Courts

Thu
13
Sep
John Lister's picture

Vizio Smart TVs Spied on Users; Sold Data to Ad Firms

Smart TV sets that passed on user data without permission might have to display a message suggesting users sue the manufacturers. It's an unusual proposal in a class action lawsuit. Last year Vizio agreed to pay $3.7 million in fines to settle ... investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New Jersey attorney general. The TVs in question used Internet connectivity (providing the TV was connected to Internet access at the home by the user), which then utilized a feature called "Smart Interactivity". Though the feature was enabled by default, users could switch it off ... (view more)

Wed
06
Jun
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Driver Fined for Using Apple Watch

A Canadian woman has been fined for looking at an Apple smartwatch while at traffic lights. The court ruled it should be treated the same as checking a smartphone screen. Victoria Ambrose was fined $400 CAD (just over $300 USD) for breaking local ... laws on distracted driving. A police officer noticed that she failed to move when the lights turned green and was instead looking at her watch, only moving when the officer shone a light at the car. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) She did not dispute that report, but said that she looked at the watch solely to check the time. She said it may have looked as if ... (view more)

Thu
24
May
John Lister's picture

Google Autocomplete Could Breach Court Orders

Google has inadvertently revealed the names of rape victims whose identity is legally secret. It's all down to over-enthusiastic behavior by the search engine's "autocomplete" feature. Autocomplete works when a user starts typing a term into the ... Google search bar, then the search bar presents a drop-down menu with suggested terms based on what is being typed in. The user can then click or tap on any of these terms to carry out the search without having to type out the search query in full. As they continue typing more characters, the list of suggested terms will update to become ... (view more)

Thu
26
Apr
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Man Jailed for Copying Windows Restore Disks

A man behind an scheme to sell Windows restore disks for 25 cents will pay a $50,000 fine and spend 15 months in prison. Eric Lundgren offered the disks as part of his e-waste recycling business. Lundgren originally operated a perfectly legitimate ... business; at the time, he lived in China and bought cheap computer components. He'd then ship the components to the US where they'd be used to repair computers. One major selling point of the business was that people could use their computers longer and even upgrade certain components, rather than sending them to a landfill. In 2012 Lundgren added a ... (view more)

Wed
04
Apr
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Apple Watch May Have Blown Murder Alibi

A murder suspect's alibi has been thrown into doubt by data on the victim's Apple Watch. The smartwatch appears to show the victim died much earlier than the suspect claims. Caroline Nilsson is accused of killing her mother-in-law Myrna Nilsson in ... 2016. Police were called to the house just after 10 pm when a neighbor saw Caroline come out of the house wearing a gag. Myrna was found dead inside the home. In her defense, Caroline claims that her mother-in-law was followed home by a group of men in a utility vehicle and argued with them outside for 20 minutes. Caroline claims she was in her ... (view more)

Wed
06
Sep
John Lister's picture

Court: Employer Right to Monitor Computer Use Has Limits

A European court says an employee shouldn't have been fired for sending private messages while at work. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) overturned a lower court decision and said the employee's right to privacy had been violated. However, ... the court said the verdict was largely about the specifics of the case and that it didn't constitute an absolute ban on monitoring staff computer use, or create a right to private Internet access while at work. The case involves Bogan Mihai Barbalescu, a Romanian man fired in 2007 after using Yahoo Messenger at work to send personal and intimate ... (view more)

Wed
05
Jul
John Lister's picture

Judge Says Facebook Cookie 'Tracking' was Legal

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit which accused Facebook of tracking web users after they logged out of the site. Judge Edward Davila said the people bringing the case hadn't proven any financial loss or a breach of reasonable privacy expectations. ... The case involves website cookies, which are small text files created by a browser and stored on a user's computer. The cookies are readable by websites and can be used to identify the user and customize the content they see when visiting a page. In this case, the cookies were being read by third party websites that included a "Facebook ... (view more)

Tue
06
Jun
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Supreme Court to Rule on Cellphone Location Data

The Supreme Court is to examine whether the government must get a search warrant before making cellphone carriers hand over a customer's location history . It's the final step in a six-year case centered on a robbery conviction. Timothy Carter was ... convicted thanks to police evidence showing location data from his phone. In total they had 12,898 records of his location covering a 127-day period. The data came from MetroPCS, which was his cellphone carrier, as well as from Sprint which shared data from when he had received roaming coverage. Data Treated Differently to Phone Itself ... (view more)

Thu
01
Jun
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Facebook Refuses Bereaved Parents' Plea

A German court has upheld Facebook's refusal to let the parents of a deceased girl access her private messages. It's the latest attempt to deal with the tricky balance of dealing with social network history after people die. The sheer number of ... people on Facebook means that users dying has become a significant issue. An estimated 10,000 users die each day and more than 30 million have already passed away. Facebook deals with the issue by "memorializing" accounts. Once it has seen credible evidence that a person has died, it can put the account into a special mode in which ... (view more)

Wed
31
May
John Lister's picture

Man Sued for Facebook 'Like' Loses Case, Fined $4k

A Swiss man has been fined for libel after clicking the Facebook "like" button. The court ruled that doing so exposed a post to more users and thus counted as a publication in itself. Several other people had already been found responsible for libel ... in the same case, but they had all written something in their own words rather than simply clicking "like". The unnamed defendant was fined $4,000 Swiss francs, equivalent to US $4,120. He has the right to appeal but his lawyers says the cost of doing so will likely mean he doesn't. Court: 'Like' Makes Content Your ... (view more)

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