CLIP-ings: September 17, 2021

Internet Governance

Congress Initiates Investigation Into Instagram’s Effect On Teens: After The Wall Street Journal reported on Instagram’s awareness that use of its platform leads to negative mental health effects for teenagers, members of the Senate’s consumer protection subcommittee announced that they will seek information and testimony from Facebook related to the issue; other congress members have written to Facebook, urging it to halt its plan to create an Instagram for kids.

Biden Nominates Facial-Recognition And Surveillance Critic To FTC: The nomination of Alvaro Bedoya, who has been critical of facial recognition and other digital surveillance technologies for their impact on civil liberties—especially among marginalized groups—has been lauded among privacy and consumer advocacy experts and reaffirms the expectation that the Commission will strongly focus on Big Tech’s influence.

DoorDash Sues New York City Over Customer-Data-Sharing Law: The lawsuit argues that the ordinance, which was passed in July and requires food delivery services to share customer information with restaurants, is unconstitutional and violates customers’ privacy; many restaurants support the law because it helps ensure that they retain customers even if they stop using a delivery platform.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Apple Issues Emergency Software Updates To Patch Security Flaw That Allows Spyware To Access Devices Without Users’ Knowledge: The highly-invasive spyware by controversial company NSO, which can activate and access a device’s camera, microphone, messages, emails, calls, and other data, was discovered on a Saudi activists’ iPhone by cybersecurity watchdog CitizenPro; more than 1.65 billion Apple devices may have been vulnerable to the spyware since March.
Intellectual Property

Apple Uncertain About Appeal In Case Against Epic: After a ruling last week that dismissed nearly all of Epic’s claims but which found that Apple’s anti-steering rules, which prohibit app developers from informing users about payment systems other than Apple’s in-app system, violate California law, the company has yet to decide whether to appeal and is focusing on how it might revise its terms to comply with a court order requiring it to allow developers to link to third-party payment systems.
Free Expression and Censorship

TikTok Bans Posts Of “Devious Licks” Trend: The company says that the trend, which involves posting about stealing items from schools, violates its community guidelines; the company is altering search results and deleting hashtags related to the trend.
Practice Note

FTC Extends Health Breach Notification Rule To Health Apps: In a policy statement issued this week, the Commission concluded that the 2009 Rule, which requires that vendors of personal health records notify consumers in the event of a data breach, also applies to health apps that process sensitive health information.
On the Lighter Side

Augmented Reality Steals The Show During One NFL Team’s Opening Weekend: In a viral tweet, the Carolina Panthers show a giant, augmented-reality panther bounding around the team’s stadium during last Sunday’s game.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP