Items tagged with law

After a recent judge ruling, the ultra-secure fingerprint login feature your smartphone may offer doesn't seem quite so secure after all. Virginia Beach Judge Steven Frucci has ruled that while a person does not have to hand over their phone's passcode so that law enforcement can gain entry, a fingerprint is fair game. Passcodes fall into the same category has passwords; both are considered 'knowledge'. Under the Fifth Amendment, you're not required to divulge personal information like that. Fingerprints are different story; they fall into the same category as DNA, a person's handwriting, or a... Read more...
Californians who want to complain on Yelp about a bad experience dealing with a business are free to do so without fear of being fined. That wasn't always the case -- businesses have gotten into the dubious habit of inserting non-disparagement clauses into contracts to prevent peeved customers from leaving a negative online review, but such practice is now outlawed thanks to what's known as the "Yelp Bill." The official name is Assembly Bill 2365, but that's a bit boring, don't you think? Whatever -- Shakespeare taught us that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and in this case, the... Read more...
By now, it's pretty obvious that companies like Uber and Lyft offer a compelling service, one that taxi companies all over seem to be kicking themselves for not having thought of first. But despite the fact that these services offer a nice benefit to customers, they're fighting an uphill battle legally. Many, like Californian Senator Ben Hueso, prefer to vote in favor of the taxi lobby, causing the futures for companies like Uber to be clouded in complication. It's ironic, then, that the aforementioned Senator, mere hours after voting in support of a taxi lobby bill, was arrested for drunk driving.... Read more...
By now, it's pretty much assumed that any unencrypted data on your phone could be accessible to someone with the right tools, and with its latest guideline updates, Apple's further confirmed that to be the case where iOS devices are concerned. Apple admits that if a warrant is issued, it would be able to extract certain data from a locked iOS device. Those running mostly third-party applications will have nothing to worry about, as the data Apple can snag has to be from its own applications. Further, emails will not be able to be extracted, nor can calendar entries. Due to iOS' design, Apple would... Read more...
Thinking about punching in updated directions on your smartphone while cruising in California? Think again. Over the years, states have been marching towards a highway system that's devoid of any texting, phone holding, etc. And that's a good thing, given that distracted driving can (and does) lead to far too many accidents. But if you're a smartphone owners, chances are high that you've taken a risk a time or two by punching in new directions on a GPS app while still in motion, or perhaps at a stoplight if you're one of the dutiful citizens of the road. Now, however, a court ruling in California... Read more...
From the "About Time" files comes a new bill that's aimed at protecting companies from one of their biggest fears: patent trolls. Called the "SHIELD Act of 2013" (no, not this SHIELD, but rather "Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes"), this bill would require those accusing of patent infringement to handle the legal fees of the defendants should they lose the court battle. Inside the bill is the definition of a "non-practicing entity", which could be applied to the accuser if they are A) not the original inventor of the patent and B) have not made any real contribution to make... Read more...
Listing likes and dislikes, favorite movies, and other similar traits is completely optional on Facebook. Disclaiming crimes of a sexual nature, however, is not for residents of Louisiana. A new law sponsored by Louisiana state rep. Jeff Thompson requires sex offenders and child predators to list their crimes on Facebook and other social networking sites. Thompson said he hopes the Louisiana law, which goes into effect August 1, 2012, will set a precedent that other states will follow, provided it stands up to what's expected to be a constitutional challenge. "I don't want to leave in the hands... Read more...
A few weeks ago, Amazon.com dropped associates in California due to a new sales tax law. Needless to say, this action made many loyal Amazon users and sellers unhappy. Many people blamed the state of California while others placed blame on Amazon. Regardless of which party you chose to blame, the fact is, the accounts for Amazon associates in California have been terminated. Now, Amazon.com is seeking a ballot initiative that could repeal the California law that requires online retailers such as Amazon to collect sales tax. The California attorney general's office received a petition on Friday.... Read more...
Performing certain actions will get you sent to the 'Big House' no matter where you live. Taking another person's life, for example. Robbing a bank. Stampeding across town in a drunken stupor without your clothes on at three o'clock in the afternoon (trust us on this one). But in Tennessee, you could be locked up for logging into your buddy's Netflix account and watching an episode of The Twilight Zone. According to a report in The Tennessean, state lawmakers passed a new bill endorsed by Gov. Bill Haslam that, come July 1, will make it a crime to use someone's login information to watch movies... Read more...
San Francisco, home of the Giants and land of sometimes questionable mandates, like the one passed last year that would require cell phone retailers to slap a label on their devices indicating radiation levels. The measure created a bit of a firestorm on the Internet over whether such a label was really needed or simply ridiculous. For now, San Francisco is betting on the latter. According to a report in The San Francisco Chronicle, city officials have now decided to delay implementing what is known as the "Right to Know" ordinance, placing it on indefinite hold, likely until a different version... Read more...
Did you know that you can purchase a cell phone in the United States without actually handing over any personal information at all? It's true. For years, consumers have been able to purchase pre-paid cell phones from stores such as Wal-Mart, and since they can be purchased with cash, there's little to no trace left behind. For many, they don't actually stop to think about this, but for drug lords and other criminals who wish to maintain a low cover while communicating on the go, having a pre-paid cell phone is the ultimate luxury. In Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore,... Read more...
You've heard all the arguments before: violent video games are corroding our youth, Grand Theft Auto makes kids want to beat up pedestrians, Doom and other first person shooters corrupt young minds into going on shooting sprees, and so forth and so on. The Supreme Court will hear these same arguments and decide whether a California ban on the sale of violent games to minors is unconstitutional. Why now? You can thank California's governator, otherwise known as Mr. Universe, Conan the Barbarian, and The Terminator, to name just a few of Arnold Schwarzenegger's more popular alter-egos. At heart of... Read more...
The Internet is abuzz this morning over Apple's "2010 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report." In it are some 24 pages detailing the results of Apple's self-imposed audit of all of its suppliers to ensure that each one meets the company's "Supplier Code of Conduct." What has the Internet swarming with activity is this little tidbit:"Apple discovered three facilities that had previously hired 15-year-old workers in countries where the minimum age for employment is 16. Across the three facilities, our auditors found records of 11 workers who had been hired prior to reaching the legal age, although... Read more...
You may recall "I Am Rich," the somewhat bogus $1,000 iPhone app that made it into the App Store in mid-2008, then was dropped when Apple realized how silly it was.  Despite that, six people actually purchased it before it was booted out.  Now we have another $1,000 app, and this one might be worth it. "I Am Rich" simply showed a screenshot of some bling. Anyone who would waste their money on that app had to be rich to justify it.  Meanwhile, the new $1,000 app, BarMax CA, so named because it currently only covers California, is an app designed to help law students study for... Read more...
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