STLR Link Roundup-April 21, 2018

California Federal Judge Certifies Privacy Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook  On Monday, Judge Donato of the Northern District of California certified a class action suit against Facebook under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The class is comprised of all Illinois Facebook users for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011, through Facebook’s “Tag Suggestions” program. Through “Tag Suggestions,” Facebook scans uploaded photographs, identifies faces in photographs, and then Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 13, 2018

Oracle and Google Dispute Has Implications for Copyright Law On March 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit handed down a decision in a suit between Oracle and Google. The three judge panel overruled a jury verdict from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California which found that Google had a fair use defense to their unauthorized use of Oracle’s Java application programming interface packages (API Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 7, 2018

Technology Stocks Lose Billions Amid Fears of Increased Regulation and Trade Wars The so-called FAANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet – continued to fall this week amid growing fears of increased regulation, trade wars, and social backlash. Since the Nasdaq Composite’s March 12 peak, the FAANG stocks have lost a total of $397 billion. FAANG stocks are the five most popular tech stocks in the market and are frequently grouped Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 31, 2018

AI Accountability A driverless car operated by Uber recently killed a pedestrian when the test driver failed to intervene.  Last week, a person was also killed while Tesla’s autopilot was active. Questions of accountability as driverless cars become more prevalent have rocked the autonomous vehicle community, however the dangers associated with them may be overstated, especially compared to the safety of human drivers. Several ideas have been proposed throughout the years, however it’s possible that Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 18, 2018

NY State Village, Plattsburgh, Becomes the First Town to Ban Bitcoin Mining Plattsburgh, a city in upstate New York, has been a hotbed of Bitcoin mining activity because of its access to low cost electricity. The profitability of Bitcoin mining is largely a function of electricity costs. Plattsburgh has one of the lowest electricity rates in the United States. The country-wide average rate is 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. In Plattsburgh, residents pay 4.5 cents and Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 11, 2018

Washington Becomes the First State to Pass Net Neutrality Law Washington’s new law, House Bill 2822, is the first state law passed to reinstate the protections dismantled when the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality this past December. The bill received bipartisan support and Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, announced at the bill signing ceremony that “Today we make history: Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet.” Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 2, 2018

Facebook Must Face Biometric Privacy Suit On Monday, a U.S. District Judge in San Francisco ruled that Facebook Inc. must face a privacy suit regarding the gathering and storing of millions of users’ biometric data. Alphabet Inc.’s Google is fighting similar suits in Chicago. Judge Donato’s decision to allow the class action to move forward means that Facebook may have to pay fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 for each use of an individual’s image Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 25, 2018

SEC Charges Former Bitcoin-Denominated Exchange and Operator with Fraud On February 21, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed security fraud charges against BitFunder, a former bitcoin-denominated online platform, and its founder Jon E. Montroll, in violation of Section 10 (b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5. They were charged with operating an unregistered securities exchange, defrauding the users by misappropriating their funds, and failing to disclose the cyberattack resulting in bitcoins theft. 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 →

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 →