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Hartford Business & Commercial Law Blog

Switching to Biometrics May Increase Data Exposure

Passwords and PINs require ever more complexity and become difficult to recall.  As a result, many people take actions that could give rise to a data security concern:  they write them down on a paper near their computer.  Thus, there has been a call from many to switch to biometric data, e.g., fingerprints.  Apple iPhones, for example, have the capacity to let one log in without entering a PIN, by using a fingerprint, and then that fingerprint can also authenticate apps.  [There is a caveat that the PIN must be entered the first time after the phone is restarted.]

L+M Medical Office Building Employees Not Permitted to Join L+M Hospital Union

On October 6, 2014, the NLRB Region 1 Director issued a decision in a matter involving employees of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and Lawrence & Memorial Medical Group in New London, Connecticut.  See 01-RC-134298.  AFT Connecticut had been seeking to add a group of LPNs and a group of Medical Assistants employed at the nearby L+M Medical Office Building to exiting bargaining units at the hospital.  The Regional Director found that there were sufficient distinctions, including separate human resources departments, different scheduling requirements, separate supervision and little overlap to warrant these groups joining the hospital units.  This is notwithstanding the fact that certain functions, such as payroll administration, were shared or that both entities have a common owner.

Legal Liability for Cyber Bullying : Tennessee Case Seeks $1.1 Million in Damages

A case filed in the U.S. District Court in Tennessee illustrates the growing liability risks associated with cyber bullying. The parents of a middle school boy have filed a complaint against the Williamson County Board of Education and thirty-one of their son's classmates.

Federal Judge Makes Short Work of Post-Expungement Defamation Claim

Recently, the New York Times ran an op-ed about the case of Linda Martin against newspapers that had originally published articles about her arrest.  Ultimately, her arrest was expunged under Connecticut law, but the articles have remained in posterity.  She then filed a putative class action alleging that, by failing to delete the account of her arrest, which under law is deemed to have not actually ever occurred due to expungement, continued publication means that true articles are now false and defamatory.

The Implications and Backlash Surrounding the DMCA Cell Phone Unlock Ban

iphone.jpgIn October 2012, the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, decided to remove the unlocking of cell phones exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The act went into effect on January 26, 2013, and it made clear that consumers would not be able to unlock their cell phones on a different network without carrier permission, regardless of whether or not the user contract had expired.

Court Finds Crime Insurance Covers Data Losses

data thief.jpgA data breach resulting in the theft and use of customer credit card numbers results in significant expenses and penalties for the victim company. Many companies still do not have specific cyber liability coverage and thus can be on the hook for all expenses related to such a breach. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that such losses resulting from the cyber theft of customer data were recoverable under a commercial crime policy. Retail Ventures, Inc. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co., 691 F. 3d 821 (6th Cir. 2012).

Trade Secret Misappropriation: When An Insider Takes Your Trade Secrets With Them

While companies are often focused on outsider risks such as breach of their systems through a stolen laptop or hacking, often the biggest risk is from insiders themselves. Such problems of access management with existing employees, independent contractors and other persons are as much a threat to proprietary information as threats from outside sources.

FTC Spanks Social Network Path 800k for Privacy Violations - Issues Staff Report on Mobile Privacy Disclosures

Thumbnail image for spank.jpgToday the FTC announced a $800,000 settlement with Path, a social media network to settle allegations that it violated its own privacy policy and also illegally collected information on children under 13 in violation of COPPA(Children's Online Privacy Protection Act).
According to the complaint Path represented that personal information from the user's mobile device contacts would be collected only if the user clicked on "Add Friends" and then chose the "Find friends from your contacts" option. But despite that promise, Path automatically collected and stored personal data the first time the user launched the app and, if they signed out, each time they signed back in again. That, says the FTC, made Path's statement false.