CLIP-ings: September 25, 2020

Internet Governance

Twitter’s And Zoom’s Algorithms Face Racial-Bias Problems: A Ph.D student’s Twitter thread exposing a flaw in Zoom’s algorithm that would remove his black colleague’s head in videos with a virtual background revealed a similar “cropping bias” in the algorithm that Twitter uses to generate photo previews in tweets.

YouTube May Be Forced To Acknowledge Mental Health Consequences Of Content Moderation In Pending Litigation: A proposed class-action lawsuit against the video site alleges that it violated California law by failing to ensure safe work conditions for content moderators and failing to inform them of the job’s potential negative effects on their mental health.
Privacy

Instagram User Files Suit Alleging iPhone Camera Surveillance: Filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco, the complaint alleges monitoring via unconsented camera activation by the Instagram iPhone app; Instagram owner Facebook has previously denied that users’ iPhone cameras are accessed or that content is recorded in such instances, and called the notification of camera use a bug.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Amnesty International Report Cites Sales Of Surveillance Technology To China As Cause For EU Export Reform: In a report that notes the human rights risks associated with selling digital surveillance technologies to known persecutors of ethnic groups, Amnesty International urges European Union lawmakers to update the bloc’s export regulations to require that exporters conduct human rights due diligence. 
Intellectual Property

Facebook Rights Management Platform To Be Extended To Image Owners: Facebook has adapted its system for safeguarding music and video rights to give a select group of partners the ability to claim ownership over and control the use of their images on Facebook and Instagram; particular attention is being given to how current Instagram use may be affected before opening the tool up to all users. 
Free Expression and Censorship

Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement Shows How Digital Technology Can Promote Civil Participation: After the success of vTaiwan, a public discussion platform where experts, government parties, and citizens deliberated contentious issues, Taiwanese public officials created a government-managed platform called Join to host debates on divisive issues and give Taiwanese citizens an opportunity to participate in the legislative process.

Practice Note

In Suit Brought By Vermont Attorney General, Court Denies Clearview AI Section 230 Immunity Or First Amendment Protection: The Vermont Superior Court rejected Clearview AI’s attempt to portray itself as an interactive computer service provider publishing third party information and denied the company’s motion to dismiss, noting that the basis of the state’s claims are the means by which the company acquired photographs, its use of facial recognition technology, and its allegedly deceptive statements.
On the Lighter Side

Scientists In India Built A Tree-Climbing Coconut-Harvesting Robot: Owing to the shortage of coconut harvesters in the country, Indian scientists have built a coconut-harvesting device that can climb tree trunks and cut ripe coconuts with its circular saw blade. 
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Erica Chan
Daniel Gerken
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: September 11, 2020

Internet Governance

Facebook First To Feel The Sting Of Decision Invalidating Privacy Shield: In the first major move by a European Union data protection authority to enforce the European Court of Justice’s July ruling invalidating the data transfer framework, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has ordered Facebook to suspend transfers of European Union users’ information to the United States or face fines amounting to 4% of the tech giant’s annual revenue.

Italy Tugs Apple, Dropbox, And Google Down To Earth: Italy’s competition authority is investigating the tech giants’ cloud storage services to analyze their disclosures about the collection and use of data, the fairness of their contract clauses, and the prevalence of English rather than Italian language contracts.
Privacy

Portland Takes A Stand Against Facial Recognition Tech: Portland’s City Council unanimously adopted two broad ordinances limiting the use of facial recognition technology by city bureaus (e.g., the Police Bureau) and private companies.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Apple Assesses Hong Kong’s National Security Law: Following Beijing’s unilateral imposition of a new national security law on Hong Kong on July 1, Apple, unlike other tech giants, has not paused processing user data requests from Hong Kong authorities while it is “assessing” the new law…
Free Expression and Censorship

GitHub In China Is A Free Speech Zone For Covid-19 Information: On the Chinese internet, where social media platforms are either banned or strictly monitored, GitHub remains the “last land of free speech in China” as Chinese authorities hesitate to censor the open source platform that has become invaluable to the country’s tech industry.

Facebook Blocks Dying Man’s Broadcast While TikTok Struggles To Remove Suicide Video: Citing a desire to avoid promoting self-harm, Facebook has blocked the victim of a rare disease from livestreaming his final days after his decision to withdraw from life-sustaining treatment; meanwhile, TikTok is scrambling to prevent a shocking and graphic suicide video from popping up on user’s screens, including those of juvenile viewers.
Practice Note

Magistrate Judges Reject “Reverse” Warrants: Two federal magistrate judges have ruled that the warrants, through which police geofence the area around a crime scene, request information on devices within the geofence from providers such as Google, and then comb through disclosed data in order to narrow down a list of suspects, violate Fourth Amendment constraints and fail under Carpenter’s reasonable expectation of privacy in cell site location information.
On the Lighter Side

U.S. Companies’ Delivery Drone Operations Postponed While Quadcopter In Tel Aviv Drops Bags Of Cannabis: Despite routine experimentation and official paperwork, U.S. companies itching to expand delivery drone operations are stalled by the lack of federal regulations; meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, a quadcopter was filmed dropping bags of cannabis onto the streets.
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Erica Chan
Daniel Gerken
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP