Banks Get Payout From Equifax Hack While Consumers Still Wait For Compensation

Found on Techdirt on Sunday, 24 May 2020
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The agency originally promised that impacted users would be able to nab 10 years of free credit reporting or a $125 cash payout if users already subscribed to a credit reporting service. But it didn't take long for the government to backtrack, claiming it was surprised by the number of victims interested in modest compensation, while admitting the settlement failed to set aside enough money to pay even 248,000 of the hack's 147 million victims.

After not providing enough money to live up to that $125 cash payout offer, victims were forced to jump through hoop after hoop to try and get the funds, which won't wind up being anywhere close to $125 whenever the checks do arrive.

You can't pay? Get shut down.

Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR

Found on BBC News on Friday, 22 May 2020
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A woman must delete photographs of her grandchildren that she posted on Facebook and Pinterest without their parents' permission, a court in the Netherlands has ruled.

The case went to court after the woman refused to delete photographs of her grandchildren which she had posted on social media.

"I think the ruling will surprise a lot of people who probably don't think too much before they tweet or post photos," said Neil Brown, a technology lawyer at Decoded Legal.

That's a pretty sane ruling. People should learn to consider if others want their personal data published.

Disney: If We Can't Run Club Penguin, No One Can Run Club Penguin

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 15 May 2020
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Over the years, through neglect and the general evolution of what kids think is cool, Club Penguin languished and Disney shut it down in 2017. While Disney then tried to capitalize on the name with an entirely different virtual world called Club Penguin Island, folks who loved Club Penguin were not impressed and Disney quietly shuttered that as well.

How with everyone on pandemic lockdown, the most popular of the unlicensed fan servers, Club Penguin Online, was getting a big usage boost and Disney could not allow that to happen. They sent off a DMCA notice demanding the site be disappeared.

They had abandoned their own version (and even the weaker followup). There is no competition. It's not like there's the Disney version that this is taking away from.

Disney is just ridiculous. Everything it gets its fingers on is doomed to be reduced to a bubble-wrapped happy rainbow world where everybody sings a song while legions of lawyers wait in the second front-line to sue whoever raises the head.

In Response To Getting Sued, Clearview Is Dumping All Of Its Private Customers

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 11 May 2020
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In response to a lawsuit filed against it in Illinois accusing it of breaking that state's privacy laws with its scraping of images and personal info from a multitude of social media platforms, Clearview has announced it's cutting off some of its revenue stream.

Unproven tech may get you booted from the local mall for resembling a shoplifting suspect, but law enforcement agencies can ruin your life and take away several of your freedoms. And Clearview isn't exactly selective about who it sells to, so plenty of overtly abusive governments will still get to use untested facial recognition software to destroy lives without worrying about niceties like due process.

This looks like one of the rare cases where lots of lawsuits actually are the right solution.

Congress calls on Bezos to come explain Amazon’s possible lies

Found on Ars Technica on Saturday, 02 May 2020
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Among the practices under examination is Amazon's treatment of third-party vendors on its massive marketplace platform and its use of data generated by those merchants to compete against them directly with first-party private label sales. Company representatives explicitly told Congress several times in the past year that Amazon does not access vendors' data in that way or for those purposes.

Except it turns out that it totally does. Media reports, most recently a story published last week by The Wall Street Journal, have found many employees saying they used and were encouraged to use that data, despite company policy saying not to.

"Amazon has had multiple chances to come clean about its business practices," Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, said in a series of tweets. "Instead, its executives have repeatedly misled the Committee and the public. Enough."

Lying to Congress is on the dumbest things one can do. Congrats, Jeff.

Snapchat domain squatter loses comedy £1m URL sellback attempt

Found on The Register on Tuesday, 28 April 2020
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Having registered, East Londoner Muhibur Rahman built a photo business website on it. He even managed to get the site listed on Trustpilot.

Unlike its core product, Snapchat did not go away within a few seconds. Instead its lawyers went to Nominet's quasi-legal Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) in January, cited all of the company's global trademarks on the word "snapchat" and asked the DRS to take the domain name off Rahman. Everyone who buys a dot-UK domain name signs up to Nominet's Ts&Cs allowing the DRS to do this very thing if it decides that your new domain name infringes someone else's trademarks.

It should have been pretty obvious that his would not go well.

Uber accuses Levandowski of fraud, refuses to pay $179M Google judgment

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 21 April 2020
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Levandowski joined Uber in 2016 after almost a decade at Google, where he had been a leading self-driving engineer. Uber bought Levandowski's months-old self-driving startup Otto for hundreds of millions of dollars, intending to make Levandowski and his team the core of Uber's fledgling self-driving car project.

Uber fired Levandowski and settled with Google. But Google continued to pursue Levandowski in arbitration, winning a $179 million award. Levandowski argues that Uber has an obligation to pay the judgment on his behalf under an indemnification deal Levandowski negotiated as part of the 2016 acquisition of his company.

Nobody would believe that Uber had no hopes for inside information when they hired Levandowski.

Grsecurity maker finally coughs up $300k to foot open-source pioneer Bruce Perens' legal bill

Found on The Register on Monday, 30 March 2020
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Spengler and OSS sued Perens for a June 2017 blog post in which Perens ventured the opinion that grsecurity, Open Source Security's Linux kernel security enhancements, could expose customers to potential liability under the terms of the General Public License (GPL).

OSS says that customers who exercise their rights to redistribute its software under the GPL will no longer receive software updates – the biz wants to be paid for its work, a problem not really addressed by the GPL. Perens, the creator of the open-source definition, pointed out that section six of the GPLv2 prohibits modifications of the license terms.

That lawsuit sure backfired. They should have just accepted the GPL terms without trying to wiggle around and ignore the fine print.

Australian privacy watchdog sues Facebook for *checks notes* up to £266bn

Found on The Register on Monday, 09 March 2020
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In a case lodged with the Federal Court today, the Australian Information Commissioner, Angelene Falk, accused Facebook of exposing the data of 311,127 Australians between March 2014 and May 2015 through the This Is Your Digital Life app, a quiz that harvested the data of 87 million users worldwide.

The suit seeks a maximum penalty of AU$1.7m (£870,000) per person, meaning Facebook faces a AU$529bn (£266bn) fine if the court awarded the max civil penalty for each of the 311k+ people affected.

If only this would succeed.

Copyright Troll Lawsuit Over Duct Taped Banana Picture

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 13 February 2020
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Back in December, it's likely you heard the wacky story about the "art installation" at the Art Basel gallery in Florida of a banana duct taped to the wall, which sold for $120,000. You may have also heard about how someone stepped in and ate the banana, but the original purchasers were still happy, despite the recognized absurdity of the whole thing.

A copyright lawsuit has been filed against the owners of the website ClickOrlando, claiming that they used a photograph of the duct taped banana taken by John Taggart without licensing it in its article about the artwork.

This entire absurdity ist just mind-blowing stupid. "Modern art" and "art installations" are only a way to launder money.