Cyber Security/Privacy

California’s Consumer Privacy Act: An Underwhelming First Step

Picture1 By: Brian Lewis, Summer Blogger

“Senator, we run ads.” During his 2018 testimony before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s patronizing response to then-Senator Orrin Hatch’s rudimentary question illustrates the elusive nature of Facebook’s business operations. Nearly 70% of Americans use Facebook. Many Americans support regulating social networking sites to ensure their data are secure. For the supporters of social media regulation, the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) may not be the “model” regulation many claim it will be.

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Aurora: The Computer of the Future

By: Samantha Moench

On March 18, 2019, Argonne National Laboratory released more information about Aurora, “America’s next-generation supercomputer.” Intel has teamed up with the Department of Energy (“DOE”) to create the computer at Argonne’s lab facility which is estimated to cost upwards of $500 million. Cray Inc.—known for its 45 years of building the “world’s most advanced supercomputers” will be a sub-contractor on the deal. Together, Cray Inc. and Intel will work to construct “the fastest supercomputer in U.S. history.”  Continue reading »

Mozilla v. FCC, The New Net Neutrality Case

By: Daniel Norton

On February 1st, 2019, the D.C. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case Mozilla Corp. v. FCC. The premise of the case is that Mozilla, and several other interested parties, have sued the FCC over the Restoring Internet Freedom Order’s reclassification of internet services as information services rather than telecommunications services under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. A telecommunications service is one that transmits unaltered information while an information service is used for “generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information.” This classification is important as the D.C. Court of Appeals has held that the FCC cannot enforce net neutrality against Internet Access Providers if they are classified as telecommunications services, but they can if the IAPs are classified as telecommunications services. The 2015 Open Internet Order classified IAPs services to be telecommunications while the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order reclassified IAPs services as information services. Continue reading »

The Importance of Cybersecurity in Mergers and Acquisitions

By: Nathaniel Reiff

In 2016, Marriott International, Inc. acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for $13.6 billion “creating the world’s largest and best hotel company.” Little did Marriot know that Starwood’s guest reservation database provided unauthorized access of more than 500 million guest’s information. The leak revealed customer names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, and potentially credit card numbers and card expiration dates.

“Marriott International Inc.’s revelation of a hack . . . highlights the hidden cybersecurity risks involved with mergers and acquisitions. . . . Even companies that thoroughly vet their targets can’t entirely avoid the possibility that they’re inheriting risks.” claims Bloomberg Law’s Privacy and Data Security reporter, Sara Merken. Such naivety engenders lawsuits against the acquirer, imposes damage to its reputation, and costs the company millions to remediate the hack. Continue reading »

Warning: Message from Unknown Sender

By: Killoran Long, Summer Blogger

https://pixabay.com/en/hacker-hacking-cyber-security-hack-1944688/Click. Even after the warning, you just can’t help yourself. You’ve opened the email from an unfamiliar web address, and boom! In just seconds, there goes all your data, and worse – all of your firm’s and clients’ data too.

Cyberattacks and data breaches are too often making headlines and creating headaches in today’s tech-reliant world. But how can individuals and firms protect themselves if and when they befall victim to such a breach?

Enter cyber insurance: a type of general insurance that covers “internet-based liability and risks,” developed with the intention to help entities “recover from a data breach or identity theft by mitigating all the costs that crop up in the aftermath.” Though most companies have been covered by some form of cyber protection under existing general or professional liability insurance policies,stand-alone cyber policies are relatively new to the market and have only been available for a little over a decade.  Continue reading »

Don’t Pay the Tool: Artificial Intelligence is a Creative Tool, Not a Creative Entity

By: Daniel Norton, Summer Blogger

https://pixabay.com/en/anatomy-biology-brain-thought-mind-1751201/In the past decade, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has been used to create artistic works as well as news articles. For example, A.I. has created works which can imitate famous artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as generating articles for newspapers like The Washington Post. These recent innovations have led some people to ask whether A.I. should be eligible to receive a copyright for its creations. Current Copyright Law does not classify A.I. works as copyrightable creations, however, A.I. might one day achieve a level of intelligence to warrant such accreditation to be protected under United States Copyright Laws.

Since 1973, it has been the official policy of the United States Copyright Office to deny any copyright claims if the work was not created by a human being. In fact, The Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices states that in order for a work to be eligible for copyright protection, it must be “created by a human being.” In one instance, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals seems supported the requirement that a human must be the creator for a work to receive copyright protection. In the case Naruto v. Slader, the court denied the monkey, Naruto, standing to bring an action under the Copyright Act. This holding from one of the primary goalsof Intellectual Property Law: to benefit society by incentivizing innovation by allowing creators and innovators the right to profit from their creations for a set period. Continue reading »

President Trump Selects Pro-Business Nominee With Experience in Intellectual Property

By: Whitney Hosey, Editor-in-Chief

On Monday, July 9, President Trump announced his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. The nominee, the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh, has served as a federal appeals court judge since his appointment by President George W. Bush in 2006. In that time, Judge Kavanaugh has “written almost 300 opinions.” Among those opinions are several involving both business law and intellectual property law.

On the business end of things, Kavanaugh has consistently ruled in favor of businesses in pivotal cases. For example, in Verizon New England Inc. v. NLRB, Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion overruling the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) decision in favor of an employees’ union. Instead, the Court determined that the union had violated a collective bargaining agreement with Verizon by “displaying pro-union signs in their vehicles.” On the whole “Kavanaugh is considered pragmatic.” The biggest business law and telecom related case which may come before the High Court is determining “whether a proposed nationwide class of consumers can sue Apple, Inc. for allegedly monopolizing the iPhone app market.” The lower court has already granted the plaintiffs standing on the anti-trust claims, whether Kavanaugh would choose to overrule that determination is unclear. Continue reading »

Welcome to the Era of the General Data Protection Regulation

By: Matthew Hooker, Summer Blogger

https://pixabay.com/en/europe-gdpr-data-privacy-3220208/

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. Although the GDPR is a regulation established by the European Union (EU), its impact extends far beyond the EU. The regulation applies not only to entities within the EU but also to any entity that handles the personal data of “data subjects” residing in the EU. As the New York Times puts it, “the borderless nature of the online world has virtually every commercial entity that touches the web making changes to its sites and apps to comply.” Continue reading »

How the Senate’s “Honest Ads Act” Will Affect Online Advertisers

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Facebook_Logo_on_Monitor.jpgBy: Patrick Wilson

On October 19th, 2017, a bipartisan group of Senators including Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John McCain (R-AZ), and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation that would require more transparency and disclosure of the groups funding online advertising during election season. The purpose of proposed Senate Bill 1989, ‘The Honest Ads Act’, would hold online advertising platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter to the same standards as traditional media, such as television and radio.

The Bill requires that platforms with more than fifty million unique monthly visitors keep a public record of the parties that purchase more than $500 in advertising and disclose the purchaser of those ads, which included the ad’s target audience is, the ad rate, the name of the candidate the ad supported, and contact information of the ad. The Bill’s stated goal is preventing foreign nationals from purchasing political ads and potentially influencing the perception of American citizens during election season with false or misleading information.  Continue reading »

Employee Tracking: How to Balance Business Efficiency and the Right to Privacy

By: Christopher Lewis *| Staff Writer

By Rama (Own work) [CeCILL (http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rama (Own work) [CeCILL (http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

With the advent of new technology, privacy concerns are becoming an increasingly hot topic of debate in many different forms. People across the globe are becoming more cognizant of the personal right to privacy and are working to protect it; however, other factions believe that technological advances and the integration of life and technology are worth the loss in privacy rights. Some believe that it is only a matter of time before we fall into the dystopian worlds that George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, respectfully, espoused in 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. Continue reading »