Category - Cyber Liability

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Share, But Be Aware: Growing Up with the Sharing Economy
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The Advancement in “Smart TV” Technology has Serious Implications on the Concern for Consumer Privacy
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The Growing Threat of Automobile Cyber-Attacks

Share, But Be Aware: Growing Up with the Sharing Economy

By: Richard H. Glucksman, Esq. and Chelsea L. Zwart, Esq. in collaboration with Bob Wright, property broker with AmWINS Insurance Brokerage of California in San Francisco.
June 20, 2017

Published by AmWINS – Download Article

Most, if not all of us remember being told, “Don’t talk to strangers,” while we were growing up. In today’s economy, that rule has become a distant memory. In the sharing economy, millions of people daily rely entirely on strangers to provide services and goods to them through various online platforms.

For example, a visitor to a metropolitan city can rent a stranger’s house through Airbnb, be driven around the city by an Uber driver or rent a fellow vacationer’s car through Getaround, have their laundry picked up at their door, washed, and returned within 24 hours by Rinse, and get their meals delivered by a GrubHub driver or have a stranger grocery shop for them through TaskRabbit, all while their dog is boarded at a stranger’s house instead of a kennel back home. Not to mention that the vacation was paid for by a peer-to-peer loan via LendingClub.1

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The Advancement in “Smart TV” Technology has Serious Implications on the Concern for Consumer Privacy

By: Brian D. Kahn and Alexandra R. Rambis
June 7, 2016

TV and video privacy concerns began decades ago and revolved around an individual’s video rental habits. Over time, as Blockbuster and corner video rental stores went away, they were soon replaced by video streaming services, such as those provided by Netflix, Hulu, and Vudu. The latest evolution of this technology is the newest generation of Smart TVs, which are now equipped with built in “digital assistants,” similar to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa device. These “digital assistants” can offer features such as voice, face and gesture recognition. However, in order to provide such services, these Smart TVs must be constantly listening or watching users, which has sparked serious concerns regarding consumer privacy.

Some of the information collected by Smart TVs, such as channels watched or videos rented and accessed, is data we, as consumers, expected these TVs to have collected. Yet many Smart TVs also collect very personal information including a user’s zip code, email address, IP address, and for Smart TVs that provide voice, face or gesture recognition, they even collect voice and video recordings of users. Further, Smart TVs that are connected to an individual’s Wi-Fi network will extract data from any other devices that are also connected to that network, which may include personal files located on a computer, website history on a computer or cell phone, and even text messages. Additionally, this information can be collected by these Smart TVs irrespective of whether the TV or functionality has been turned on or off.

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The Growing Threat of Automobile Cyber-Attacks

By: Grace A. Nguyen and Alexandra R. Rambis
April 24, 2016

A number of breaches at high profile companies such as Target, Neiman Marcus, Home Depot and JP Morgan has pushed data security into the spotlight. Large companies, however, are not the only businesses susceptible to data breaches. Data security has now become a priority for the auto industry. While the technology in cars has become increasingly more sophisticated, it has also left automobiles vulnerable to the threat of cyber-attacks. In 2015, as an experiment, two researchers were able to hack into a Jeep Cherokee wirelessly.1 After hacking into the car, they were able to disable the car’s brakes, honk the horn, commandeer the steering wheel, turn off the car’s ignition, and could even track the car’s GPS coordinates and trace its route.

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