Category - New Media and Technology

1
Share, But Be Aware: Growing Up with the Sharing Economy
2
Proof or It Did Not Happen: California Court of Appeal Rules on Electronic Signature Authentication
3
Pokémon Go: Green Light for Future Litigation
4
UPDATE – Court Rejects Uber’s Proposed $100 Million Settlement
5
The Advancement in “Smart TV” Technology has Serious Implications on the Concern for Consumer Privacy
6
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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Proof or It Did Not Happen: California Court of Appeal Rules on Electronic Signature Authentication

By: Ashley Verdon and Neil Eddington
September 30, 2016

If you belong to one of the ever-increasing number of businesses using electronic signatures, then it might be time to review your authentication security procedures in place.   As electronic signatures become the norm in conducting business, California courts are busy with cases challenging their enforceability.  Recently, in Espejo v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 1047, the Second District Court of Appeal ruled that an employer sufficiently authenticated an employee’s electronic signature to an arbitration agreement.  In doing so, the court offered some clarity as to what evidence is necessary to enforce an electronic signature under the Uniform Electronic Transmissions Act (“UETA”).  (Cal. Civ. Code §1633.)

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Pokémon Go: Green Light for Future Litigation

By: Zachary P. Marks
September 30, 2016

Though it debuted to the public just two months ago, Pokémon Go, the latest gaming craze to sweep the nation, broke mobile app download records within one week of its release and achieved more daily active users than any other game on the market.  The game allows users to see animated creatures, known as Pokémon, on their cell phones while the user traverses the real world, with the goal being to “catch” as many Pokémon as possible.  The viral phenomena has already led to numerous claims and violations across the nation, with some bizarre examples to include the following:

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UPDATE – Court Rejects Uber’s Proposed $100 Million Settlement

By: Chelsea L. Zwart
September 30, 2016

In May 2016, Chapman Glucksman Dean Roeb & Barger published an article entitled, “$100 Million Uber Settlement Maintains Classification of Drivers as Independent Contractors,” which discussed a potential $100 million settlement related to a class-action reclassification suit against the on-demand driver service, Uber, brought on behalf of its drivers.  The settlement, if approved by the Court, would maintain classification of the drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, resulting in significant future savings to Uber.

The plaintiffs and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency estimated that the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) portion of the class action could result in civil penalties of over $1 billion for violations of the California Labor Code.  However, the proposed settlement only allocated approximately $1 million to the PAGA claim. On August 18, 2016, Judge Edward Chen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order rejecting the proposed settlement, stating that it “is not fair, adequate, and reasonable,” particularly given that the proposed settlement of the PAGA claim was only “.1% of its estimated full worth.”

Judge Chen commented that he expects his order to be appealed, and thus we will continue to monitor the case and provide updates as developments unfold.

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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