CLIP-ings: February 1, 2019

Internet Governance

DOJ Charges Huawei: Following an indictment by a Washington grand jury, the Department of Justice announced charges against the Chinese telecom giant for allegedly obstructing justice, stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile, and lying to banks about non-compliance with U.S. sanctions against Iran; a New York grand jury separately indicted Huawei, a U.S. subsidiary, and an Iranian affiliate for bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.   

Privacy

Apple Disables Group FaceTime In The Wake Of Security Flaw: Apple disabled group FaceTime calls after a bug in the app was found to allow call initiators to hear, and sometimes see, the person they were calling even before the recipient answered; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called the bug an “egregious breach of privacy.”

Illinois Supreme Court Declines To Limit BIPA: The Illinois Supreme Court found that an individual does not “need to allege some actual injury or adverse effect, beyond violation of [his] rights” to be entitled to seek damages under the State’s Biometric Information Privacy Act; the decision could affect Google and Facebook, who have been accused of violating BIPA by tagging faces in photos without user consent.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Singapore’s HIV Database Leaked: An HIV-positive U.S. citizen leaked the personal data of 14,200 Singaporeans and foreigners living in Singapore after being deported from the country following a drug-and-fraud-related jail term; the leaker allegedly obtained access to the country’s HIV registry through his doctor-partner, who had access to the registry for his work.

Intellectual Property

FBI Arrests Apple Employee For Attempting To Steal Trade Secrets: An Apple employee is accused of stealing confidential information related to Apple’s self-driving car project; the employee was caught taking photos of the project workspace and had transferred information, including “over two thousand files containing confidential and proprietary Apple material, including manuals, schematics, and diagrams” to personal devices.

Free Expression and Censorship

Google Looks To Overturn NLRB Precedent: Google has urged the National Labor Relations Board to overturn precedent that protects employees from punishment for using workplace email to organize around job-related issues by circulating petitions, planning walkouts, and discussing unionization; in a statement, Google clarifies that it is “not lobbying for changes to any rules,” but rather is simply mounting a legal defense to claims at the NLRB.

Practice Note

Yahoo’s Lack Of Disclosure Leads To Rejected Settlement: A U.S. District Judge denied Yahoo’s proposed settlement in the class action suit brought against it as a result of its failure to report data breaches in 2014 and 2016 on the basis that because the proposal failed to disclose the costs of credit monitoring and settlement administration, and did not disclose the total size of the settlement fund, class members could not assess the settlement’s reasonableness.

On The Lighter Side

Robots Poised To Play A Bigger Role In Everyday Life: From critiquing our ping pong skills to providing an exoskeleton for the disabled, the robots on hand at the CES 2019 convention highlight the future interactions humans and robots may have in the not-too-distant future.


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

Tom Norton 
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Praatika Prasad
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa 
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP