Recent News

Ninth Circuit Again Holds Data Scraping From Public Websites Not Barred by CFAA

In 2017, the federal district court for the Northern District of California enjoined LinkedIn from blocking workplace analytics company hiQ from its site, finding that data scraping from public-facing websites did not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). LinkedIn appealed and in 2020 the Ninth Circuit affirmed: [The CFAA’s] prohibition on accessing a…

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On Point Tackles Online Gender Abuse and Provides Tips for Combatting Abuse

Last year there were a number of reports of how women, women politicians, and women journalists were disproportionately targeted for abuse on online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. See LA Times, The Hill Highlight Online Abuse of Women Politicians and Journalists. One of those reports was a Wilson Center report entitled Malign Creativity:…

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FTC Files Action Over TurboTax “Free” Claims

When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actually has guidelines concerning the use of a particular word, that would suggest caution in using that word. In this case, the word is “Free” and the FTC has guidelines concerning its usage which boils down to one sentence – “free” should mean “free”. Anyone watching this year’s exciting…

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Fashion Nova Pays $4.2M for Suppressing Negative Reviews

Fashion Nova, an online fashion retailer, agreed to pay $4.2 million as part of a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in which it will be prohibited from suppressing customer reviews of its products. The FTC alleged in a complaint that Fashion Nova misrepresented that the product reviews on its website reflected the views of…

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California Extends Statute of Limitations for Revenge Porn

In 2013, California became one of the first states to outlaw revenge porn (also known as cyber exploitation or digital rape) in enacting Penal Code § 647(j)(4). Shortly thereafter, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative published a study finding that: (i) 93% of victims suffered significant emotional distress as a result of their victimization; (ii) 82%…

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Apple, Google Give In To Putin, Remove Opposition Election App

In August 2020, Alexei Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist whom the Wall Street Journal calls “the man Vladimir Putin fears most”, was medically evacuated to Berlin after being poisoned by a nerve agent that was linked to Russia’s Federal Security Service. He returned to Russia in January 2021 and was arrested…

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TX Governor Signs “All Hat, No Cattle” Social Media Law

Claiming there is “a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas,” Texas Governor Jim Abbott (R) signed H.B. 20 (An Act relating to censorship of or certain other interference with digital expression, including expression on social media platforms or through electronic mail messages). The Act is strictly an act of…

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FTC Not Backing Down in Facebook Antitrust Lawsuit

In December 2020, the Trump Federal Trade Commission filed an antitrust complaint (Case No. 1:20-cv-03590, D.D.C.) against Facebook which came [f]ollowing a lengthy investigation in cooperation with a coalition of attorneys general of 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam, the complaint alleges that Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy—including its 2012 acquisition…

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When the Hip Bone is Connected to Yelp: Health Care Providers and Addressing Online Reviews

(Republished on ReviewInc blog) Health care providers, like any other business, must navigate the challenges presented by their online reputation in the form of healthcare reviews.  Reviews on sites like HealthGrades, RateMDs, Vitals, and Yelp can have a big impact on a provider’s bottom line, especially for smaller providers, as ninety percent (90%) of consumers use online reviews to evaluate providers….

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