Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog


Why Small Firm, Solo, and Freelance Lawyers Need Blockchain

Blockchain and BigLaw seem to be made for each other.

Blockchain technology allows lawyers to generate legal documents and smart contracts that can be executed and authenticated electronically. BigLaw has the financial resources to make the technology a standard in the legal profession.

So what about small firms and solo attorneys, who have limited resources? And freelance attorneys, who have even less?

Can You Delete DMs on Twitter?

According to a web security researcher, Twitter has a "functional bug" that effectively retains the direct messages (aka DMs) that users send, even after a user deletes those messages, or even their whole account.

The so-called bug has been raising some rather loud criticism of the platform, which at one point allowed users to effectively "unsend" direct messages by deleting them, though that feature has since been removed. Twitter has not provided any details, but did state that it was looking into this issue. Notably though, the researcher stated that he notified Twitter over a year ago, and nothing has changed.

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

Technology companies collect all sorts of data on their users. The terms of service located on their web sites spell out for users the types of data collected and how that data will be used. The data collected from users is extremely useful for tech companies in terms of how to market to them further, and accordingly, that data has tremendous economic value.

Along comes the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who according to APNews.com, has announced that California consumers should share in the billions of dollars that tech companies make on personal data they collect. Indeed, Governor Newsom reportedly has asked his aides to come up with a proposal for what has been referred to as a "data dividend" for California residents. However, it is not clear whether he envisions a tax on tech companies, refunds to users, or some other idea.

A new startup, StayTuned Digital, promises to be the "best friend" of video content creators. This is because the company offers this emerging market of small-to-big business creators the ability to publish online videos on multiple platforms at the same time, while also allowing you to track all the relevant metrics in one place.

So if your law firm is making YouTubes and Facebook videos, or posting short videos on Twitter, or some other social media video platform, you might want to consider taking a closer look at this new service. The company is looking to work with content creators from the smallest to the largest.

What Are Best Practices for Texting Clients?

Some things are better left unsaid, and that includes text messaging.

For lawyers, it goes without saying that they must protect client confidences. But when sending a text message, it's easy to breach confidentiality because the sender doesn't really know who will see it.

That's why there are some rules when it comes to lawyer-client texting. Here are some written ones:

This week, President Trump released the "Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence."

And while this had the prospect of going horribly wrong, the E.O. seems to fall flat when it comes to actually doing anything according to several commentators. There's no mandate to act, there's nothing being prohibited, and the whole thing just seems to be a mere suggestion that government agencies redirect spending into AI programs, where possible.

Another Malicious App Found on Google Play

Security experts found another malicious app on Google Play.

The "clipper" malware was disguised as a legitimate cryptocurrency app, but it stole cryptocurrency from users who downloaded it. The app took their credentials and keys, and redirected cryptocurrency deposits to the cyberthieves.

If it sounds familiar, that's because cybercriminals have used Google Play before to spread malware. It's become a thing -- a bad thing.

Police Want to Stop Google's Waze

Waze has become the next-generation police scanner, and the cops definitely don't like it.

The Google app allows users to post locations of police checkpoints. The mobile app also forewarns drivers of speed traps and red light cameras.

New York City police have a big problem with it. They want Google to take it down or else. Like, they'll give Google a ticket?

In this brave new world of smartphones and search engines, turning up the heat in nasty divorces and custody disputes has never been easier.

However, unfortunately for one celebrity, his strategic (but vexing) legal tactic has landed him in a tangential legal battle against one of the many tech giants that loves a good legal fight that gives them a chance to show they'll be tough on user privacy. Uber has objected to the third-party subpoena for records served on them in the child-custody battle between Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis, but curiously, made no mention of user privacy to support their refusal.

Bezos Stands Up to National Inquirer's Mr. Pecker

"No thank you, Mr. Pecker."

That's what Jeff Bezos said to David Pecker, who controls the National Enquirer. Bezos addressed Pecker in a public response to alleged extortion and blackmail.

The National Inquirer allegedly threatened to publish intimate photos that Bezos shared with his lover. You can guess why Bezos called out Mr. Pecker.