CLIP-ings: April 23, 2021

Internet Governance

New York State Will Offer Affordable Broadband Plans For Low-Income Households: Governor Cuomo signed a bill that caps the price of broadband options at $15 for regular broadband and $20 for high-speed broadband for those who qualify as low-income customers in New York, potentially benefiting over 7 million people in 2.7 million households.


TikTok Sued For Violating Children’s Privacy In UK And European Union: A former Children’s Commissioner for England is representing the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit against TikTok before London’s High Court that alleges that the popular service illegally harvests children’s private information in violation of UK and European Union data protection law; if successful, the suit could lead to “billions of pounds” in damages against the company.

Senate Proposes To Ban Law Enforcement From Purchasing Data From Data Brokers Without Warrants: The proposed Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act, which is supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, would prohibit law enforcement agencies from purchasing from private companies and data brokers information that would otherwise require a warrant to obtain.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

MIT Researchers Advocate That Vaccine Passports Should Use “Dumb Technology”: Experts and organizations are proposing that fraud-proof vaccination credentials should be developed with simple technology that minimizes any external access to users’ sensitive information beyond their identity and vaccination status.

Facebook Hopes To Normalize Mass Data-Scraping: After over 500 million users’ phone numbers were exposed online in January, leaked internal documents reveal that the social media giant expects more scraping incidents in the long term and that it plans to attempt to “normalize” incidents involving data scraping activity.

Free Expression & Censorship

U.S. Postal Service Tracks And Shares American’s Social Media Posts: As part of a secret surveillance effort, the Postal Service’s law enforcement arm has been monitoring social media posts for “inflammatory” content related to “planned protests occurring domestically and internationally” and distributing findings to other government agencies; experts are puzzled about why the Postal Service has been engaging in social media surveillance. 

Practice Note

FTC Issues Guidance On Selling And Using Racist Algorithms: In a recent blog post, the Commission suggested that selling or using algorithms that produce discriminatory outcomes could qualify as an unfair or deceptive practice and could potentially be the subject of enforcement.

On the Lighter Side

Amazon Opens Augmented Reality Hair Salon: The company has opened Amazon Salon in the UK, where clients can use an augmented reality app to try on different hair styles before committing to a cut.

Olivier Sylvain
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Erica Chan

Junyi Cui

Editorial Fellows