CLIP-ings: September 11, 2020

Internet Governance

Facebook First To Feel The Sting Of Decision Invalidating Privacy Shield: In the first major move by a European Union data protection authority to enforce the European Court of Justice’s July ruling invalidating the data transfer framework, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has ordered Facebook to suspend transfers of European Union users’ information to the United States or face fines amounting to 4% of the tech giant’s annual revenue.

Italy Tugs Apple, Dropbox, And Google Down To Earth: Italy’s competition authority is investigating the tech giants’ cloud storage services to analyze their disclosures about the collection and use of data, the fairness of their contract clauses, and the prevalence of English rather than Italian language contracts.
Privacy

Portland Takes A Stand Against Facial Recognition Tech: Portland’s City Council unanimously adopted two broad ordinances limiting the use of facial recognition technology by city bureaus (e.g., the Police Bureau) and private companies.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Apple Assesses Hong Kong’s National Security Law: Following Beijing’s unilateral imposition of a new national security law on Hong Kong on July 1, Apple, unlike other tech giants, has not paused processing user data requests from Hong Kong authorities while it is “assessing” the new law…
Free Expression and Censorship

GitHub In China Is A Free Speech Zone For Covid-19 Information: On the Chinese internet, where social media platforms are either banned or strictly monitored, GitHub remains the “last land of free speech in China” as Chinese authorities hesitate to censor the open source platform that has become invaluable to the country’s tech industry.

Facebook Blocks Dying Man’s Broadcast While TikTok Struggles To Remove Suicide Video: Citing a desire to avoid promoting self-harm, Facebook has blocked the victim of a rare disease from livestreaming his final days after his decision to withdraw from life-sustaining treatment; meanwhile, TikTok is scrambling to prevent a shocking and graphic suicide video from popping up on user’s screens, including those of juvenile viewers.
Practice Note

Magistrate Judges Reject “Reverse” Warrants: Two federal magistrate judges have ruled that the warrants, through which police geofence the area around a crime scene, request information on devices within the geofence from providers such as Google, and then comb through disclosed data in order to narrow down a list of suspects, violate Fourth Amendment constraints and fail under Carpenter’s reasonable expectation of privacy in cell site location information.
On the Lighter Side

U.S. Companies’ Delivery Drone Operations Postponed While Quadcopter In Tel Aviv Drops Bags Of Cannabis: Despite routine experimentation and official paperwork, U.S. companies itching to expand delivery drone operations are stalled by the lack of federal regulations; meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, a quadcopter was filmed dropping bags of cannabis onto the streets.
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Erica Chan
Daniel Gerken
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: September 4, 2020

Internet Governance

Courts Hold Amazon Liable For Faulty Products: Multiple court rulings have found the e-commerce giant responsible for defective products sold by third-party merchants on its marketplace, especially when third-party merchants disappear, due to its significant role as part of the distribution chain. 
Privacy

Ninth Circuit Rules NSA’s Telephone Metadata Program Illegal And Possibly Unconstitutional: Almost seven years after the appeal of a criminal terror-fundraising case against four Somali immigrants, the unanimous three-judge panel held that the metadata program is illegal, but that the metadata collection played a minor role in the case and did not taint the evidence introduced by the government at trial under established Fourth Amendment standards.

Amazon Surveils Its Flex Delivery Drivers In Private Facebook Groups: Following the discovery of official company documents, Amazon has confirmed that it employs staff to track and monitor private social media groups used by Amazon Flex workers in order to keep tabs on complaints and discussions about strikes against the retailing giant.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Russians Again Targeting Americans With Disinformation: After months of warnings by the F.B.I., Facebook and Twitter now confirm that the Internet Research Agency, the Russian group that interfered in the 2016 presidential election, is actively repeating its efforts from four years ago to disrupt the November 2020 election by feeding conspiracy theories designed to alienate Americans through a network of fake user accounts and fringe news sites.
Intellectual Property

Apple’s App Store Practices Spark Criticism From Facebook: Highlighting Apple’s strict controls over what it allows onto the App Store, and by extension, user’s iPhones, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reproached Apple last week for its purported anti-competitive practices, such as denials of certain features of Facebook apps and the removal of Fortnight, despite having recently shared in the scrutiny of a Congressional hearing targeting monopolistic tech giants.

Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Touts Improved Ability To Detect And Remove Misinformation As Myanmar Elections Loom: Taking a lesson from its past failure to prevent misinformation campaigns which led to expressions of hate against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority, Facebook has implemented technological and human monitoring of information sharing, verification, and controls in order to prevent false and misleading claims from interfering with the country’s upcoming November 8th general election. 

Practice Note

Kik Finds Protection Under Section 230 Despite FOSTA Claim: In a case involving the exposure of a minor to unsolicited nude photos on the popular messaging app, the Southern District of Florida held that the scienter requirements of sections 1591 and 1595 of the anti-sex-trafficking act FOSTA had not been met and thus Kik was entitled to immunity under Communications Decency Act section 230.
On the Lighter Side

Birth Of A Virtual Nation: Almost thirty years ago, an energetic head of the White House Office of Media Affairs, a sketch of a website based on a White House tour, a major telecom, Socks the cat, and others combined to help drive a confluence of emerging internet technology to spawn the White House’s first website.
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Erica Chan
Daniel Gerken
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: August 28, 2020

Internet Governance

TikTok Sues The United States Government: The video-sharing app filed suit against the U.S. Government following the Trump Administration’s executive order under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to “ban the company’s American operations” for its alleged connection to the Chinese government; in the suit, TikTok alleges, among other things, that it has been denied its Due Process rights under the Fifth Amendment “to argue it isn’t a national security threat.”
Privacy

Facebook Criticizes New Apple iOS System For Enhanced Privacy: In a recent blog post, Facebook warned that a new feature of Apple’s upcoming software update that “requires app developers to notify users if their app collects a unique device code” soFacebook advertisers can send targeted ads to consumers on non-Facebook webpages essentially makes users manually opt in to being tracked by Facebook and potentially damages a key revenue stream for the social media monolith.

Clearview AI Used By Numerous Police Agencies: A recent interview with the CEO of the controversial facial recognition technology company revealed that more than 2,400 police agencies throughout the country, including agencies in New York, Miami, and Philadelphia, have entered into license agreements with Clearview AI for access to information used to identify protestors and other persons of interest.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Former Uber Security Chief Charged For Covering Up Hack: The Department of Justice indicted Joe Sullivan for covering up the 2016 hack that exposed the private information of over 50 million ride-sharing users by paying the hackers $100,000 and having them sign a nondisclosure agreement; Sullivan is charged with obstruction of justice for failing to follow California’s laws requiring public disclosure of the hack.
Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Removes Group Following Thai Government Order: Facebook took down the “Royalist Marketplace,” a group of over a million members dedicated largely to discussing the Thai government and monarchy, at the request of the country’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society; Facebook later issued a statement protesting the action as having a “chilling effect” on the Thai peoples’ ability to express themselves.

Facebook Failed To Censor Kenosha Guard Group Prior To Shooting: The social media platform failed to censor posts “inciting violence” by the “self-proclaimed militia group the Kenosha Guard” prior to the deadly shooting in Kenosha, WI, despite at least two reports that the group was violating community standards by issuing a “call to arms;” the group was not removed by Facebook until more than nine hours after the shooting for violating the platform’s “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy.”
Practice Note

Ride-Sharing Continues In California After Court-Ordered Reprieve: Shortly before Uber and Lyft threatened to shut down across the state, a California state judge issued an emergency stay of an order that would have required Lyft, Uber, and other ride-sharing companies to classify their drivers as employees.
On the Lighter Side

Network Outages Cause “Zoom Day” For U.S. Schoolchildren: A widespread outage of Zoom’s service early in the week disrupted schooldays and meetings across North America and Europe, giving students an unexpected “snow day” for the COVID era.
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: August 21, 2020

Internet Governance

Trump Extends TikTok’s Deadline: Following the original executive order requiring the sale of TikTok to a U.S.-based company within 45 days, President Trump has since extended the deadline to 90 days, with sale now required by November 12th; companies such as Microsoft and Twitter have “been in talks to acquire TikTok.”

