Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog


The world we live in is getting more and more digital every day. From self-driving cars to virtually virtual everything, it's still shocking to learn that even people are starting to go digital, literally.

Seemingly overnight (or over the past few years, whatever) celebrities have been made into actual holograms, and even more surprisingly, a full body scan isn't even necessary, as Tu-Pac's hologram performed at Coachella way back in 2012 (though the tech has come a long way since and full body scans make so much more possible). People aren't actually being replaced, but rather, preserved, digitally.

Marriott Hacked, 500 Million Customers' Data Exposed

When Marriott acquired Starwood hotels two years ago, the company didn't realize it was also buying a massive security breach.

The breach -- compromising information about 500 million customers -- is reportedly one of the largest in history. It is not close to the Yahoo breach of some three billion user accounts.

According to reports, however, the Marriott breach involves more than email information. It apparently includes credit card, passport, and other personal details that hackers use for identity theft.

Emailgate -- Here We Go Again!

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Long before votes were cast for the 2016 Presidential election, this blogger discussed how Hillary Clinton's government-related emails that were sent and received on private servers could become a thorn in her political side.

Why?

Because government records must be maintained as government records so, among other reasons, they can be open and available to public review. Indeed, laws like the Freedom of Information Act maintain that to have a vital and truly functioning democracy, those who govern must be accountable to the governed; the workings of government must be transparent pursuant to "sunshine" laws. Sunshine is the best disinfectant when it comes to government affairs.

For fans of facial recognition, and other tech that utilizes biometrics, the recent letter sent by some House reps to Amazon will certainly be of interest.

Apparently, Congress wasn't too pleased about how badly Amazon got put on blast by the ACLU. And they are asking Amazon to answers some more questions about their "Rekognition" software (yes with a "k") that, in a test conducted by the ACLU, misidentified Congress members as criminals when their photos were input into the database. While there might be some comedy in that example, the potential real-life impacts of biometric misidentifications are, and can be, devastating.

When crypto investors are looking for some advice, the SEC has made it abundantly clear, Floyd "Crypto" Mayweather shouldn't be on anyone's list of trusted crypto advisers.

Despite the boxing great giving himself that ridiculous nickname, his endorsement deal with Centra turned out to be a really bad move, as did the other deals he made to endorse other cryptos. Centra was recently charged by the SEC with fraud and non-compliance in connection with its ICO, and Mayweather and DJ Khaled (who were likely hyped on becoming a Bitcoin billionaire) both got swept up and heavily fined for their endorsements.

Next week, Google's CEO Sundar Pichai will appear before the House to testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

As the committee's press release advised, "The hearing will examine potential bias and the need for greater transparency regarding the filtering practices of tech giant Google." However, it is pretty much expected for the tech giant to be grilled on whether and how it is filtering (positive) content related to President Trump, whether political bias influences their practices, and what the company is doing with its work with China.

SIM Card Swap: The $1 Million Cell Phone Theft

If you haven't lost your cell phone before, consider yourself lucky or at least not forgetful.

If someone has stolen your phone before, join the club. Millions of cell phones are stolen every year. At hundreds of dollars a pop, it's big business.

For one unlucky executive, however, it was a million dollar loss. Some kid hacked the man's phone and cleaned out his accounts.

Prosecutors Say Keep Julian Assange Charges Sealed -- or What Charges?

Lawyering can be so contradictory.

"Not guilty," advises the criminal defense attorney for a killer caught in the act. "In the alternative," says the litigator who argues both sides.

So it's business as usual for prosecutors who won't say whether they have indicted Julian Assange. At the same time, they oppose unsealing any indictment that may have been filed against him.

While robocalls may have cooled down a bit, robotexts are being sent in record numbers. Fortunately, the FCC recognizes that these are mostly an annoyance to the recipients, especially when they don't recall ever consenting to receive the texts.

However, the most recent FCC proposal might end up blocking some of those robotexts consumers want, that are perfectly legal. While the official announcement seems to downplay one critical fact, the big proposal Chairman Pai is making would reclassify text messages from telecommunications services (like phone calls) to information services (like internet service). Basically allowing the service providers more latitude and less regulation when it comes to blocking robotexts.

Law Firm to Use Software Games for Hiring

Military leaders have long used games for battlefield strategy, and now a law firm is using games as a hiring strategy.

O'Melveny & Myers is evaluating potential associates through games that measure effort, attention, planning, memory, and flexibility. The firm says the artificially intelligent games will help assess candidates "based on potential, not pedigree."

Pymetrics, a New York company, is designing the games to remove potential gender, racial or ethnic bias in employment. It's a battle law firms have been fighting for some time.