CLIP-ings: May 22, 2020

Internet Governance

State And Federal Attorneys General Coordinate Antitrust Investigation Against Google: The tech giant is under government scrutiny for alleged monopolistic behavior in the online advertising market arising from how Google uses the considerable amount of data it holds on individual users to place ads across the internet; a charging decision will likely be issued by the end of this summer.


Apple And Google Release Secure Contact-Tracing Software: On May 20, the companies announced that 22 countries and a number of U.S. states were granted access to their jointly produced contact-tracing software; the firms publicly asserted that measures to ensure user privacy, such as blocking requests for geographic location data and applying strict encryption standards, will be enforced on states and countries that have access to the technology.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

EasyJet Could Face Large Fines If Negligence Caused Customer Data Breach: EasyJet has warned customers about potential scam emails after announcing that the data of over 9 million customers was breached in a hack of the airline’s database; “accessed” information includes email addresses, travel details, and 2,208 customers’ credit and debit card information.

Intellectual Property

Nintendo Fights To Protect Its Intellectual Property From Hackers: Nintendo filed two suits against defendants who sell products that allow gamers to play pirated games on Nintendo’s Switch devices; the company seeks a permanent injunction and a $2,500 penalty per enabled violation.

Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Not Liable For Hosting Terrorist Content: The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a decision of the Second Circuit which held that Facebook was not liable for knowingly hosting the accounts of terrorist groups and promoting those accounts algorithmically; the case was originally brought in 2016 by the families of five Americans affected by Palestinian attacks in Israel.

Practice Note

California District Court Signals Support For Privacy Claims In Suit Involving Google Assistant: Although it granted Google’s motion to dismiss in a recent class action alleging that the company’s voice-activated assistant tool actively listened to and recorded conversations after misperceiving voice commands, a California federal district court permitted the plaintiffs to amend their complaint, and suggested plaintiffs may have an expectation of privacy when using the device in settings “reasonably understood to be private.”

On the Lighter Side

HBO Beats Netflix To First Official Relationship With Simultaneous Streaming Provider: In light of the COVID-19 lockdown, HBO and HBO Go have announced an official relationship with Scener, a Chrome extension for Mac, Windows, and Chromebook that allows up to 20 people to stream movies and shows together through a shared viewing screen with video chatting features.

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows