CLIP-ings: July 20, 2018

Internet Governance

Google Fined $5 Billion: European antitrust regulators have fined Google and ordered it to stop using Android “as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine” by coercing Android device manufacturers into pre-installing Google Search, its Chrome browser, and Google Play app store; the decision draws mixed criticism, some saying that it is too little, too late, while others (Google) claim stiff competition against Apple negates monopolistic concerns.

Budget Cuts Affect Online Medical Community: As of Monday, the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) has ceased to receive funding; the online database vetted and compiled the best healthcare practices from medical societies and other research, aiding over 200,000 monthly visitors in their daily practice – multiple initiatives aim to restore the database.

Dear Government, Please Regulate Us: In a forceful article by Microsoft President Brad Smith, the company argues that advances in facial recognition technology, and its potential to harm “fundamental human rights protections like privacy and freedom of expression,”  warrant government regulation; the blog post also highlights the deeply political nature of Silicon Valley-Government relations, including contracts with ICE, and the need for the government to proactively regulate forthcoming society-shaping technologies.


Constant Monitoring: Uber has begun running constant background checks on its drivers, relying on companies Checkr and Appriss to use Social Security numbers, court records and municipality records to continuously monitor them; the move has some reconsidering the scope of privacy within the workplace.

Something Doesn’t Smell Right: Chinese police have begun using wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE)–testing wastewater for the presence of illegal substances–to locate and arrest illegal drug manufacturers; Chinese scientists originally developed WBE tech to assist governments evaluate the efficiency of drug reduction programs.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Rivals Cooperate: “[I]n the face of common cyber adversaries, all […] rivalry [between Airbus and Boeing] goes out of the window;” the collaboration between both aviation giants earns praise while highlighting technological risks in a highly consolidated industry.

Does Your Mother Know You’re on Facebook? After U.K.’s Channel 4 reported on Tuesday that Facebook content reviewers are instructed to pretend that they “don’t know what underage looks like,” Facebook made an operational change to its policy, authorizing its content reviewers to lock the accounts of any users appearing to be below the age of 13; Facebook prohibits users under 13 to comply with the U.S. Child Online Privacy Protection Act, which prohibits collecting data on children without parental consent.

Intellectual Property

Too Important to be Private: On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that non-profit organization did not violate the copyright of a private-sector organization by publishing its technical standards alongside the U.S. laws that reference the standards; the appellants successfully argued that privately developed technical standards necessarily become public when incorporated into U.S. law because everyone has the right to read, understand and share the law.

Say No to Terminators: More than 2,400 AI scientists and organizations joined the Lethal Autonomous Weapons Pledge this week, thereby declaring that they will not participate in the development or manufacture of lethal autonomous weapons—robots designed to attack people without human oversight; those who joined include Google Deepmind and its founders, and Elon Musk.

Free Expression and Censorship

“Best Way to Fight Offensive Bad Speech is With Good Speech”: Mark Zuckerberg generated a heap of backlash on Wednesday by saying that posts from Holocaust deniers should be allowed on Facebook because they are not “intentionally” getting their facts wrong and it is not right to ban people for getting things wrong; Zuckerberg clarified his statement later saying that any post “advocating for violence or hate against a particular group” will be removed.

Practice Note

Impact of Carpenter: TAP has re-published several articles by privacy law scholars discussing the impact of Carpenter v. United States, last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision widely considered to be a “groundbreaking victory for privacy rights in the digital age”.

On the Lighter Side

Build Your Own Castle (with Legos): Bridging virtual and physical reality, LeoCAD allows your kids to build virtual Lego models before purchasing them online; the open source software offers simplified and advanced features for new users and experienced users alike to achieve their constructive designs.

Job and Fellowship Opportunities

From time-to-time, CLIP-ings will highlight career opportunities in the information law field. Please note the following:

Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is seeking a Project Lead to join their Data Policy Project Team in San Francisco.

The Forum’s Data Policy project aims to define, through a process of international multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation baseline norms, principles and protocols for the collection, appropriate use, and protection of data. The Project Lead will be an integral part of the Data Policy project team and contribute to the successful delivery of the data policy project and workstreams.

For more information and the online application, click here.

The Second Northeast Privacy Scholars Workshop is calling for submissions.

Jointly organized by the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School and the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham University School of Law, and generously sponsored by Microsoft, the Workshop offers privacy scholars from diverse fields the opportunity to receive extensive, constructive commentary on their works in progress.

For more information, see here. Online submissions are due September 7th, 2018 by 5pm Eastern.

The Ringer Copyright Honors Program with the U.S. Copyright Office is accepting applications.

The Ringer Honors Program is a distinguished public service opportunity for attorneys in the early stages of their career who have strong interest and a demonstrated record of academic or practical success in copyright law.

For more information, see here. Applications are open thorough September 15th, 2018.

Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Mindy Nam
William Ioas
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP