Two weeks ago California passed AB 375, now Title 1.81.5 of the California Code, and known as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB stands for Assembly Bill, meaning it was first introduced in the Assembly; SB would mean it had been introduced in the Senate). Also now known as the CCPA, the original sponsors of AB375 were California Assemblyman Edwin Chau, and California Senators Bob Hertzberg and Bill Dodd, Democrats all. The CCP is the California equivalent of GDPR.
In a fairly stunning win for mobile phone privacy, the Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before they can demand and receive from mobile carriers and mobile providers access to the cell phone location data (known as ‘cell site location information’, or CSLI for short) of a given cellular phone. In the case of Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court held that tracking a cell phone is barely different than putting an ankle bracelet on an individual and monitoring their movements, and so overturned related case law that has been around for (up to) decades.
With today’s Supreme Court decision in the Wayfair v. South Dakota case, the Supremes have cleared the way for states to collect sales tax from Internet-based merchants who do not have a physical presence within the state; however the ruling is quite narrow in its scope and so does not open the floodgates for states to tax anybody and everybody who arguably does business online within a given state. Read on for a plain English explanation of this Internet sales tax decision, as well as a link to the full South Dakota v. Wayfair decision and the dissenting opinions.
In an unusual move, the Court that issued the decision in the AT&T Time Warner antitrust lawsuit yesterday warned the losing party (that would be the U.S. Department of Justice ), essentially, not to bother trying to appeal his ruling. In his 172 page ruling in the case of the United States of America versus ATT Inc, et al, Judge Richard Leon says, among other things, and we quote, “I do not believe that the Government has a likelihood of success on the merits of an appeal.”
We’ve warned for years that sites where you can get your DNA tested, such as 23andMe.com and Ancestry.com, are fertile ground for law enforcement. And while you may have heard that the Golden State Killer (originally dubbed the East Area Rapist) was tracked through GEDmatch.com, where people only upload the DNA test results that they get elsewhere, such as from 23andMe or Ancestry, make no mistake, law enforcement have also been searching those two sites.
Law enforcement agencies have come up with a new tactic for investigating crimes: location-based warrants, served on Google, demanding that Google disclose Google accounts in use on all mobile devices that were in a given area at a certain time, thus giving detectives and other LEOs a pool of potential suspects and persons of interest who may have committed or have information about whatever crime they are trying to solve.
GDPR offers a panoply of rights for individuals. Even if you are not a business owner or a corporate officer or manager, by now you have probably heard the term ‘GDPR’, or the phrase ‘General Data Protection Regulation’, which is what ‘GDPR’ stands for. As an individual you may have thought “Whatever the heck GDPR is, it doesn’t affect or apply to me.” But you would be wrong. The good news is that, as an individual, you are the protected entity covered by the ‘Protection’ in General Data Protection Regulation!
What happens to your email after you die? Can the executor of your estate (or the administrator if you die without a will) gain access to your email account and read all of your email? That is the question at the heart of a lawsuit, Ajemian vs. Yahoo, that is heading to the Supreme Court, assuming that the Supreme Court agrees to hear it.
As the frenzy over the FCC’s December 14, 2017 vote on whether to repeal the Open Internet Order (OIO), which is being equated to the end of Net Neutrality, reaches a fevered pitch, here’s what the average Internet user needs to know. In our view, the furor over the possible (some say inevitable) repeal is akin to the Y2K hysteria, and the actual outcome probably just as anticlimactic. The sky is not going to fall.
I was recently interviewed, in my capacity as an Internet law and policy attorney, and head of the Institute for Social Internet Public Policy, for an article sponsored by RSA about the impact that GDPR (the EU’s General Data Protection Rules), which goes into effect in the European Union in May 2018, is going to impact, well, everything. And, in particular, about how it will impact U.S. based businesses, because, trust me, it will.
A few years ago we told you about some lawsuits against Mugshots.com and other websites which post the mug shots of those charged with crimes. While the particular lawsuit that we covered, Kaplan and Lashway v. Mugshots, et al, was settled, others were not, and now a Federal judge has ruled that the plaintiffs in a case out of Illinois and Florida against Mugshots.com and UnpublishArrest.com have made a strong enough case for it to move forward, despite the defendants’ motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (known to legal folks as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion).
We’ve talked about DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices before, both how easy they are to file, and how easy it is to use them to falsify a situation and get content that you don’t like taken down, even if it isn’t actually violating somebody’s intellectual property rights such as copyright or trademark. Now, in a twist on this, it’s been proven that it is very easy to get Amazon to remove a product based only on a fake intellectual property claim from a fake law firm.
You remember Martin Shkreli, right? He’s the guy who founded Turing Pharmaceuticals, and then acquired the only marketing rights in the U.S. to pyrimethamine (a drug used by, among others, HIV patients), marketed in the U.S. as Daraprim, boosting the price by 5500% per dose. Well, he wasn’t convicted for doing that, but he was convicted for securities fraud, and has been out on bail while awaiting sentencing. Except, a post that he made on Facebook just got him sent to jail. For a post he made on social media. Let’s repeat that – someone is going to jail for a post they made on Facebook. Here’s what Martin Shkreli’s post said: