CLIP-ings: May 8, 2020

Internet Governance

EU Publishes Cookie Consent Guidelines: In a set of updated guidelines published this week, the European Data Protection Board has undertaken to improve cookie consent practices by banning “cookie walls,” which require users to consent to cookie policies before viewing content, and by clarifying that basic interactions such as scrolling or swiping do not amount to consent.

States Consider House Arrest Tech To Curb COVID-19 Spread As Country Reopens: States including Hawaii, Kentucky, and West Virginia have contemplated the use of GPS tracking devices, smartphone apps, and similar technology to ensure that COVID-19-infected individuals stay home, though the use of such technologies for public health purposes remains “uncharted territory.”

Privacy

Surveillance Planes Take Flight Over Baltimore: An operation that began in secret in 2016 entered its second, public phase last week; the privately funded operation, which is in a six-month trial period and will focus on surveillance related to shootings, homicides, robberies, and carjackings, is viewed by privacy advocates as the “most comprehensive surveillance ever imposed on an American city in the history of the country.”

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Unsecured Database Of Popular Adult Platform Exposed 10.88 Billion Records: A security review site found that adult-streaming platform CAM4 left a server publicly exposed, and as a result revealed over 7 terabytes of personal information, including names, sexual orientations, payment details, and transcripts of user emails and chats; there is no evidence, however, that the database was accessed by hackers.

Intellectual Property

ICANN Rejects Proposed Sale Of Public Interest Registry To Ethos Capital: After a contentious review process, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers blocked the sale of the Public Interest Registry, which handles “.org” domains, to private equity firm Ethos Capital, in part on the basis that the sale would “change [ ] the fundamental public interest nature of PIR to an entity that is bound to serve the interests of its corporate stakeholders, and which has no meaningful plan to protect or serve the .org community.”

Free Expression and Censorship

Tumblr Clamps Down On Hate Speech In Reblogs Of Terminated Posts: In response to feedback from users, Tumblr announced that it will remove reblogs of posts that have already been taken down for containing “hate speech from Nazi or other white supremacist groups” as a way to curb the spread of such speech on its platform.

Twitter Will Prompt Users To Clean Up Their Language: In an effort to dissuade users from tweeting “offensive or hurtful language,” Twitter will begin showing users prompts urging them to reconsider their word choices before sending a tweet if language in the tweet matches language in posts that have been reported.

On the Lighter Side

A Modern Twist On A Classic: One nostalgic typist created a contraption that makes his computer keyboard sound and feel like an old-fashioned typewriter.

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP