CLIP-ings: July 31, 2020

Internet Governance

Tech CEOs Questioned Over Anticompetitive Activity: Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Google’s Sundar Pichai were quizzed for over six hours by the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee in response to growing Congressional concerns about the potentially exploitative strategies behind their companies’ outsized success during the pandemic, such as Amazon misusing third-party sellers’ goods for its private label and Facebook allowing the spread of dangerous COVID misinformation across its site.  

Instagram Bug Causes Unintentional Camera Access: A new iOS 14 privacy feature that shows when an application is using a device’s camera or microphone has exposed an alleged “bug” on Instagram that engages the camera whenever the app is open, such as when a user is “scrolling through the photo feed.”

Facial Recognition Algorithms Defeated By Mask Wearers: The National Institute for Standards and Technology confirmed in a new study that wearing a face mask over the nose and mouth raises error rates in even relatively accurate face-to-ID-photo facial recognition systems from 5 to 50 percent, depending on the algorithm used.  
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Drizzly Confirms Data Breach: The leading alcohol-delivery service recently notified customers that 2.5 million users’ information was obtained by hackers, including email addresses, dates of birth, passwords, and “in some cases, delivery addresses;” while the company assured customers that no financial data was obtained by the hackers, “a listing on a dark web marketplace” has Drizzly customers’ credit card numbers listed for sale at $14.  
Intellectual Property

Tesla Sues Rivian For Trade Secret Theft: The electric carmaker challenged its rival in California state court over confidential hiring, management, and manufacturing documents former Tesla employees may have illegally shared with Rivian after being hired away by them.
Free Expression and Censorship

Trump’s Mass Text Messages Blocked By Wireless Carriers: After Trump’s reelection campaign sent 1 million text messages in a peer-to-peer format, anti-spam monitors used by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile were triggered to block the texts as spam; while the campaign insists that it is in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act guidelines, “the messages didn’t include clear opt-out language” and may have lacked user consent.

Practice Note

New York Ordered To Pay Unemployment To Rideshare Drivers: Echoing similar recent decisions from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts courts, a New York federal judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering the New York Department of Labor to immediately begin approving unemployment claims for the state’s many rideshare drivers.  

On the Lighter Side

Viewers Judge Tech CEOs’ Testimonies, And Their Rooms: While CEOs Cook, Bezos, Pichai, and Zuckerburg testified virtually before Congress regarding potential antitrust violations, viewers took the liberty of evaluating the CEOs’ various office spaces, ranking Pichai the highest, and Cook the lowest.  
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