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.


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