CLIP-ings: June 28, 2019

Internet Governance

Disclosing Profit Gained From User Data: A bipartisan team of senators has introduced the Dashboard Act, a bill that would require technology companies with more than 100 million monthly users to disclose the types of data being collected from consumers and the revenue gained from its monetization; the bill has attracted attention because it proposes an obligation for social media companies to inform users of how much revenue their data provides from their use of “free” social media services.


Healthcare Partnership Faces HIPAA Suit: Google and the University of Chicago Medical Center, which collaborate to use artificial intelligence to predict patients’ future medical events, face a lawsuit in Illinois federal court alleging that the hospital’s sharing of certain medical records, along with Google’s ability to personally identify patients, violate HIPAA patient privacy standards.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Florida City Pays Bitcoin Ransom After Cyber Attack: Lake City, Florida, voted in an emergency city council meeting to pay hackers a ransom demand of 42 bitcoins worth nearly $500,000; Riviera City, Florida, suffered from a similar ransomware attack one week earlier and similarly agreed to pay 65 bitcoins valued at $600,000.

Telecom Companies Fall Victim To “Operation Soft Cell”: In a large-scale cyberattack now spanning over seven years, hackers have stolen sensitive data from more than a dozen major mobile carriers; the data theft operation, which is believed to be state-sponsored, has penetrated mobile carriers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East by breaching networks and potentially enabling access to the data of millions of customers.

Intellectual Property

Supreme Court Declines To Hear Digital First Sale Doctrine Case: The justices denied a petition of certiorari from now-shuttered online music service ReDigi Inc. in a case concerning consumers’ ability to resell digital copies of music and other works without violating copyright law; ReDigi aimed to let users resell MP3s by employing technology that purportedly allowed only a single copy of a song file to exist at any one time, but previous copyright infringement lawsuits against ReDigi held that the digital version of the first sale doctrine did not apply because ReDigi technically created new copies of works for the online marketplace.

Free Expression & Censorship

Facebook Agrees To Share Identification Data Of Hate Speech Suspects With French Authorities: Facebook has agreed with French authorities that it will provide identity data on users suspected of engaging in hate speech; while Facebook has previously taken the position that it was not legally obliged to provide such data, the company agreed to the arrangement after engaging in ongoing dialogue with the French administration.

Practice Note

USPTO Partners Up To Streamline International Patent Applications: For the second year, the USPTO’s Collaborative Patent Cooperation Treaty Collaborative Search and Examination pilot program will hold a second round of applications in which patent examiners from the U.S., Europe, Japan, Korea, and China collaborate to process applications.

On the Lighter Side

Audio Surveillance Fail: A recent report reveals that an “aggression detector” audio surveillance system installed by some schools confuses laughter for aggressive behavior.

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