CLIP-ings: April 17, 2020

Internet Governance

Senator Blumenthal Raises Concerns Over Apple And Google’s Contact Tracing Technology: Apple and Google have teamed up to develop contact tracing technology designed to help contain the spread of coronavirus by alerting users after they’ve come in contact with a contagious person; Senator Blumenthal has warned the companies that they must balance consumer privacy with the needs of public health officials.

Supreme Court To Hear Cases Via Teleconference, Relaxes Paper Filing Rules: After delaying oral arguments last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court will hear cases over teleconference in May and will live stream oral arguments; the Court also relaxed its rules for paper filings and service in an effort to protect the health and safety of personnel amid the outbreak.


Half Of Americans Have Opted Out Of Products Or Services Due To Privacy Concerns: According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 52% of Americans have decided not to use a product or service because of the amount of personal information it collected; the study also found that Americans who were victims of hacking or fraud were more likely to opt out of services due to privacy concerns.

Singapore Bans Use Of Zoom In Schools Following Security Incidents: After a series of “very serious incidents” in the first weeks of home-based learning involving “Zoombombing,” Singapore has discontinued the use of teleconferencing service for remote learning; the move follows a series of security and privacy incidents for Zoom, as other schools and regions have also banned use of the service for learning. 

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Zoom Allows Users To Choose Routing Region: After the Taiwanese government banned Zoom due to concern about the flow of its data through China, the video-conferencing platform is now allowing users of paid accounts to opt out of having their data routed through selected regions. 

Free Expression and Censorship

Amazon Halts Delivery In France: The Nanterre Court of Justice ruled that the e-commerce giant must assess the “occupational risks inherent in the COVID-19 epidemic” at its French warehouses and is now limited to delivering only essential goods; in response, Amazon has suspended operations in the country pending a review of COVID-19 risks in its facilities.

Practice Note

Court Reverses Order Requiring Facebook To Turn Over Murder Victim’s Data: California’s Court of Appeal reversed a trial court decision that ordered Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to produce the victim’s social media messages to the defendants; the Court of Appeal found that the lower court had failed to “consider all the relevant factors” identified by the state’s Supreme Court before permitting the defendants to access the data.

On the Lighter Side

Unemployed Gamers Turn To Full-Time Video Game Coaching: As unemployment surges due to the coronavirus pandemic, some newly unemployed gamers are using their passion to earn extra money as video game coaches.

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