CLIP-ings: February 7, 2020

Internet Governance

Twitter To Label Deceptively Edited Content Ahead Of 2020 Election: Joining Facebook and Google in an effort to better regulate misleading content published on their platforms, Twitter announced it will start labeling “synthetic or deceptively edited forms of media” and will remove any “deliberately misleading” content it believes is intended to cause harm.

Privacy

Tech Companies Send Cease-And-Desist Letters to Facial Recognition Technology Company: Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter maintain that Clearview AI’s practice of scraping billions of photos from their platforms to populate its facial recognition database violates their policies; Clearview argues that the First Amendment protects its right to collect the public information.

Kenyan Court Halts Government’s Digital ID Plans: The country’s high court is delaying the government’s implementation of a countrywide biometric registry, registration in which would be a prerequisite for access to certain rights and public services, until there is “an appropriate and comprehensive regulatory framework” in place to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination and maintain the security of user data.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Google Confirms Users’ Private Videos Were Accidentally Sent To Strangers: Google recently notified a subset of Google Photos users that their private videos were exported to other users’ accounts due to a technical issue with the company’s Takeout data-downloading service in late November; the issue has since been fixed and Google has apologized to the affected users.

Intellectual Property

Flywheel Agrees Its Technology Infringed Peloton’s Patented Leaderboard System: The two at-home fitness companies have agreed to settle a September 2018 patent infringement case filed by Peloton; Flywheel has admitted its stationary bikes infringed Peloton’s patented technology and says it will stop using the leaderboard system within 60 days. 

Free Expression and Censorship

Twitter Moves To Quash Subpoena For A User’s Identity By Devin Nunes’s Lawyer: The social media platform is attempting to block the subpoena from Representative Nunes’s lawyer, which seeks to reveal the identity of the parody Twitter account ‘Devin Nunes Cow’, on the bases that disclosure would violate the Stored Communications Act and that the accountholder’s identity is unrelated to the case, which is a defamation suit between other parties.

Practice Note

Ancestry.com Rejects Police Warrant For User DNA: The genealogy website rejected a law enforcement warrant seeking access to the company’s 15 million DNA profiles on undisclosed technical grounds; law enforcement agencies have increasingly sought access to the records of DNA profiling companies for investigations, but receive varying levels of cooperation from different companies.

On the Lighter Side

“Amazon Dating” Provides Expedited Date Delivery: The parody site, which is unaffiliated with Amazon, displays a range of “singles” and other Valentine’s Day Easter eggs.

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Brittany Thomas
Sean Conners
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP