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Category Archives: Privacy

Paper – Lawyers’ Abuse of Technology

Preston, Cheryl B., Lawyers’ Abuse of Technology (August 11, 2017). Cornell Law Review, Forthcoming; BYU Law Research Paper No. 17-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3037079
“The Article is a thorough analysis of how the current scheme for regulating lawyers has failed to adapt to technology and why that failure is disastrous. It discusses (1) why technology, electronic communications, and social media require specialized attention in lawyer regulation, (2) what mechanisms can be harnessed to meet this need, and (3) the (sometimes entertaining) ways in which lawyers’ use of emails, tweets, texts, social media, data storage, computerized research, and so forth cross the lines of ethical and professional values. The ABA recently amended the Model Rules to add the following language to the Comment of Rule 1.1: “[A] lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” A few lawyers are still behind in embracing the many technological tools available to assist in their practice. Others are taking full advantage of the benefits of technology – while turning a blind eye to the significant ethical and professionalism risks. In an area where the mistakes are easy to make and the resultant harms can be extensive and severe, lawyers need to be warned and trained; expectations need to be standardized, and those standards enforced. The need for formal guidance on the lines between appropriate and inappropriate electronic behavior is much more acute than the need for training with respect to long recognized practice hazards. As the recent ABA 20/20 Commission’s failures amply illustrate, the ABA cannot be expected to address the risks of technology within any reasonable time. While increasing pressure on the ABA to shore up the Model Rules, bar associations must take action now. One option is formal ethics opinions that a lawyers can research by jurisdiction, if the lawyer is alert enough to ask questions. A better option is a statement of best practices standards adopted by state, local, and practice group bar associations. Some jurisdictions already have professionalism and civility creeds, but almost all of these are devoid of guidance on technology use, as well as fraught with drafting and definitional problems. Standards need to be rewritten to clarify the nuances of technology use and ethics. This Article offers specific language to serve this purpose.”

Are VPNs really protecting your privacy and security?

An Analysis of the Privacy and Security Risks of Android VPN Permission-enabled Apps. MC 2016, November 14-16, 2016, Santa Monica, CA. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2987443.2987471. “Millions of users worldwide resort to mobile VPN clients to either circumvent censorship or to access geo-blocked con- tent, and more generally for privacy and security purposes. In practice, however, users have… Continue Reading

The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

FTC – “If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies. Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through… Continue Reading

Appellate court rules tracking cellphones without a warrant unconstitutional

Washington Examiner: “The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday [September 21, 2017] that it is unconstitutional for law enforcement to use certain technologies that allow the tracking of a suspect’s cellular phone without a warrant. The ruling reversed a decision of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia that allowed police to use… Continue Reading

Court upholds Illinois biometrics law on use of facial scans

Fortune – “A federal judge this week delivered a key victory for customers who claim the digital scrapbook company Shutterfly violated their privacy by collecting scans of their faces without permission. In a 19-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall rejected Shutterfly’s argument that an Illinois state law, which restricts how companies can use biometric… Continue Reading

Wharton – After Equifax, Can Our Data Ever Be Safe?

Follow up to previous posting – Equifax is one of many companies that collect information about you – via [email protected] – “In the annals of data breaches, the Equifax hacking stands alone due to its sheer scale: Digital thieves traipsed through the personal information of 143 million Americans for several months to do with it… Continue Reading

Equifax is one of many companies that collect information about you

Via NBR/CNBC: “There are literally hundreds of smaller consumer-reporting companies [33-page PDF] operating in the U.S. and the smaller ones are collecting information you might not expect. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau maintains a self-reported list of the companies. Consider Milliman IntelliScript, for example. The company collects information on the prescription drugs you buy. If… Continue Reading

Under EU General Data Protection Regulation large fines result from failure to protect consumer data

eSecurity Planet: “The massive Equifax breach that recently affected 143 million consumers would have led to hugely significant fines if the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect in May 2018, had already been in place. Under the new rules, organizations that fail to protect sensitive data can be fined up to… Continue Reading

FTC alerts consumers about post Equifax scams

Ring, ring. “This is Equifax calling to verify your account information.” Stop. Don’t tell them anything. They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue. That’s just one scam you might see after Equifax’s recent data breach. Other calls might try to trick you into giving your personal… Continue Reading

Online translation applications may pose security risk

Quartz: “…On Sept. 3, the Norwegian news agency NRK reported that sensitive Statoil information—contracts, workforce reduction plans, dismissal letters, and more—were available online because employees had used the free translation service Translate.com, which stored the data in the cloud. The news traveled fast in Scandinavian countries. In response, the Oslo Stock Exchange even blocked employee… Continue Reading

NYT – How the Kremlin built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century

RT, Sputnik and Russia’s New Theory of War How the Kremlin built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century — and why it may be impossible to stop. Jim Rutenberg. September 13, 2017. “…After RT [Russia’s state-financed international cable network] and Sputnik gave platforms to politicians behind the British vote to… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – The ‘internet of things’ is sending us back to the Middle Ages

New on LLRX.com – The ‘internet of things’ is sending us back to the Middle Ages The Internet of Things (IoT) has permeated all facets of our lives – professional, family, social – more quickly and expansively than many are willing to acknowledge. The repercussions of IoT are multifaceted – and directly impact issues that… Continue Reading