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.


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