CLIP-ings: August 14, 2020

Internet Governance

Uber And Lyft Must Classify Drivers As Employees: The Superior Court of the State of California issued a preliminary injunction requiring that the ride-hailing services classify drivers as employees in accordance with the state’s AB5 law; in response, Uber’s CEO has stated that the service will likely “shut down temporarily” in California if the ruling is not overturned on appeal.

TikTok Sues Trump Administration Over Ban: The lawsuit in the the Southern District of California challenges the President’s recent executive order, which forbids “any transaction” between U.S. citizens and TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance–including sending the software updates the app needs to function on U.S. smartphones–on the basis of executive overreach and lack of due process.


Privacy Shield Faces Renegotiation Hurdles: After the Court of Justice of the European Union struck down the transatlantic framework last month, the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce announced they have entered talks to renegotiate terms to attempt to meet the EU’s higher privacy standards.

UK Appeals Court Curtails Facial Recognition Use: A high court found that the South Wales police violated UK human rights laws in their use of a facial recognition system called AFR Locate to identify suspects on watchlists, reasoning that individual officers had “too much discretion” in matching people, that it was unclear both “who can be placed on the watchlist” and what criteria determined where the technology could be used, and that the police did not “sufficiently investigate if the software in use exhibited race or gender bias.”

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Reddit Communities “Vandalized” With Pro-Trump Content: In what is believed to be a coordinated attack, the moderator accounts of numerous popular subreddit pages including r/food, r/Japan, r/nfl, r/podcasts, and r/space were infiltrated by hackers who changed the subreddits’ designs to appear “in support of President Donald Trump.”  

Intellectual Property

Apple Alleges Trademark Infringement Against Small Company: The tech giant has taken legal action to prevent food-preparation company Prepear from using a pear-shaped logo, which Apple alleges infringes upon its own apple-shaped logo; Prepear has created a petition, now with over 20,000 signatures, asking Apple to drop the case lest costly legal fees run the small company out of business.

Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook To Label Politically-Connected Publications: In light of the approaching presidential election, the social media platform will now require publications affiliated with political parties to “disclose their affiliation when they buy political ads.” 

Practice Note

New Jersey Supreme Court Joins Phone-Decryption Split: The state’s highest court ruled that law enforcement could compel an individual to unlock his cell phone without running afoul of the Fifth Amendment, theorizing that because the phone in question was registered in the defendant’s name, he presumably knew the passcodes, and he therefore was not being forced to provide any information the government did not already know. 

On the Lighter Side

World’s Last Blockbuster Becomes Airbnb Destination: Airbnb is offering $4 nightly stays for the next month at the sole remaining Blockbuster video rental shop in Bend, OR, where the owners have set up a 1990s-themed “living room” for guests, complete with a VHS player and full access to the store’s movie library. 

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, Fordham CLIP