Courts

Tue
27
Nov
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iPhone App Prices Spark Supreme Court Battle

A seven-year-old case into Apple app pricing is heading to the Supreme Court. It's a technical case that centers on the percentage Apple takes from every iPhone or iPad app sale. The case isn't about the royalty itself, which is 30 percent of every ... sale through the iTunes store. Various legal and technical measures mean that's the only way developers can distribute iOS apps, so there's no way around paying the royalty. Instead, the legal question is whether or not consumers have the right to take legal action against Apple over the system. Such lawsuits, of which several have been proposed, ... (view more)

Wed
21
Nov
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Court Rules Facebook Friends are 'Not Real'

A Florida court has ruled that "Facebook friends" don't count as real friendships. The decision followed claims that it was not possible for a judge to be unbiased, especially if he was a Facebook friend with an attorney in the same case. The ruling ... came from the Florida Supreme Court, which upheld previous rulings from lower courts. Both rejected claims that having a "Facebook friend" relationship between the aforementioned parties may result in not having a fair and impartial trial. The argument for the judge being potentially biased was based largely on advise given by ... (view more)

Mon
12
Nov
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Amazon Echo Features In Second Murder Case

A judge says Amazon must hand over recordings from an Echo smart speaker to assist with a stabbing case that left two women dead. It's the first time such a court order has been made without a defendant's permission. The New Hampshire case involved ... two women's bodies being discovered under a porch. A man who knew the boyfriend of one of the victims has been charged with two counts of first degree murder, and has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say there is probable cause that the device could contain potential evidence which could include "audio recordings of the attack and events that ... (view more)

Tue
02
Oct
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Police Use Suspect's Face to Unlock Phone

Police have used a suspect's face to unlock a phone for what appears to be the first time. It didn't go quite as planned and is another step in the law adapting to technology. The man in question was suspected of receiving and possessing indecent ... images of children. Police raided his house with a search warrant and discovered he had a phone which was locked. Historically such cases have proven a grey area when it comes to privacy laws and the rights of police. For example, while law enforcement agencies have argued that, as long as they have a court order, accessing a phone or computer is a ... (view more)

Thu
13
Sep
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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
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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
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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)

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