among other things.

Newly Released FBI Document Sheds Light On Law Enforcement Access To Messaging Data: The “Lawful Access” document outlines the Bureau’s ability to “legally access secure content on leading messaging applications” using various legal processes; chief among the document’s revelations is that the most popular platforms, such as iMessage and WhatsApp, are the “most permissive,” with WhatsApp able to convey near-real-time metadata to law enforcement, including data about which users communicate with one another and when.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Widely Downloaded Google Play Store Apps Revealed To Be Malware: A group of apps downloaded over 300,000 times circumvented Google’s malware and fraudulent-app detection system by initially appearing benign, only to later push users to download updates that morphed the apps into “banking trojans” that secretly stole passwords, two-factor authentication codes, and more.

U.S. Faces Cybersecurity Worker Shortage: Despite growing threats of cyber attacks, companies and public-sector entities are struggling to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions; to fill the void, the government, private entities, and nonprofit organizations have ramped up efforts to train individuals for the roles.
Free Expression and Censorship

Federal Judge Enjoins Texas Law Prohibiting Social Media Platforms From Blocking Political Content: The court found that the law, which was passed in response to the perception that social networks stifle conservative viewpoints, violates social media platforms’ First Amendment right to exercise editorial discretion.
Practice Note

Australia Plans To Compel Social Networks To Unmask Trolls Who Defame: The country’s Prime Minister announced planned legislation that would give social media companies the power “to unmask anonymous online trolls” so that they may be sued for defamation; the announcement also carried a “pledge to legislate so that Australian publishers are no longer liable for defamatory comments made on their social media presences,” which would effectively reverse a ruling from the country’s High Court earlier this year.
On the Lighter Side

Ring In The Holidays With An Ugly Windows Sweater: Microsoft has released an “ugly sweater” in the style of the popular Windows game Minesweeper.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: November 19, 2021

Internet Governance

Meta Faces Lawsuit In Ohio Over Facebook Whistleblower Revelations: The securities suit brought by the state’s Attorney General on behalf of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and other investors alleges that the company misled the public about the “safety, security, and privacy of its platform,” and that fallout from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s revelations has cost investors over $100 billion.
Privacy

Instagram Turns To Video Selfies For Account Verification: The platform has begun asking that users of suspected bot accounts submit video selfies that showcase “all angles of [the] face”; while Instagram owner Meta last week announced that it will begin shutting down certain uses of facial recognition, the company said that Instagram teams—not facial recognition technology—review verification videos. 

Artists And Rights Groups Condemn The Use Of Palm-Reading Technology At Concert Venues: In a letter to ticket provider AXS, its parent AEG, and the Red Rocks amphitheater, over 200 artists and activists have demanded the cancellation of contracts to use the Amazon One palm-reading technology—and other forms of biometric technology—at venues over concerns that Amazon may send biometric data to law enforcement agencies for use toward tracking activists and marginalized people.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Robinhood Hackers Made Away With “Several Thousand” Phone Numbers: The investment platform, which revealed a significant security breach last week, announced that in addition to stealing usernames and email addresses, the hackers also stole an estimated 4,400 phone numbers, which may be used to perpetrate further hacks.

Singaporean Data Protection Authority Fines Travel Company For Data Breach: In response to the largest data breach it’s handled to date, Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission fined Commeasure for a breach that exposed 5.9 million users’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, birthdays, passwords, and booking information.
Intellectual Property

Apple Expands Consumer Options For Self-Repair: In what amounts to a significant shift for the company, beginning next year it will begin to publish repair manuals and make parts for its products available for sale to the public so that users can repair their own devices.
Free Expression and Censorship

Disney’s Text-To-Speech TikTok Voice Censored Certain LGBTQ Words: The feature, which rolled out last week as part of a Disney Plus Day promotion and converts text to speech in the sound of various Disney characters’ voices, initially skipped over words such as “gay,” “lesbian,” or “queer”; the issue has now been resolved without comment from TikTok.
On the Lighter Side

Instagram Introduces “Rage Shake” For Reporting Problems: Users who experience technical issues with the app can take out their frustration (and send a report to Instagram) by vigorously shaking their phone.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: November 12, 2021

Internet Governance

DOJ Suit Alleges Uber’s “Wait Time” Fees For Passengers With Disabilities Violate ADA: In the suit, the Department of Justice alleges that the ridesharing company’s practice of subjecting riders who take extra time to enter vehicles to extra fees violates the Americans With Disabilities Act; Uber, which calls the suit “surprising and disappointing,” says that the fees were not intended for riders with valid needs for extra time, and has already “automatically waived” them for riders who self-certify as disabled.

Google Loses Appeal In EU Price-Comparison Shopping Antitrust Case: The bloc’s General Court upheld a 2017 decision by the European Commission to fine the company €2.4 billion for prioritizing its own price-comparison shopping service while “relegating the results from competing comparison services . . . by means of ranking algorithms.”
Privacy

Meta Will Curtail Advertisers’ Ability To Target Ads Based On Sensitive Categories: Beginning in 2022, the company (formerly Facebook) will remove keywords that enable advertisers to perform “Detailed Targeting” of users based on sensitive characteristics such as health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, and sexual orientation; the change will apply broadly across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, as well as Meta’s “audience network.”
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Stock-Trading App Robinhood Suffers Breach: 7 million customers were reportedly affected by the hack, with 5 million having their email addresses leaked, 2 million having their full names leaked, and just over 300 having their names, dates of birth, and zip codes leaked.
Intellectual Property

Apple Will Stop Disabling Face ID On Independently Repaired iPhones: In a move that bolsters the right to repair, the company is releasing a software update for the iPhone 13 model that will ensure that Face ID functions after a device’s screen is replaced; prior to the update, the feature would not work if third-party repair shops replaced a phone’s screen without also undertaking a time-consuming and laborious process to replace a microcontroller in the device’s display.
Free Expression and Censorship

YouTube To Hide Dislikes To Curb Harassment: To prevent abuses including coordinated efforts to increase the number of dislikes on the videos of particular users, YouTube will stop making dislike counts publicly visible and will instead show them only on content creators’ private dashboards.
Practice Note

UK Supreme Court Denies Class Action Against Google Over Secret Tracking: The court ruled that the £3 billion proposed class action brought on behalf of 4.4 million people, which alleged that Google misused iPhone users’ data by collecting information about their internet usage when they believed they were opted out of tracking, was “unsustainable” in that it alleged only unlawful data processing and did not detail each individual’s resulting suffering of material damage or mental distress.
On the Lighter Side

Find Your Pet In Art History: As a follow-up to its 2018 Art Selfie feature, which harnessed AI to match your photo with lookalikes in famous paintings, Google has now released Pet Portraits, which compares your pets with animals depicted in artworks around the globe.
If you enjoy reading CLIP-ings, please consider making a contribution to Fordham CLIP. Your support provides crucial funding at a time when the study of information law and policy is more important than ever.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP