CLIP-ings: June 14, 2019

Internet Governance

G20 Drafts Digital Tax Rules For Global Tech Giants: In response to corporate tax loopholes that allow multinational technology firms to funnel sales through low-tax jurisdictions, G20 finance ministers have released an official statement agreeing to establish common rules that would create a global digital tax regime; the United States has expressed concern that the efforts unfairly target U.S.-based internet companies.

Privacy

Maine Enacts Online Privacy Law To Protect Consumer Data: The Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information, now one of the country’s strongest privacy laws, requires ISPs to obtain explicit consent from consumers before selling their data and prohibits ISPs from refusing service or offering discounts to coerce consumers into consenting.


Amazon Faces Class Actions For Recording Children’s Voices: A proposed federal class action and a similar suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court allege that Amazon’s Alexa records and “voiceprints” the voices of children who use the device without first obtaining consent, in violation of eight states’ recording laws; the suits claim that Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices are capable of distinguishing registered users’ voices from other voices, but that Amazon has neglected to take measures to limit the recording and storage of nonuser dialogue.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Cyberattack On U.S. Customs And Border Protection Compromises Traveler Photos: Hackers obtained photos of travelers’ faces and license plates from a federal subcontractor, which was using the data to improve facial recognition technology designed to identify vehicle occupants; the breach highlights the potential conflicts between federal surveillance practices and the privacy interests of Americans.

Intellectual Property

Investment Management Computer Program Too Abstract To Qualify For Patent Protection: The Federal Circuit affirmed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to reject a patent application for an investment management program that relies on standard computer procedures; the court agreed that the application did not meet the test set out in Alice v. CLS Bank because it did not propose an inventive concept, but rather merely automated the allocation of investment returns within a common fund.

Free Expression & Censorship

France Criminalizes Publication Of Judicial Data Analytics: The French government has banned the publication of data analysis of judicial decision-making, including patterns of judicial decisions used by legal tech companies to predict litigation outcomes; violation of the ban is now a criminal offense punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.

Practice Note

Search Engines Held Not Liable For Map Results Derived From Fake Third Party Content: The D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal of a claim against Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft concerning the alleged manipulation of online map results by sham companies; the court agreed that the Communications Decency Act shielded the search engines from liability for the search results that were generated by neutral algorithms.

On the Lighter Side

Google Maps Tests New “Off-Route” Feature For Taxi Rides: The new feature alerts taxi passengers if their driver diverts from the fastest route.

Joel R. Reidenberg

Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of LawFounding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP


Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP


Robert Chislett
Alison Gordon

Editorial Fellows

CLIP-ings: June 7, 2019

Internet Governance

House Judiciary Subcommittee Pushes Antitrust Investigation Of Tech Industry: Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google will be called to testify as part of a wide-ranging probe over the tech industry’s perceived concentration and misuse of market power and the resulting impact on local journalism, consumer privacy, and market entry for startups; the hearing is being conducted in addition to three separate antitrust inquiries simultaneously pursued by the executive branch, the Justice Department, and the F.T.C.

PrivacyS

New York Privacy Act Receives Pushback From Big Tech: A bill recently introduced by New York State senator Kevin Thomas that would create a private right of action and would require online businesses to act as “data fiduciaries” would become one of the strongest privacy laws in the country if passed.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

EU Embassy In Moscow Falls Victim To Multi-Year Cyber Attack: A leaked internal document reveals that the EU Embassy in Moscow was compromised by sophisticated cyber-attacks to its unclassified network as early as February 2017; the European External Action Service, the EU’s foreign and security policy agency, did not discover the attack until this April, shortly before the EU Parliament elections.

Intellectual Property

Uber Faces Patent Infringement Claim: A former Georgia Institute of Technology professor is suing the company for allegedly infringing his 2004 patent over a system that combines cellphones, GPS, and auto-billing technology to facilitate ridesharing; the former professor also sued Lyft last July for infringement of the same patent.

Free Expression & CensorshipS

EU Court Signals That Facebook May Be Required To Remove Content Worldwide: The European Court of Justice’s legal adviser issued an advisory opinion indicating that Facebook could be ordered to remove content that is identical or “equivalent” to content that is hateful, defamatory, or otherwise illegal; Facebook argues that the opinion, if followed, would have far-reaching implications for how states maintain sovereignty and uphold freedom of expression.

CNN And Reuters Fall Victim To Chinese Government Censorship: Upon the 30th anniversary of Beijing’s pro-democracy uprising and subsequent Tiananmen Square massacre, the Cyberspace Administration of China has blocked CNN and has pressured the financial information firm Refinitiv to block Thomson Reuters stories from its Eikon news software; the Chinese government has also denied visas to journalists who have published articles critical of the nation’s leadership.

Practice Note

D.C. Court Allows Privacy Case Against Facebook To Proceed: In a suit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the D.C. Superior Court rejected Facebook’s argument that the court lacked jurisdiction over the company, as well as its alternative argument that the action should be stayed pending resolution of the F.T.C.’s investigation of the company and a separate class-action; the ruling allows the D.C. Attorney General to begin obtaining evidence that Facebook has violated the District’s consumer-protection and privacy laws.

On the Lighter Side

Teens’ Use Of AirDrop Confuses Unsuspecting Adults: Adults are increasingly getting caught in the crossfire of teenagers’ use of Apple’s AirDrop feature.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Robert Chislett
Alison Gordon

Editorial Fellows

CLIP-ings: May 17, 2019

Internet Governance

Status Of Uber Drivers Further Edged Toward Independent Contractors: The Office of the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board advised in a public opinion that Uber drivers are independent contractors and not Uber employees; the opinion aligns with recent court rulings, a Department of Labor opinion, and Uber’s own stance on driver classification.

Privacy

San Fran Set To Ban City Use Of Facial Recognition: San Francisco officials voted on an ordinance that would prohibit city personnel from purchasing and using facial recognition technology and would require city departments to submit surveillance technology policies for public vetting; the ordinance, which is a response to the increase in discomfort around facial recognition technology, aims to protect marginalized groups that could be harmed by the technology’s implementation.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

WhatsApp Breach May Have Targeted Human Rights Group: WhatsApp reports that a breach of its platform in which spyware was installed through the app’s voice messaging system may have been the act of a government implementing surveillance technology developed by a private company; WhatsApp believes that the “serious security vulnerability” targeted human rights groups.

Tracking Software Planted In Attorney Email: Defense counsel for a U.S. Navy Seal officer charged with war crimes and his platoon commander claim that military prosecutors installed tracking software in emails sent to the defense team and a reporter, allegedly to discover the source of leaks to the media.

Free Expression & Censorship

White House Introduces Online Tool For Reporting Censorship: The White House created a tool for people to report instances where they feel they’ve been censored or banned on social media platforms due to political bias; the tool allows users to share screenshots of censored posts and provide explanations of enforcement actions taken against them.

France And New Zealand Spearhead Pledge To Reduce Terrorist Content Online: Tech companies including Microsoft, Amazon, and YouTube, as well as 17 national governments and the EU, signed the “Christchurch Call,” a collaborative pledge to combat the rise of terrorist content online; the White House, citing free speech concerns, declined to sign.

Practice Note

App Store Antitrust Lawsuit Allowed To Proceed: The Supreme Court ruled that iPhone owners are allowed to attempt to prove that Apple exercises monopoly power in the retail market for the sale of apps and has used that power unlawfully to force iPhone owners to pay higher-than-competitive prices for apps; the Court rejected Apple’s argument that it is a mere intermediary and thus not subject to suit as missing the economic reality of the relationship between Apple and app developers.

On the Lighter Side

Do Space “Pirates” Justify The Space Force? Twitter users, including Elon Musk, respond creatively to Senator Ted Cruz’s opening remarks before the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation and Space supporting the need for a Space Force.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Quinn Nicholas D’Isa
Editorial Fellow, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: May 10, 2019

Internet Governance

Spotify And Apple Clash Over Antitrust: The EU will launch a formal antitrust investigation against Apple after Spotify complained that Apple’s practices of taking a cut of Spotify subscriptions made through the App Store and blocking Spotify from implementing “experience-enhancing upgrades” disadvantages Spotify to Apple Music’s benefit.

FTC Privacy Penalty Disagreement: According to a New York Times report, the Federal Trade Commission’s five commissioners disagree about the size and scope of the fine to be levied against Facebook for recent privacy violations, as well as about whether CEO Mark Zuckerberg should be held personally liable; the case is being watched as a litmus test for how forcefully the United States will police one of its most influential tech companies.

Privacy

State-Held Biometric Data Deletion: UK tax authority HM Revenue & Customs will delete customer voice records collected through the Voice ID biometric voice security system after being informed by the Information Commissioner’s Office that its failure to provide customers with information about how their voice data would be processed and to offer customers the opportunity to give or withhold explicit consent violated the GDPR.

Facebook Content Labeling Project Revealed: As part of a project to understand how users’ posts are changing over time, Facebook has employed contractors to manually categorize photos, status updates, and other content according to five different “dimensions”; though Facebook responded to reports of the project by ensuring that its legal teams approve all labeling efforts, some contend that the project may run afoul of the GDPR.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Team Effort To Beat Misinformation Campaigns: FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate panel that the Bureau’s relationship with Silicon Valley has “changed dramatically” over past years, and that the FBI and social media companies will continue to work together to curb foreign influence campaigns leading up to the 2020 election.

$41 Million Bitcoin Theft: Hackers employed “phishing, viruses and other attacks” to steal $41 million worth of Bitcoin from cryptocurrency Binance in what is the latest in a string of similar thefts.

Free Expression & Censorship

Fake Account Takedown Continues: As part of its effort to combat misinformation on its platform, Facebook removed 118 fake accounts tied to Russia for “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” such as impersonating others and misrepresenting the accounts’ purposes; the fake accounts were behind Facebook pages and groups dedicated to politics in Austria, the Baltics, Germany, Spain, Ukraine and the UK. 

On the Lighter Side

What Seems To Be The Problem . . . Officer? A new “telepresence robot” that extends forward from a police cruiser to a pulled-over vehicle allows for a two-way audiovisual communication between a police officer and the vehicle’s driver without either having to exit their car. 

Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: May 3, 2019

Internet Governance

Facebook Offers Data On Election Influence: The company announced that it will provide “privacy-protected Facebook data” from APIs and other sources to more than 60 academics for the purpose of researching the social network’s role in instances of election interference across the world.

Privacy

FTC And Facebook Working Toward Settlement: A week after Facebook announced that it expects to be fined up to $5 billion by the FTC for privacy violations, reports have emerged that tentative settlement terms between the parties would require Facebook to create a privacy committee, appoint an external assessor, and appoint a head compliance officer to oversee the company’s privacy compliance efforts.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Vodafone Discovered Vulnerabilities In Huawei Equipment: Newly-released 2009 and 2011 security briefings from Vodafone Group reveal that the telecom discovered hidden backdoors in software that could have granted Huawei unauthorized access to the network that provides internet service in Italy, as well as in certain broadband network gateways; Vodafone and Huawei said that they worked together to resolve the issues upon their discovery.

Florida Voting Equipment Compromised: Senator Marco Rubio confirmed that Russian hackers infiltrated at least one Florida county’s electronic voting system during the 2016 presidential election by mimicking emails from the company that provided the voting equipment; according to Rubio, the hackers were “in a position” to alter voter records.

Intellectual Property

SCOTUS Seeks Input On Google Appeal: The Supreme Court has asked the Trump administration to weigh in on whether the Court should consider the company’s appeal of a Federal Circuit ruling that revived Oracle’s case alleging that Google impermissibly copied code from the Java programming language to create Android.

Free Expression & Censorship

Clarifying What’s Tweet-able For Tesla: A federal judge approved a proposed settlement between the SEC and Tesla CEO Elon Musk that prohibits Musk from tweeting about Tesla’s finances, proposed mergers and acquisitions, and yet-unreleased production and delivery figures without first obtaining pre-approval from the company’s lawyers; this new settlement comes after Musk settled 2018 securities fraud charges related to tweets about taking Tesla private.

Practice Note

Taking Tweets With You: A Missouri federal district court declined to dismiss a conversion claim brought by a plaintiff against one of its former employees after the former employee changed the handle of a Twitter account that he used in connection with his work with plaintiff to reflect his affiliation with a new employer, the plaintiff’s direct competitor.

On the Lighter Side

Undersea Espionage: Could a GoPro harness-wearing beluga whale encountered by fisherman off Norway’s coast be a Russian spy?


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: April 26, 2019

Internet Governance

Facebook Expects Massive Civil Fine For Data Debacles: Facebook warned investors that it expects to incur a fine as high as $5 billion for its mishandling of user data; the civil fine would be the largest ever imposed by the Federal Trade Commission on a tech company for data-related misconduct.

Privacy

Mental Health Apps Share User Data Without Consent: A new study revealed that free anti-depression and smoking cessation apps collect and share users’ mental health data without disclosing the practice in their privacy policies; many of the apps studied shared information that could lend insights into individuals’ online behavior, and some even shared sensitive data such as “health diary entries” and “self reports about substance use.”

NSA Recommends Ending Phone Surveillance Program: The National Security Agency has recommended that the White House end the massive phone surveillance program that collects data from text messages and phone calls in the United States on the basis that “the logistical and legal burdens of maintaining the program outweigh any intelligence benefits it brings.”

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Wi-Fi Hotspot Finder App Exposes 2 Million Network RecordsThe database for an Android app that allows users to search for nearby Wi-Fi networks and upload information about their own network for others to use left exposed records containing Wi-Fi network names, precise geolocations, basic service set identifiers, and network passwords.

Intellectual Property

YouTube Content Filters Strike Time 100 Event: Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group blocked YouTube’s livestream of the Time 100 Summit on copyright grounds—possibly because YouTube’s ContentID filtering system was triggered by a Taylor Swift performance or by the interlude music that played between presenters.

Free Expression & Censorship

Funding Cut For Right-Wing Militia Group: PayPal and GoFundMe have shut down all fundraising campaigns for the United Constitutional Patriots on the basis that that UCP violates the companies’ policies by supporting hate or violence and allegedly using the funds to purchase guns; UCP denies that it used donations to purchase weapons and says that the cutoff has “killed” its resources.

Sri Lanka Temporarily Shuts Down Access To Social Media: Following the deadly attacks on Easter Sunday, the Sri Lankan government temporarily shut down all access to social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Instagram to prevent the spread of misinformation.

On the Lighter Side

No Facial Recognition In The Subway: The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority has assured straphangers that monitors in the city’s subways that track riders’ faces are fake, and are simply a trick to deter fare evasion


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Praatika Prasad
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: April 19, 2019

Internet Governance

Senator Markey Introduces Privacy Bill Of Rights: The consumer data protection bill, which is designed to curb companies’ discriminatory use of data, would require that companies collect consumer information only to provide specifically requested services and would mandate that companies “protect and secure” the consumer information that they possess.

Privacy

Google’s Sensorvault Helps Law Enforcement: Law enforcement officials in the United States are using information stored in a Google database of location records called Sensorvault to identify suspects; after receiving a “geofence request” from law enforcement, Google can look to Sensorvault data to identify devices based on location and movement patterns and can then reveal associated names and email addresses to law enforcement once the field is narrowed to a few devices.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Hackers Leak Federal And Law Enforcement Agents’ Personal Details: A group of hackers infiltrated websites run by the FBI National Academy Association, stole around 4,000 unique details about members including names, job titles, home addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers, and uploaded the stolen content onto their website.

Intellectual Property

Apple And Qualcomm Settle Patent Royalty Dispute: The settlement results in the dismissal of all litigation between the two companies, and includes a requirement that Apple pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount; the parties have also reached multi-year license and chipset supply agreements.

Free Expression & Censorship

Google Suspends TikTok In India: After the Madras High Court of India refused to stay its order banning social video and music app TikTok, Google suspended access to the app in the country; the High Court issued the ban after observing pornography and other inappropriate content on the app, and also appointed an independent counsel to examine the app’s implications.

In Trying To Prevent Misinformation, YouTube Shows Unrelated News: During the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris, YouTube’s live streaming coverage displayed an unrelated history overlay about the 9/11 attacks; the mix-up was due to an error in a YouTube algorithm created to fact-check and prevent the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories on the platform.

Practice Note

Another Anti-Terrorism Act Suit Against Tech Giants Fails: The Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal of a suit alleging that Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube’s poor self-policing afforded the perpetrator of the Pulse Nightclub shooting encouragement and assistance from ISIS in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act; the court affirmed the District Court’s finding that the social media sites’ conduct did not proximately cause the shooting.

On the Lighter Side

Get A Zoom, You Two: AI on the camera of Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is now able to detect when you are puckering up to kiss someone and will automatically take a photo to capture the slimy moment.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Praatika Prasad
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: April 12, 2019

Internet Governance

Britain Looks To Fine Social Media Companies For Harmful Content: Online safety laws proposed in the wake of growing concerns over the effects of harmful content on minors would place a duty of care on “any company that allow[s] users to share or discover content or interact online” and would impose fines and personal liability on corporate bosses for failure to eradicate “damaging material.”

Privacy

Ankle Monitor Youth Surveillance: Hundreds of Chicago Youth who are awaiting trial are being required to wear ankle monitors with embedded microphones and speakers; though the stated purpose for the communication capability is to alert wearers when their monitor is low on battery, concerns over the possibility of persistent surveillance have caused law enforcement officials to disable the devices’ recording features pending review. 

Alexa, Does This Look Like A Rash To You? A recent report revealed that Amazon improves its Alexa devices by employing human listeners to evaluate and categorize recorded user data; the report comes shortly after news that Alexa-enabled devices are now able to follow HIPAA compliance guidelines and handle personal medical information.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Assange Arrested And Charged: After WikiLeaks officials claimed that Julian Assange was being spied on while in the Ecuadorian embassy, the controversial figure was arrested by British authorities and now faces a charge in the United States for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion stemming from his agreement to help Chelsea Manning crack a password to a classified Defense Department computer.

The DEA Secretly Spied On Americans: The Drug Enforcement Administration secretly surveilled Americans who bought money counters between 2008 and 2014 by issuing administrative subpoenas for purchaser information to companies that sold the counters; the bulk data consisted of tens of thousands of names, addresses, and phone numbers, and allegedly helped the DEA seize over $50 million.

Intellectual Property

IBM Alleges Portal Patent Infringement: In a new lawsuit, IBM alleges that travel company Expedia infringed three of its patents related to “graphical user interfaces for customer self-service search systems and customisable portal pages”; IBM claims that the lawsuit is necessary due to Expedia’s unwillingness to negotiate a license agreement for the technology.

Free Expression & Censorship

YouTube Shuts Down Comments During Congressional Hearing: YouTube shut down the comments section on the livestream of a congressional hearing about white nationalism after the section filled with hateful remarks concerning white pride, anti-Semitism, and multicultural societies.

On the Lighter Side

Roomba Burglar: Oregon police responded to a 911 call claiming that someone had broken into a house and found the “suspect” to be a Roomba Robotic Vacuum Cleaner.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP  

Praatika Prasad
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: April 4, 2019

Internet Governance

Australia Passes Law On Violent Posts: The legislation obligates content providers to “expeditiously” remove “abhorrent violent material” and imposes fines and criminal penalties for violations; the law is being criticized for being hastily drafted and passed without either consultation with industry experts or public input.

Privacy

Where Everybody Knows Your Login: After facing backlash from security experts, Facebook has stopped its practice of asking some new users to share their email login password to verify their account; users asked for their login information were those who used email clients that did not support the OAuth standard security protocol.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Over 540 Million Facebook User Records Exposed: Cybersecurity firm UpGuard discovered that the Mexico City-based news website Cultura Colectiva stored the user records, which included comments, reactions, and account names, openly on Amazon servers; Facebook said in a statement that it has worked with Amazon to take down the data and that the company’s policy prohibits information being stored on public databases.

Restaurant Group’s Customers’ Credit Card Information Stolen: From May 2018 through March 2019, hackers used point-of-sale malware to steal the card numbers and expiration dates of over 2 million customers of restaurants such as Bucca di Beppo, Earl of Sandwich, and Planet Hollywood; Earl Enterprises, the restaurants’ owner, has said the breach has been “contained” and that customers should not be at risk when eating at one of its landmark locations.

Intellectual Property

Blogger’s Screenshot Found To Be Fair Use: The Southern District of New York granted a motion to dismiss in Clark v. Transportation Alternatives, Inc. on the basis that a blogger’s use of a screenshot of a New York Post article about dockless bicycles to critique the original article constituted fair use.

Free Expression & Censorship

Facebook Takes Preventative Measures Ahead of Indian Election: Facebook has taken steps to contain false information ahead of India’s national elections that begin on April 11, which include introducing a new WhatsApp feature that that allows Indian users to report false, misleading, or disputed information and deleting hundreds of pages linked to India’s opposition party and Pakistan’s military for “inauthentic behavior.”

Practice Note

Seventh Circuit Allows Warrantless Border Smartphone Search: The Seventh Circuit determined that the Supreme Court’s Riley ruling, which recognized a warrant requirement for phone searches incident to arrest, did not apply to the border search of a cell phone held by a suspected child pornographer entering the country at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport; the court reasoned that the border agents’ good faith and reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed were sufficient to justify the search.

On the Lighter Side

Wake Up! Odd Alarm, a new alarm app, almost guarantees that the unpleasant alarm sounds it offers—including gunshots, glass breaking, and cats fighting—will wake you up.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP
Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
Praatika Prasad
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: March 29, 2019

Internet Governance

FTC Orders Broadband Providers To Reveal Their Data Collection Practices: The Federal Trade Commission ordered seven major broadband providers to disclose internal documents about their collection, retention, use, and disclosure of American customers’ personal information to “better understand Internet service providers’ privacy practices.”

HUD Charges Facebook With Housing Discrimination: Just a week after settling multiple lawsuits alleging that its targeted advertising practices are discriminatory, Facebook now faces new charges brought by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that allege that the social network’s targeted advertising system violates the Fair Housing Act.

Privacy

Family Tracking App Leaks Users’ Real-Time Locations: A backend database for popular family tracking app Family Locator was left unprotected, making users’ real-time locations and personal information—including photos and plaintext passwords—easily accessible by anyone who knew where to look; it is unclear how long the database was exposed before it was pulled offline.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Hackers Used ASUS Software Update Tool To Push Malware: Hackers compromised the update server of computer hardware company ASUS and pushed malware to hundreds of thousands of users’ computers through a seemingly authentic but malicious software update signed with the company’s legitimate digital certificates.

Intellectual Property

EU Passes Controversial Copyright Reform: The European Parliament voted in favor of new copyright rules that will require online platforms to sign licensing agreements with publishers before exhibiting their work and implement procedures to prevent users from uploading copyrighted content.

Free Expression & Censorship

Facebook Shifts Policy On Nationalist Content: Facebook has started banning content that “glorifies” white nationalist and separatist views on the basis that such content is “deeply linked to organized hate groups”; although Facebook has already banned white supremacy, it has until now allowed nationalist and separatist content to protect “broader concepts of nationalism and separatism – things like American pride.”

Practice Note

Grindr Protected By Section 230: The Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of a suit against Grindr brought by a victim who alleged that his former boyfriend created fake profiles on the app to harass him; the court found that the claims, which sought to hold Grindr liable for its “failure to combat or remove offensive third‐party content,” were barred by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

On the Lighter Side

We Know You’ll Have Fries With That: McDonald’s plans to roll out new A.I. features to promote different offerings based on factors such as time and weather and to create personalized menus based on customers’ order history.



Joel R. Reidenberg

Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP
Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
 
Praatika Prasad
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP