2H 2017 & Q1 2018 Quick Links, Part 6: Privacy and More


* A string of great articles from Kash Hill:

– Roomba’s Next Big Step Is Selling Maps of Your Home to the Highest Bidder

– The House That Spied on Me

– Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won’t Tell Me How

– How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

– How Facebook Outs Sex Workers

* Politico: “The borderless web allowed US tech giants to expand across the world. It’s also left them vulnerable to Europe’s ever-expanding online rules.”

* People v. Osejo, 2017 WL 2351439 (Cal. Ct. App. May 31, 2017):

Osejo acknowledges that Detective Harrison’s affidavit provided probable cause to search all Facebook messages between himself and Eliana. This is unquestionably so, because the affidavit revealed that he and Eliana met, conversed, and arranged their sexual encounters on Facebook. But nothing in the warrant or application purports to assert probable cause to search and seize Osejo’s entire Facebook account, including his messages with individuals other than Eliana, his status update history, his privacy settings, the history of items he publicly shared with other Facebook users, all the Facebook groups he belonged to and the identities of their creators and administrators, the past and future events he posted, the video files associated with his account, all of the locations from which he had “checked in” to Facebook, the IP addresses of every computer he had ever used to connect to Facebook, or any of the other categories of data listed in the warrant. No facts in the affidavit supported this virtually unlimited search of Osejo’s Facebook account.

* United States v. Khan, 2017 WL 2362572 (N.D. Ill. May 31, 2017)

at the time of Special Agent Walther’s viewing, Defendant did not maintain any privacy restrictions on his Facebook account, and his Facebook profile was viewable by any Facebook user. Hence, Defendant possessed no reasonable privacy expectation in the information found on his Facebook page. As a result, he cannot claim a Fourth Amendment violation

* Bloomberg: Is Alexa Really Eavesdropping on You?

* WSJ: Why Google’s New App Won’t Match Your Face to Art in Some States

* NY Times: Facebook isn’t rolling out AI to monitor users for signs of self-harm in Europe due to GDPR


* Rolling Stone: But Their Emails: Republicans React to Their Own Email Scandal

* NY Times: At Least 6 White House Advisers Used Private Email Accounts

* Daily Beast: Trump Campaign Staffers Pushed Russian Propaganda Days Before the Election

* Fortune: Donald Trump Lost a 6-Year Legal Battle to a Trumpet Player

* AP: Inside story: How Russians hacked the Democrats’ emails

* Bloomberg: The 48 Frantic Hours Before CEOs Broke With Trump

* Washington Post: Trump D.C. hotel turns $2 million profit in four months

* Washington Post: Stephen K. Bannon once guided a global firm that made millions helping gamers cheat

* Splinter: This Is What It Looks Like When the President Asks People to Snitch on Their Neighbors

* Cracked: 5 Horrifying Ways America’s Hunting Undocumented Immigrants


* NY Times: The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More.

* Sarah Jeong: “Meet the judge who codes — and decides tech’s biggest cases”

* Law Offices of Herssein and Herssein, P.A. vs. United Services Automobile Association, 2017 WL 3611661 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Aug. 23, 2017),

A random name drawn from a list of Facebook “friends” probably belongs to casual friend; an acquaintance; an old classmate; a person with whom the member shares a common hobby; a “friend of a friend;” or even a local celebrity like a coach. An assumption that all Facebook “friends” rise to the level of a close relationship that warrants disqualification simply does not reflect the current nature of this type of electronic social networking….the degree of intimacy among Facebook “friends” varies greatly. The designation of a person as a “friend” on Facebook does not differentiate between a close friend and a distant acquaintance. Because a “friend” on a social networking website is not necessarily a friend in the traditional sense of the word, we hold that the mere fact that a judge is a Facebook “friend” with a lawyer for a potential party or witness, without more, does not provide a basis for a well-grounded fear that the judge cannot be impartial or that the judge is under the influence of the Facebook “friend.”

* The Guardian: Man convicted of theft in 1976 cleared after Googling his arresting officer

* Broker Genius, Inc. v. Zalta, 2017 WL 5991831 (SDNY Dec. 4, 2017):

But while a clickwrap agreement such as the Terms of Use is an enforceable contract, if Broker Genius had wanted to ensure that its users understood the highly counterintuitive notion that its trade secrets encompassed information that was readily discernable by – or freely disclosed to – each and every user, it would have been reasonable to do something more to notify users of the software’s confidentiality….Even if it were reasonable to rely exclusively on a clickwrap agreement to protect user-facing trade secrets, Broker Genius could at least have reminded users of the Terms of Use each time they accessed the AutoPricer v.3 software.

* Bloomberg BusinessWeek: The Fall of Travis Kalanick Was a Lot Weirder and Darker Than You Thought

* Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Uber’s Secret Tool for Keeping the Cops in the Dark

* Vox: “It’s been complete hell”: how police used a traffic stop to take $91,800 from an innocent man

* BBC: Belgium ends 19th-Century telegram service