Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending October 12, 2018
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending October 12, 2018.
Facebook Hacking Incident Reignites Privacy Debate
Recently Facebook reported that over 50 million accounts were improperly accessed and victims of outside security breaches. The Facebook hacking incident was explained to be caused by a security breach that took advantage of Facebook’s “View As” feature, which allows users to see what their profiles would appear as when viewed as a different user.
While Facebook has since shored up the breach, the Facebook hacking incident had to be made public and has again raised questions of whether or not technology giants are truly doing enough to safehouse users’ personal data.
The United States has still not passed significant sweeping regulation that covers or provides guidance to companies regarding how personal data should be protected. However, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) recently passed by the European Union could end up costing Facebook as much as $1.63 billion dollars if Facebook is found to be in violation of its terms. Though this regulation is European Union law, any company doing business with its citizens must comply with the regulation. Read more details here.
The Bill is Now a Law: “Music Modernization Act” Proposed to Help Songwriters
Update: The bill was signed into law on Oct. 11, 2018. In today’s day and age, it has often been difficult for the law to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the Internet and new technological innovations. The music industry especially has been critical of the way copyrights are enforced and policed, often having to rely on suing universities or internet service providers on theories of contributory or secondary liability to enforce their copyrights or block piracy. The Music Modernization Act would mark the first revolution in copyright law, being the first to truly address technological innovation since digital music has become available. At its core, the law would rewrite how songwriters are paid when their music is licensed or even played. Read more details here.
Cybersecurity Concerns Rise Again With Vulnerable Smart Devices
As a year has passed since lawmakers first discussed the passage of sweeping litigation that would raise data-security standards across the nation, security experts have lamented the lack of recent movement and action on actually passing any relevant laws. Meanwhile, the use of vulnerable smart devices as a routine part of daily life continues to grow.
As the Internet of Things “IoT” becomes more pervasive and expands its access to more and more household devices such as thermostats, pacemakers, and shower heads, the software that these devices use to access the Internet still remains woefully inadequate in terms of data encryption and consumer privacy. Read more about the story.
For more posts, see our Intellectual Property Law Blog.
Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.
Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.