The Ethicality and Legality of Facial Recognition Technology

The advent of relatively effective and scalable facial recognition technology has prompted a spirited policy debate about the appropriateness of its use in law enforcement contexts. Some commentators have raised both ethical and constitutional concerns over the implementation of these technologies. While the Supreme Court has not yet directly addressed the use of facial recognition systems, there is some indication it may feel compelled to do so in the near future.  China Leads the Way Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – 2/17/2018

California Ballot Initiative a Hodgepodge of Pseudoscientific Conspiracy Theories Ars Technica reports on a new California ballot initiative described as “a conspiracy theorist’s dream.” The initiative’s author, Cheriel Jensen, has been cleared by California’s secretary of state to begin collecting signatures, and will need to collect 365,880 by August 8, 2018 if she wants the initiative to make it onto California’s next ballot. The full text of the proposed initiative can be found here, and Continue Reading →

Peer Review and Daubert: The Uncertain Science of Evaluating Scientific Certainty

Peer review is the bedrock of scientific publication and is used by courts to determine the evidentiary reliability of a proffered expert witness. Should peer review play such a role, and if so, how much weight should it be given? I.       Daubert: Judges as Gatekeepers Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals[1] established the role of federal judges as “gatekeepers” of scientific evidence, preventing “junk science” from being presented to a jury. Rather than the Frye test, Continue Reading →

STLR Link Round-up – 2/10/2018

Settlement Reached in Waymo v. Uber Almost a year after Waymo (the self-driving car unit spun off by Google) filed a lawsuit against Uber, the two sides reached a settlement in which Uber agreed to give $245 million in shares—.34 percent of its equity at the company’s $72 billion valuation—and the case would be dismissed with prejudice. Waymo had originally demanded at least $1 billion in damages and a public apology as conditions for settling Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 2, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Case Briefing Software to Assist Litigators in Writing Briefs Just before the start of Legalweek New York excitement erupted when ROSS Intelligence CEO Andrew Arruda hyped the announcement of ROSS’s new product EVA. EVA uses artificial intelligence to assist litigators in writing briefs by streamlining the process of case law research by finding details relevant to new cases. The goal is to make case research, citations, and studies as easy as possible. Currently, Continue Reading →

Enforceability of Smart Contracts under the Statute of Frauds

What is a Blockchain: Blockchains are digital ledgers maintained by a network of computers. Anybody with internet access can set up an account to use a blockchain. The account is comprised of a public and private key. The public key can be analogized to an email account where the private key is like the password. Using the account allows to owner to send and receive tokens (such as bitcoin) and other information. All the transactions Continue Reading →

STLR Link Round-up – Jan 26, 2018

Qualcomm: the Latest Victim of the Harsh Antitrust Enforcement by EU In a recent move, the EU competition regulator fined Qualcomm €997m (US$ 1.2bn) for anti-competitive practices. Qualcomm was deemed to be abusing its dominant market position in the LTE baseband chipsets market by making exclusivity arrangements with device manufacturer Apple – arrangements that essentially would see Apple use only Qualcomm chips for their smartphones and tablet devices. As the European Commission noted, “Qualcomm prevented Continue Reading →

Does fMRI Lie Detection Have a Future in the Courtroom?

Background Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a brain imagining technique developed in the 1990’s based on blood oxygenation levels in the brain. The underlying property upon which fMRI relies is hemoglobin’s tendency to exhibit different magnetic properties when oxygenated than when deoxygenated. By inducing a strong magnetic field on the subject and observing how the hemoglobin responds to the field, neurologists can determine which parts of the brain are experiencing greater blood flow during Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – December 2, 2017

Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Constitutionality of Inter Partes Review Last Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, No. 16-712, to decide the issue on the constitutionality of the inter partes review (IPR) procedure created by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011. IPR is an adversarial process that allows the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to reconsider the validity of issued patents on Continue Reading →