Facebook Objects To Apple Store Fees: The social media giant has outwardly opposed Apple’s fees, which take 30 percent “for purchases that take place within apps running on iPhones,” stating that such fees dramatically hurt small businesses trying to sell products or services through Facebook’s in-app features.
Privacy

Clearview AI Wins $224,000 ICE Contract: An ICE division focused on “cross-border criminal activity” entered into a software licensing agreement with Clearview AI, the controversial facial recognition company that has faced broad scrutiny for its questionable methods of collecting data for its face-matching database. 
Information Security and Cyberthreats

235 Million Social Media Profiles Exposed In Data Leak: Profiles details of 100 million Instagram users, 42 million TikTok users, and 4 million YouTube users were exposed on an unsecured database; despite being publicly available information, the profiles are now more valuable to scammers engaged in phishing campaigns because they were “leaked in aggregate as a well-structured database.”
Intellectual Property

Google Campaigns Against Australian Revenue-Sharing Rule: In response to a proposed law intended to require it to pay media outlets to display their content, Google published an open letter criticizing the regulation and also created a pop-up message to launch on all Australian users’ searches that argues that the regulation would endanger the quality of search results and risk user data being “handed over to big news businesses.”
Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Removes 790 QAnon Extremist Group Accounts: Under the aegis of a new, more comprehensive moderation policy directed towards “borderline violent content” rolled out this summer, Facebook eliminated nearly 800 groups associated with the anti-government fringe movement and further curtailed the group’s ability to organize using the platform.
Practice Note

Ninth Circuit Favors FCC In Preemption Case: A three-judge panel ruled that several cities’ ordinances imposed excessive fees on wireless carriers deploying 5G networks, and were therefore preempted by FCC “just compensation” rules capping such locality fees at a discrete amount based on the actual public cost of building 5G network infrastructure in an area.
On the Lighter Side

Google Maps To Provide More Detail: The widely used app plans to add more “granularity and detail” to street-level views of New York City, San Francisco, and London in the coming months, including sidewalk locations, street signage, and road width; outside of these major cities, all users will see an improvement to colors representing “how natural features are presented.”
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: August 14, 2020

Internet Governance

Uber And Lyft Must Classify Drivers As Employees: The Superior Court of the State of California issued a preliminary injunction requiring that the ride-hailing services classify drivers as employees in accordance with the state’s AB5 law; in response, Uber’s CEO has stated that the service will likely “shut down temporarily” in California if the ruling is not overturned on appeal.

TikTok Sues Trump Administration Over Ban: The lawsuit in the the Southern District of California challenges the President’s recent executive order, which forbids “any transaction” between U.S. citizens and TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance–including sending the software updates the app needs to function on U.S. smartphones–on the basis of executive overreach and lack of due process.

Privacy

Privacy Shield Faces Renegotiation Hurdles: After the Court of Justice of the European Union struck down the transatlantic framework last month, the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce announced they have entered talks to renegotiate terms to attempt to meet the EU’s higher privacy standards.

UK Appeals Court Curtails Facial Recognition Use: A high court found that the South Wales police violated UK human rights laws in their use of a facial recognition system called AFR Locate to identify suspects on watchlists, reasoning that individual officers had “too much discretion” in matching people, that it was unclear both “who can be placed on the watchlist” and what criteria determined where the technology could be used, and that the police did not “sufficiently investigate if the software in use exhibited race or gender bias.”

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Reddit Communities “Vandalized” With Pro-Trump Content: In what is believed to be a coordinated attack, the moderator accounts of numerous popular subreddit pages including r/food, r/Japan, r/nfl, r/podcasts, and r/space were infiltrated by hackers who changed the subreddits’ designs to appear “in support of President Donald Trump.”  

Intellectual Property

Apple Alleges Trademark Infringement Against Small Company: The tech giant has taken legal action to prevent food-preparation company Prepear from using a pear-shaped logo, which Apple alleges infringes upon its own apple-shaped logo; Prepear has created a petition, now with over 20,000 signatures, asking Apple to drop the case lest costly legal fees run the small company out of business.

Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook To Label Politically-Connected Publications: In light of the approaching presidential election, the social media platform will now require publications affiliated with political parties to “disclose their affiliation when they buy political ads.” 

Practice Note

New Jersey Supreme Court Joins Phone-Decryption Split: The state’s highest court ruled that law enforcement could compel an individual to unlock his cell phone without running afoul of the Fifth Amendment, theorizing that because the phone in question was registered in the defendant’s name, he presumably knew the passcodes, and he therefore was not being forced to provide any information the government did not already know. 

On the Lighter Side

World’s Last Blockbuster Becomes Airbnb Destination: Airbnb is offering $4 nightly stays for the next month at the sole remaining Blockbuster video rental shop in Bend, OR, where the owners have set up a 1990s-themed “living room” for guests, complete with a VHS player and full access to the store’s movie library. 

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: August 7, 2020

Internet Governance

EU Launches Google-Fitbit Antitrust Investigation: The European Commission will open an intensive investigation of Google’s $2.1 billion bid to acquire Fitbit– a purchase that, if cleared, will allow the company to compete in the international smartwatch and fitness-tracking markets currently dominated by Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi.

Microsoft Poised To Purchase TikTok: After a conversation with President Trump, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the company would continue discussions with TikTok parent company Bytedance, with the aim of purchasing TikTok operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand “subject to a complete security review” and with the assurance that American users’ data will be “deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred” to U.S. domains.
Privacy

DHS Surveilling Portland Protest Reporters: Intelligence memos leaked from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis revealed the agency assembled “intelligence reports” on two prominent journalists who had investigated the chaotic handling of the Portland civil rights protests by federal agents; acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf called for an immediate halt to the agency’s “practice of collecting information on members of the press.” 
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Teenage Twitter Hack “Mastermind” Arrested: A 17-year-old Tampa, Florida, resident Graham Ivan Clark was arrested by FBI agents last Friday for leading the recent hack on several public figures’ Twitter accounts; Clark faces 30 felony counts, and it’s possible that Florida authorities will charge him as an adult.
Intellectual Property

Triller Files Lawsuit Against TikTok For Patent Infringement: Triller has filed a lawsuit against rival TikTok, alleging infringement of its patents for“systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track;” Triller is allegedly planning to pursue claims against other video competitors as well, including Dubsmash, Lomotif, and Instagram.
Free Expression and Censorship

David Duke Banned From Twitter: Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has been “permanently suspended” from Twitter for violating the platform’s updated policy which restricts posts that promote violence against persons on the basis of “religion, race, or ethnic origin.”

Twitter And Facebook Penalize Trump’s Accounts Over Misinformation: After the accounts shared a video in which President Trump claimed that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19, the social media platforms froze the Trump and the Trump campaign accounts until the posts had been deleted, on the basis that the posts violated platform rules on COVID-19 misinformation.
On the Lighter Side

TikTok To Host First “Cross-Reality Experience” On August 7th: TikTok will host its first-ever live, virtual concert performed by The Weeknd, in which a “digital avatar” will represent the artist, which viewers can interact with as he performs; during the concert, The Weeknd will be accepting donations for the Equal Justice Initiative.
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: July 31, 2020

Internet Governance

Tech CEOs Questioned Over Anticompetitive Activity: Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Google’s Sundar Pichai were quizzed for over six hours by the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee in response to growing Congressional concerns about the potentially exploitative strategies behind their companies’ outsized success during the pandemic, such as Amazon misusing third-party sellers’ goods for its private label and Facebook allowing the spread of dangerous COVID misinformation across its site.  
Privacy

Instagram Bug Causes Unintentional Camera Access: A new iOS 14 privacy feature that shows when an application is using a device’s camera or microphone has exposed an alleged “bug” on Instagram that engages the camera whenever the app is open, such as when a user is “scrolling through the photo feed.”

Facial Recognition Algorithms Defeated By Mask Wearers: The National Institute for Standards and Technology confirmed in a new study that wearing a face mask over the nose and mouth raises error rates in even relatively accurate face-to-ID-photo facial recognition systems from 5 to 50 percent, depending on the algorithm used.  
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Drizzly Confirms Data Breach: The leading alcohol-delivery service recently notified customers that 2.5 million users’ information was obtained by hackers, including email addresses, dates of birth, passwords, and “in some cases, delivery addresses;” while the company assured customers that no financial data was obtained by the hackers, “a listing on a dark web marketplace” has Drizzly customers’ credit card numbers listed for sale at $14.  
Intellectual Property

Tesla Sues Rivian For Trade Secret Theft: The electric carmaker challenged its rival in California state court over confidential hiring, management, and manufacturing documents former Tesla employees may have illegally shared with Rivian after being hired away by them.
Free Expression and Censorship

Trump’s Mass Text Messages Blocked By Wireless Carriers: After Trump’s reelection campaign sent 1 million text messages in a peer-to-peer format, anti-spam monitors used by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile were triggered to block the texts as spam; while the campaign insists that it is in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act guidelines, “the messages didn’t include clear opt-out language” and may have lacked user consent.

Practice Note

New York Ordered To Pay Unemployment To Rideshare Drivers: Echoing similar recent decisions from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts courts, a New York federal judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering the New York Department of Labor to immediately begin approving unemployment claims for the state’s many rideshare drivers.  

On the Lighter Side

Viewers Judge Tech CEOs’ Testimonies, And Their Rooms: While CEOs Cook, Bezos, Pichai, and Zuckerburg testified virtually before Congress regarding potential antitrust violations, viewers took the liberty of evaluating the CEOs’ various office spaces, ranking Pichai the highest, and Cook the lowest.  
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows

CLIP-ings: July 24, 2020

Internet Governance

UK Uber Drivers Sue For Data Access: A group of drivers from four UK cities claim that Uber violated GDPR data access provisions by failing to adequately explain how company algorithms profile and manage drivers, and by refusing to allow drivers to store performance data compiled on them by a “management algorithm” in a separate, union-administered “data trust” that would assist in fairer collective bargaining negotiations.
Privacy

Facial Recognition Banned In New York Schools: In response to the Lockport City School District’s use of facial recognition as a security measure in K-12 schools, the New York legislature passed a moratorium that bans schools statewide from using “facial recognition and other forms of biometric identification until 2022.” 
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Public Officials’ Private Messages Obtained In Twitter Hack: Twitter confirmed that the direct messages of several dozen accounts ensnared in a cryptocurrency scam last week, reportedly including those of Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, were compromised in the attack.
Intellectual Property

Spotify And Universal Music Group Reach Worldwide Licensing Agreement: Through the multi-year agreement, Spotify will retain a license to UMG’s entire catalog; UMG will additionally assist the streaming platform in developing marketing tools to increase music monetization beyond streaming royalties alone.

Instacart Sues Competitor For Photo Theft: In a suit filed last week, the grocery delivery service claimed that Uber’s own grocery service, Cornershop, reused thousands of Instacart’s images of various goods without permission and “tried to hide the origin of its catalog images by modifying their file names.”
Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Ramps Up Disinformation Controls: Facebook’s third-party fact-checking contractors announced they would begin labeling political posts and directing viewers of those posts to “official info” about voting as part of the company’s “election integrity efforts;” the company itself nonetheless exercised its power to overrule other such labels on a number of conservative posts dismissing climate change as a matter of “opinion.”

Twitter Bans Thousands Of QAnon Accounts: In an attempt to curb the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories that violate Twitter’s policies against “behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” the social media platform banned over 7,000 accounts “associated with QAnon,” and similarly blocked over 150,000 accounts from appearing in trends, recommendations, or from otherwise being highlighted.
On the Lighter Side

California Bar Exam Details Change: The California Bar exam has been moved online, will be administered in October, and requires a lower score to pass; in addition, recent law school graduates will be able to “temporarily practice law without passing the exam.”
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows

CLIP-ings: July 17, 2020

Internet Governance

France’s Parliament Passes Age-Verification Requirement For Adult Sites: In an effort to limit access to pornography by children under the age of eighteen, the French parliament passed new legislation requiring stronger age-verification measures by adult websites; while the sites can decide for themselves how to verify age, the most common measure is expected to be the provision of credit card information. 

