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If you’re like me, over the past week-and-a-half your email inbox has been flooded with “updates to our privacy policy,” coming from every website you’ve ever done business with, or even created a login for (using your incognito spam email address of course!). By now you probably have an idea that the reason for this barrage of emails is a new European Union law called General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR. Although it’s arguably…
Today, March 31, 2018, marks the eighth annual World Backup Day. Before you physically step back from wherever you’re standing, that’s not the kind of “backing up” we’re talking about. World Backup Day started by a group of concerned internet users, posting their thoughts and ideas about data security to the international internet chalkboard Reddit. This backup is a noun, in this case meaning a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.) copy of all your…
Do you post things “privately” to Facebook, which you wouldn’t ordinarily post to a public forum that anyone could access (as opposed to being limited to your Facebook friends or circles)? A few weeks ago, I wrote about the consequences of deleting something from the internet, questioning the extent to which those things are really “gone.” Very similarly, if you post images or comments on Facebook, you run the risk of that content becoming a matter…
The short answer is: Yes. But it’s not easy. It’s pretty common that every week I’ll get a call or email from a small business owner, or another attorney (who represents a small business owner) asking about how to get a negative/bad review of their product or service removed from Yelp! or from appearing at the top of Google search results for their business. Usually the offending review/post was written by some anonymous individual, which…
Have you ever posted something hastily on social media, and then deleted it later, after coming into your rational mind? Lots of people do it, and while oftentimes it does the trick, it isn’t a reliable way of removing something once it’s been published on the internet. This is because once something has been “published” on the internet, there’s no way to prevent it from being copied—by anyone, anywhere in the world. There are even…
Do you ignore messages like this? A recent study analyzing the security health of 4.6 million endpoint devices, which included 3.5 million mobile phones across multiple industries and geographic regions revealed that across all devices and operating systems (OS), only about 31% of the devices were running the latest OS version. That means more than two-thirds of the nearly five million devices surveyed were running outdated software, which oftentimes means the devices are vulnerable to being…
When copyright protection was created in the late 1700s, it was for books, poetry, and other written works. After all, Thomas Edison didn’t invent the phonograph until almost a century later, and sound recordings weren’t commonly made until the 1900s. But as technology allowed new ways of disseminating creative material, copyright law has evolved to protect the myriad forms of media. Today, there are copyrights for everything from musical compositions, and sound recordings on vinyl…
People who believe their professional reputations or personal integrity have been unfairly impugned by materials anonymously posted on the internet are not defenseless against their unnamed tormentors. Is it possible to discover the identity of those behind anonymous posts? Yes. But it’s not easy, especially if you don’t have experience communicating with the various webmasters, and a comprehensive understanding of not only the applicable federal laws in play, but also the various state laws, which…
This is an easy one. No. By definition, defamation is a false statement of fact, which damages another’s reputation or character. So, telling someone to eat shit, which is nothing but a more colorful way of saying ‘go fly a kite,’ is not defamation. Then why did HBO get sued along with its show host, comedian John Oliver, for saying exactly that about the owner of West Virginia coal mine? This is where the answers get