CLIP-ings: August 6, 2021

Internet Governance

SEC Chair Asks Congress To Grant Agency More Crypto Oversight Authority: Citing concerns about “fraud, scams, and abuse” that could hurt investors, Chair Gary Gensler asked Congress to expand the SEC’s authority to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges and other platforms that facilitate crypto transactions.

Zoom Settles Privacy Suit For $85 Million: The settlement resolves claims that the videoconferencing platform shared users’ data with Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn without their consent, and allowed hackers to “Zoombomb” meetings.

NYC’s Proof-Of-Vaccination Requirement Stokes Privacy Concerns: The City’s recent announcement that patrons will soon be required to offer proof that they’ve received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to enter certain businesses has been met with concern by privacy advocates, who caution that the use of digital vaccine passports threatens the privacy of personal information and could help build a “global map of where people are going.”
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Report Details Google Firings For Data Misuse: A leaked internal document revealed that since 2018, the tech company has fired almost 100 employees for improperly using or sharing the data of users or Google colleagues.
Intellectual Property

Australian Court Ruling Opens The Door For AI To Be Patent Inventor: A decision by the country’s Federal Court found that because Australian law has no requirement that an inventor be human, the Commissioner of Patents erred in deciding that AI cannot be an inventor; the decision has been criticized as a form of judicial activism that invites an influx of junk patents.
Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Bans Accounts Of New York University Researchers: The academics are behind the NYU Ad Observatory project, which collects and studies data on political advertisements; the company defended the bans by arguing that the researchers’ methods, which include using a browser plugin to automatically extract data, violate its terms, and also that the bans are required by an FTC order arising from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Practice Note

Man Violates No-Contact Order By Renaming Playlists Shared With Estranged Wife: An Ohio court held that the man violated the order, which prohibited him from contacting his wife by any means, by attempting to correspond with her by renaming playlists on a Napster account still shared by the former couple; the case is an example of how seemingly-innocuous digital functionalities can facilitate stalking or harassment.  
On the Lighter Side

TikTok Takes Flight: American Airlines is now helping people indulge their TikTok addictions by offering passengers 30 free minutes of in-flight access to the app. 
Olivier Sylvain Academic Director, Fordham CLIP
Tom Norton Executive Director, Fordham CLIP