CLIP-ings: January 3, 2020

Internet Governance

Brazil Fines Facebook For Sharing User Data: The country’s Ministry of Justice fined the social network an amount equal to $1.6 million after finding that Facebook improperly made the data of 443,000 users available to developers of the app “thisisyourdigitallife,” which was at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Uber And Postmates Challenge California Freelancer Law: In a lawsuit filed Monday, the companies argue that the law, which would require that ridesharing, delivery, and similar “gig work” companies classify their workers as employees rather than contractors in some situations, denies exemptions for such companies “on the basis of lack of equal protection and due process under both federal and state law”; on Tuesday, a California federal judge temporarily enjoined the law’s taking effect.


New California Privacy Law Takes Effect: The law took effect on January 1, 2020, but companies have different interpretations of how the law applies and what they must do to comply with it.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

U.S. Army Bans TikTok On Government-Issued Devices: The ban comes after the Defense Department labelled the app a “security risk” over suspicion about its Chinese parent, ByteDance; the U.S. Navy also recently banned the app, and lawmakers asked U.S. intelligence agencies to investigate the app for “national security concerns” in October of last year.

Employee Error Leads To Wyze Data Leak: The employee removed security protocols from a database that included user email addresses, Wi-Fi network information, Wyze device information, and other data related to 2.4 million users of the home surveillance system.

Intellectual Property

Apple Faces Patent Suit Over Apple Watch Heart Monitor: A New York University cardiologist has sued the company, alleging that the heart-monitoring technology it uses in its Apple Watch violates his “patented method for detecting atrial fibrillation.”

Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Removes Misleading HIV Prevention Ads: Following pressure from LGBTQ+ groups and health organizations, Facebook has removed false and misleading ads about HIV prevention medications; a large number of the ads were run by plaintiffs’ lawyers who sought potential clients by falsely advertising that certain medications led to kidney or liver damage.

On the Lighter Side

Cops And Robots: A North Carolina couple called the police one night after they thought they heard a burglar in their home, only to find that their recently acquired Roomba vacuum cleaner had turned itself on and was bumping into the walls.

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP