Some of our favorite stories of this year have involved the Google auto-complete function. Whether it’s the Australian man who successfully sued, or the German woman who’s trying to sue, this topic is always fascinating, so what better way to round out the year than with another story of unwanted connotations. In this instance, we have a cancer surgeon in Australia, who’s actually suing the search giant in a California District Court. The complaint [PDF] explains the facts rather nicely and concisely:
Post by IT-Lex Intern Emily Pineless (LinkedIn)
Canada- the land of maple leaves and delicious poutine is on our radar for some interesting biometric privacy overlaps. Both the Canadian military and Canadian immigration department are stepping up efforts to collect and store government databases of biometric data. The thought is that things like photographs can be easily faked, and passports can be forged- so how to tell who is who? Biometric data, things like a fingerprint, a voiceprint, or DNA, is generally accepted to be a more reliable way to tell who someone is, and to accurately keep track of folks.
Hey Illinoisians! Or is it Illinites? Either way, if you practice in Illinois, be aware of the new rules that kick in January 1, 2013 that are tres important in eDiscovery land.
We love a good eDiscovery case here at IT-Lex, and here’s a recent one from New York’s Southern District: Assured Guar. Mun. Corp. v. UBS Real Estate Sec. Inc.,2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167981 (S.D.N.Y., 2012). [Word Doc]. The facts of the case involve securities and mortgages, so we’ll skip those and go straight to the fun stuff. Each party had objections to the other’s discovery requests, and Judge James C. Francis IV went through each of these methodically. Firstly, he looked at the discovery sought by the plaintiffs, Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. Assured asked the defendants – UBS Real Estate Securities, Inc. – for “documents that were generated more than a month after [certain] transactions closed” and UBS declined to produce these documents, “contending that such information is irrelevant because damages for breach of contract are determined as of the time of the breach.” UBS also argued that producing these documents would be “unduly burdensome.”
We’ve discussed the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) on IT-Lex a couple of times in the past, and both stories made it clear that the law was out of touch with today’s technological advances. Last week, the House approved a bill that finally brings this 24-year old legislation into the modern era. From The Hill:
By voice vote, members approved H.R. 6671, which would allow video rental companies to get online consent from their customers in order to share their rental preferences on the Internet. It would relax current law — the Video Privacy Protection Act — that now prevents any sharing of information related to video rental history without written consent.
Back in early August, we told you that online bulletin board Craigslist had taken the unprecedented step of claiming ownership of all the user-posted content on that site. We weren’t the only people to question the reasoning behind this, but the follow-up to this policy went very much under the radar. Perhaps due to the widespread criticism of the policy, Craigslist changed its mind about being the “exclusive licensee” of content after only a few days.
“Phone spoofing” is a practice you may not have heard of before, but it exists, and it’s been getting a decent amount of attention. As the name suggests, it refers to the act of “misrepresenting [an] originating telephone caller’s identification (caller ID) to the call recipient” and it led to the 2010 Caller ID Anti-Spoofing Act (ASA) in Mississippi, which absolutely outlawed phone spoofing, and made it punishable by up to a year in prison. Two companies that provide phone spoofing services challenged the law, and last week the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the ASA unconstitutional. [PDF]
Just a quick update today to say Happy Holidays to all our readers! We’ve got big things planned for 2013, including our Innovate Conference in the fall, and finding out who the best and brightest young technology law scholars are through our writing competition!
In a December 14, 2012 decision by the National Labor Relations Board , the Board majority affirmed an administrative law judge’s conclusion that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (the “NLRA”) by terminating five employees for comments and criticisms posted on Facebook.