LEGAL THOUGHTS

This blog contains our personal opinions on topics that interest us.

All gender bathroom

This is the most inclusive bathroom sign I have seen.

"Right to be Forgotten" limited to EU

There is an ongoing debate over the scope of the EU "right to be forgotten". This right was established in 2014. Under it, an EU citizen can request to have "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" data deleted from search results. In light of this right, Google took the position that it may alter results based on a person's request but such altered results would be geographically limited to the EU. In 2016, The French Supervisory Authority (CNIL) ordered Google to de-reference links in its search engines worldwide and not just its European search engines. Google appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). On January 10, 2019, the Advocate General of the CJEU opi

Can you be forced to unlock your phone with your fingerprint?

On January 10th, a U.S. District Court Judge refused to grant a search warrant that would permit the government to force people to unlock their electronic devices using biometric features (see Court Order, In the Matter of the Search of Residence in Oakland, California, Case 4:19-MJ-70053, dated Jan 10, 2019). The relevant portion of the Court's Opinion starts with the Fifth Amendment's prohibition against self-incrimination. While technology is changing faster than the law, constitutional rights cannot be minimized because of changing technology. Passcodes cannot be compelled by the government. Biometric features should be treated similarly because they are shortcuts to entering a passc

Photos of pearly whites

All that is required to create an original work is a modicum of creativity. Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Serv. Co., 499 U.S. 340, 345 (1991). It turns out that before and after photographs of a dental patient's teeth do not clear that minimal hurdle. Pohl v. MH Sub I, LLC d/b/a Officite, N.D.Fl. Case No. 4:17cv181-MW/CAS, Dkt. 61 (a copy is available via Mega). As the Court stated "[m]eeting the standard for creativity is not like pulling teeth... Low as this bar is, Pohl's before-and-after photos of Belinda's incisors and canines fail to meet it." (Dkt 61 at p.8). #copyright #lawsuit

Cookie consent - UK vs. Austria

In November 2018 and yesterday, I blogged about how the UK ICO found The Washington Post's cookie consent options failed to satisfy the consent requirements under the GDPR. In November 2018, the Austrian Data Protection Authority (DPA) examined a complaint concerning the cookie consent options offered on an Austrian newspaper’s website and found the cookie consent options valid. Similar to the Washington Post, the Austrian website had three options: (1) accept cookies for analytics and advertising purposes and have full, complimentary website access; (2) refuse cookies and obtain access to only limited content on the website; or (3) pay a monthly subscription to obtain full access to the we

Washington Post and GDPR

In November 2018, I wrote about how the UK ICO found the Washington Post in violation of the GDPR because the Washington Post tied cookie consent to access to their stories. I obtained a copy of the ICO's letter (copy stored on Mega.nz) Not surprisingly, the Washington Post disagreed (copy of WP response stored on Mega.nz). The Washington Post argued that visitors from the EU are presented first with a screen with three choices, and after seeing the choices a visitor can give informed, unambiguous consent to accept cookies and to have their personal data used for targeted advertising. The Post then notes that a visitor after giving consent to the cookies can disable the cookies related to

Duck Duck Go

Duck Duck Go is a privacy centered search engine. It's home page states "The search engine that doesn't track you". It's Privacy Notice states that it does not "collect or share personal information" (see Duck Duck Go Privacy Notice). On a forum post, a person accused Duck Duck Go of using web browser fingerprinting because it was using an API that can be associated with fingerprinting (see forum post). As tracking people would be antithetical to its public position, Duck Duck Go responded forcefully by declaring that it does not collect personal information and that was the victim of a false positive result from the CanvasBlocker Firefox add-on (see TechCrunch link). #privacy

Majority Rule

In 2014, China announced a plan to create a "social credit" system (see link). Seth McFarlane's Star Trek spoof, The Orville, gave us glimpse of what China's "social credit" system could look like. In the episode "Majority Rule", everyone rates everyone based on their behavior. If you behave "well", you are rewarded. If you behave "badly", you are penalized (with the ultimate penalty of being brainwashed). In 2018, China started to implement its "social credit" system (see Business Insider link). Based on unknown criteria, some people are being penalized by being blocked from buying domestic airline tickets or business-class train tickets. Image from Stocksnap.io #privacy

Parking in NYC

If you think your parking rates are high, check out the rates in a NYC mid-town parking garage. #nyc

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