Tag Archives: eCommerce

Not Just Google and Yahoo! Harvesting Webmail Contacts Lists Also the NSA

As two class actions are pending for violation of the Federal Wire Tap Act against Google and Yahoo! for harvesting contact lists, now it appears that NSA has also been harvesting “hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans.” According to a … Continue reading this entry

Privacy Law Allows Minors to Scrub Indiscretions, But the Content is Not Deleted

California enacted a law which allows minors to request websites to remove content from websites, but the law does not address data stored on the websites servers, only what it available for view on the Internet. Given the nature of the Internet, it is unlikely any law will ever be capable of actually deleting data … Continue reading this entry

13 Hackers Indicted in Cyber-Attacks

A criminal indictment was filed against “part of the online group ANONYMOUS in a campaign dubbed “OPERATION PAYBACK” …to engage in a coordinated series of cyber-attacks” with one charge of Conspiracy to Intentionally Cause Damage to a Protected Computer (18 U.S.C. § 371). The New York Times reported that the in the case of the … Continue reading this entry

Free Webmail May be Coming to an End as Yahoo! is Sued for Scanning eMails

In the wake of the Google class action for scanning gmail and violating the Federal Wiretap Act, a new class action suit was filed against Yahoo! for “…unlawful, wrongful, and intentional reading and/or learning of the contents.” The class action was filed by John Kevranian and Tammy Zapata on behalf of Yahoo! email users on … Continue reading this entry

Google to be Fined for Failing to Comply with EU Privacy Laws

Google told the EU that the EU Privacy Laws did not apply to Google’s services and the EU now plans to impose a sanction for “breaches of the French Data Protection Act of 6 January 1978, as amended (French Data Protection Act) which, in practice, prevents individuals from knowing how their personal data may be … Continue reading this entry

Cloud Used in Schools Pose Risk to Student Privacy

Many schools require children to use apps on the cloud, and as a result privacy groups are asking the cloud providers to promise better privacy protection. On September 23, 2013 SafeGov.org issued a Report about EU data privacy for students which among other things that among other things stated that the: …advertising-oriented cloud services may … Continue reading this entry

LinkedIn Sued for Harvesting eMail Addresses

A class action was filed alleging that LinkedIn’s advertising revenues are based on “LinkedIn’s practice of breaking into its users’ third party email account, downloading email address…without consent,…and indefinitely stores email addresses…” Perkins et al v. LinkedIn was filed on September 17, 2013 in US District Court for the Northern District of California states that: … Continue reading this entry

Using Facebook "like" is Free Speech

A court ruled that “like” is “…is the Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one’s front yard” and that a former employee should not have lost his job merely because he “liked” a political opponent of his boss. On September 18, 2013 the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled using Facebook’s “like” … Continue reading this entry

Invasion of Privacy at Penn State?

A number of Penn State employees are protesting a new requirement to provide personal health data to a private company or be fined by the school. “For me, discussing my reproductive plans with an unknown entity at an insurance company does not constitute private” a faculty member stated in a NY Times report. Although the … Continue reading this entry

Do Internet Terms of Service (ToS) Apply to Paper Contracts?

Homeowners filed a breach of contract claim for defective flooring based on a paper contract, but the seller claims that the paper contract incorporated its website ToS including mandatory arbitration of disputes. Shannon & Eric Walker sued BuildDirect in Oklahoma federal court and alleged: …that after they installed the flooring, they discovered that their home … Continue reading this entry

Google Defends Scanning of Gmail for Advertising

A class action against Google claims that Google violated laws by scanning Gmail notwithstanding the Terms of Service that expressly allows Google to scan Gmail. The allegations in this class action includes the following: …claim that the automated processing of email in Google’s Gmail service violates the Federal Wiretap Act, as amended by the Electronic … Continue reading this entry

Court Limits eMail Search Warrants

Search warrants were rejected because they required “…each Provider to disclose all email communications in their entirety and all information about the account without restriction.” On August 27, 2013 US Magistrate Judge David J. Waxse denied the government’s request under the 1986 Stored Communication Act to require Google, GoDaddy, Verizon, Yahoo!, and Skype regarding an … Continue reading this entry

Google's $8.5 Million Proposed Settlement for Privacy Violations Opposed

Privacy groups oppose the current offer to settle a 2010 suit that “Google transmitted user search queries to third parties without knowledge or consent in order to enhance advertising revenue and profitability.” According to the 2010 complaint Google included: The search terms can contain users’ real names, street addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers and … Continue reading this entry

Craigslist Wins Right to Block Copying it Content

Since an online aggregator intentionally circumvented blocking technology a Judge ruled that the aggregator’s copying Craigslist’s content violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In Craigslist’s copyright infringement suit against 3Taps Computerworld reported that: …3Taps admitted that it intentionally circumvented the blocking. But in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, 3Taps noted that Craigslist, … Continue reading this entry

Wikimedia Wins Lawsuit in Italy

A court ruled that under Italian law wiki content is not the responsibility of the host, rather those 80,000 active monthly contributors to Wikipedia who create and post the content. On June 20, 2013, the Civil Court of Rome ruled against Cesare Previti (former Italian Minister of Defense during Silvio Berlusconi’s term as Prime Minister). … Continue reading this entry

Is Anyone Really Anonymous?

“If you need absolute anonymity, don’t use the Internet” is the recommendation of InfoWorld although many Internet users believe that they can obscure their Internet identity. InfoWorld gave the following 6 reasons why no “…service or product can claim to give you absolute privacy or anonymity”: Reason No. 1: Your location is traceable Reason No. … Continue reading this entry

Constitutional Amendment Required to Replace Paper with Electronic Records in New York

Every legislative session is the death knell to thousands of trees to print more than 19 million pages based on a NY Constitutional requirement that requires that bills “shall have been printed and upon the desks of the members” for three days before a vote can be taken. Since few of these papers are ever … Continue reading this entry

IBM Cloud Revenue Investigation by the SEC

With IBM cloud revenue estimated to reach $7 billion by 2015 the revelation the SEC is investing how IBM reports creates questions that may impact all cloud providers. IBM reported that: In May 2013, IBM learned that the SEC is conducting an investigation into how IBM reports cloud revenue,…IBM is cooperating with the SEC in … Continue reading this entry

5th Anniversary of Blogging and Net Neutrality Still Unclear

On August 1, 2008 I started this blog with a discussion about a proposed Net Neutrality law pending in Congress which did not pass, but in 2012 the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) established its Net Neutrality rules called “Preserving the Open Internet, Broadband Industry Practices.” Last year Google announced it would offer its Fiber service in Kansas … Continue reading this entry

GUEST BLOG: No Copyright Infringement for Skipping Ads

BARRY BARNETT GUEST BLOGGER Barry Barnett has been a Guest Blogger in the past, his Blawgletter provides great thoughts, and insights. I read his blogs regularly. Over the years Barry and I have had a number of cases together and he is an outstanding trial partner at Susman Godfrey. You Have the Right to Skip … Continue reading this entry

$1.7 Million Fine for HIPAA Violation

A database of health records for 612,402 individuals was accessible over the Internet for 5 months which led WellPoint to agree to pay a $1.7 million fine. Wellpoint (a managed care company) agreed to settle the violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) after an investigation by the US Department … Continue reading this entry

Terms of Service & Privacy Policies Create Virtual Law

In the wake of revelations that no one has any privacy on the Internet a new documentary was released called “Terms And Conditions May Apply,” which should be a wakeup call for folks to start reading Terms of Service (ToS) and Privacy Policies. Time reported that the documentary was released on July 12, 2013 and … Continue reading this entry