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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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Targeted Job Advertisements, Failing the Fine Line of Title VII Discrimination Charges

By: Amber Razzano

Social media sites have the ability to provide tools for employers to assist with their search for candidates with specific qualifications, however, the improper use of this information is a blurry line. The EEOC’s position remains that personal information “may not be used to make employment decisions on prohibited bases, such as race, gender, national origin, color, religion, age, disability, or genetic information.”

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwitg_jggqXgAhWmiOAKHbktDo0QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3AF_icon.svg&psig=AOvVaw1Hy92QRW39oN12-BhJ8SB6&ust=1549470808911078In recent months, the EEOC issued a Charge of Discrimination brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Facebook. The Charge alleges the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”) with its employment advertising, recruitment, and hiring, as well as state and local anti-discriminatory statutes. The City of Greensboro has also been charged for distributing ads for a number of different positions via Facebook’s ad platform, including the position of Officer at the Greensboro Police Department. The charging parties accuse Facebook of “enabling, encouraging, and assisting a number of employers and employment agencies, including Greensboro, to unlawfully target their advertisements based on sex and age, and for delivering the ads in a discriminatory manner” in exchange for payment. Facebook and other social media platforms have become dominated by advertisements, especially in relation to the labor market. This alleged discriminatory practice could profoundly affect those individuals, regardless of which gender they identify as, in search of a job. 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 »