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“Why am I getting all these Privacy Policy update emails?”

May 25, 2018

In April 2016, the European Union (“EU”) passed a sweeping new regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which becomes effective today, May 25, 2018. Because the GDPR is a regulation, as opposed to a directive (such as the 1998 EU Data Protection Directive), it does not require EU member states to enact enabling legislation because […]

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Snapchat sued for allegedly violating Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)

July 18, 2016

Snapchat faces a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). The suit centers around the Snapchat app’s “lenses” feature, which allows the app to draw animated additions to a person’s face. The suit alleges Snapchat violated BIPA because its “proprietary facial recognition technology scans a user’s face . . . and collects, […]

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DOJ files Motion to Vacate hearing in terrorist’s iPhone case

March 22, 2016

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a last minute Motion to Vacate today’s hearing regarding the San Bernardino terrorist’s encrypted iPhone. The DOJ previously sought Apple’s assistance to modify the iPhone’s software, weakening the mobile phone’s security features, in order to gain access to the information stored on it. The DOJ’s request sparked a renewed debate over government access […]

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New FTC Rules For Online Native Advertising

December 27, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued guidelines regarding native advertising in a recent enforcement policy statement. These guidelines, more a reaffirmation of previous FTC enforcement actions, are aimed at regulating “promotional messages integrated into and presented as non-commercial content.” This policy statement relies on the FTC’s authority to regulate deceptive commercial practices. Native advertisements have been used for decades in print […]

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Court finds Fifth Amendment protects smartphone passwords

September 30, 2015

The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from being compelled by the government to criminally incriminate themselves, stating in no uncertain terms: “No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” As discussed in a previous post, the Fifth Amendment covers encryption of computers when the encryption “key” is a password since compelling the […]

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Encryption vs. Fifth Amendment

July 27, 2015

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” U.S. Const. amend. V. Known as the prohibition against self-incrimination, this clause of the Fifth Amendment is commonly asserted by defendants in criminal trials. While its applicability in those contexts […]

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Complaint filed against Lenovo over pre-installed Superfish adware

February 20, 2015

A complaint has been filed against Lenovo in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California for Lenovo’s admitted (pdf) preloading of Superfish adware on their customers’ computers. Superfish injects product recommendations into search results and displays ads on otherwise legitimate pages. But, it also includes a universal self-signed certificate authority. This universal certificate authority allows man-in-the-middle attacks to inject ads even on […]

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Court finds Dish Network liable for 50+ million illegal telemarketing calls

January 29, 2015

On March 25, 2009, The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filed suit against Dish Network in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois for telemarketing violations. In its suit, the DOJ was joined by California, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina. On December 12, 2014, the court found Dish […]

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Can accessing a publicly available web page land you in prison under the CFAA?

January 21, 2015

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (See 18 U.S.C. § 1030) is a law that generally prohibits intentionally accessing a computer, without authorization, and obtaining information from a protected computer. Though Congress decided to leave interpretation of “without authorization” to the courts. This causes some uncertainty in analyzing whether certain online behavior might be illegal – especially […]

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What is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)?

January 3, 2015

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (See 18 U.S.C. § 1030) is a law that, generally, prohibits intentionally accessing a computer, without authorization (or exceeding authorized access), and obtaining information from a protected computer. Breadth Because of the manner it was written and interpreted, the CFAA governs much of our regular online activity. As summarized above, the CFAA […]

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