Apple’s Irish Tax Bill Remains Unsettled: An EU intermediate appellate court overturned a decision ordering Apple to pay $14.9 billion in back taxes to Ireland on the ground that the European Commission “did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard” that Apple received an unfair advantage by not paying; nonetheless, roughly $15 billion will remain in Apple’s escrow account until any final appeal concludes. 

Privacy

EU High Court Invalidates U.S.-EU Privacy Shield: The Court of Justice of the European Union struck down the  data-sharing agreement, stating that it does not adequately protect EU citizens’ data from surveillance by U.S. authorities.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Twitter Accounts Targeted And Hacked By Bitcoin Scam: The Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Kanye West, and other high-profile individuals and businesses were hacked in what is believed to be a “coordinated social engineering attack on Twitter employees”; through the compromised accounts, the hackers directed users to transfer Bitcoin with the false promise of sending back double the amount in return, and ultimately made out with an estimated $100,000.

Intellectual Property

Facebook To Launch Officially Licensed Music Videos: To compete with YouTube, the social network negotiated with music publishers so that it could automatically post artists’ videos to their Facebook pages. 

Free Expression and Censorship

Instagram And Facebook Ban All Content Promoting Conversion Therapy: In response to a petition for the removal of content advertising conversion therapy services, Instagram and Facebook will no longer permit posts that “advertise or promote the practice.” 

Practice Note

Supreme Court To Hear Facebook Robocall CaseThe U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case alleging that Facebook violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unwanted texts to a user; the case will clarify what forms of automated communication will be considered “automated, unsolicited, and unwanted” messages barred under the TCPA. 

On the Lighter Side

Google Launches AI Hieroglyphics Translator: Google released the AI-powered “Fabricius” program on its Arts and Culture app, which enables users to upload images of the ancient Egyptian symbols to match them with a database of known hieroglyphics based on existing historical records and definitions and to “translate their own words and emojis into shareable hieroglyphs.” 

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows

CLIP-ings: July 10, 2020

Internet Governance

Facebook Oversight Board Will Not Be Ready Until Fall 2020: Facebook’s Oversight Board, “which will independently oversee content moderation,” will not be operational until “late fall,” making it unlikely that the Board will be able to help moderate information on Facebook platforms until after the 2020 presidential election.

Privacy

Facebook Shared User Data With Over 5,000 App Developers: Facebook announced this week that a review of data usage in recent months revealed that third-party app developers were able to access an unknown amount of data from accounts belonging to users who had not logged into the Facebook app in more than 90 days, in violation of a company policy disallowing external apps from accessing a user’s data if they did not routinely provide login credentials and grant permission for third-party access to their account. 

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Stringent Hong Kong National Security Law Riles Western Tech: A new mandate issued by the Chinese government last week requiring online platforms to turn over user data to the government without a court order prompted major U.S. tech companies to announce they would pause processing any such requests; the requirement puts many of them in precarious positions given the extensive business ties they maintain with China.

Intellectual Property

Twitter Removes Trump’s Tweet For Copyright Infringement: After turning a photograph of himself into a meme, President Trump’s tweet was removed from the platform for copyright infringement after The New York Times filed a takedown notice as a rightsholder to the photograph.

Free Expression and Censorship

United States Considers Banning TikTok: Due to increasing concern about the “handling of user data” and the relationship between TikTok’s parent company and the Chinese government,  U.S. lawmakers are “considering a ban” on the popular platform.

Practice Note

Supreme Court Bans Robo-Call Debt Collections: Justice Kavanaugh delivered an opinion striking down an exception to a federal ban on debt collection robocalls that allowed contact for a broad range of debts “owed to or guaranteed by” the U.S. government on the ground that the exception violated the First Amendment by “favoring debt-collection speech over other speech.”

On the Lighter Side

Airbnb Sets Restrictions For Users Under 25: In an effort to reduce “the number of unauthorized house parties,” and in light of new COVID-19 precautions, Airbnb has set new restrictions on some users under the age of 25; while many will not be affected, those with fewer than three positive reviews are no longer allowed to book entire homes in their geographic area.

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows