The capabilities of onboard GPS systems keep getting more impressive. And the product liability implications might nudge Detroit into using the information in ways unwelcome to customers, for fear of being blamed otherwise for crashes they might have prevented. [Volokh]
Because you thought he was some kind of big privacy advocate or something? “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the data as part of an investigation into the website stemming from a 2010 law that makes it illegal to use such sites to rent out your own apartment.” He says he’s after the 15,000 or so customers who used the service to let guests stay on their premises for a fee. Next: Craigslist? [New York Daily News, Matt Welch/Reason]
Perhaps inevitably, following revelations that NSA surveillance data is being passed on to law enforcement for use against drug crimes and other non-terrorist offenses, criminal defense lawyers are demanding that the government turn over surveillance-obtained data and recordings that might help their clients’ case. And thus do telephone and online records that would once have been considered private wind up spilling out to wider circles of users for wider ranges of purposes. How long before we begin to see attempts to use them in civil suits? [Miami Herald]
Growing out of the press-hacking scandal that has stirred so much outrage: “one of the key hackers mentioned in the report has admitted that 80 per cent of his client list was taken up by law firms, wealthy individuals and insurance firms while only 20 per cent of clients were from the media. … the most common industry employing criminal private detectives is understood to be law firms, including some of those involved in high-end matrimonial proceedings and litigators investigating fraud on behalf of private clients.” [Independent]
“…for evidence in murder, divorce cases.” [Bob Sullivan, NBC News]
What did law and lobbying firm Hunton & Williams know, and when did it know it, about subcontractor proposals to employ hardball and covert tactics against critics of Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, including in one instance what has been reported as “the identification of vulnerabilities in critics’ computer networks that might be exploited”? [Brad Wendel/Legal Ethics Forum, BLT, Above the Law] Per Above the Law, “Based on what we know now, it doesn’t seem like Hunton actually accepted or endorsed any of these tactics, nor does it seem that Bank of America or the Chamber of Commerce knew about or signed off on ‘Project Themis,’ protecting them from legal fall-out.” But if Hunton was in fact sure to greet the proposed tactics with shock and dismay, why had the subcontractors imagined that they would fall on welcoming ears?
Daniel Schwartz doesn’t think much of this private venture.
P.S. A moving target, it seems.
Online courthouse files are a giant privacy/security breach waiting to happen. [Eric Turkewitz]
“A spouse can legally conceal the GPS in the glove compartment or seat pocket, and depending upon the model of the GPS, track his or her partner’s whereabouts in real time.” [Legal Blog Watch; Chicago Sun-Times]
Mining data from your highway tolls, micropayments, instant messages and Twitter for purposes of litigation.
Adding color to the legal woes of the controversial American Apparel chief is the identity of the lawyer suing him, Keith Fink, Esq., who’s known for getting negative tidbits about his Hollywood adversaries into the papers. (Alex Ebner, Hollywood Interrupted, Nov. 30; WSJ law blog, Nov. 12). Earlier here, etc.