LEGAL INSIGHTS

The digital economy is revolutionizing every aspect of our lives, and success in today’s economy requires that businesses become disruptors and innovators. At Patrick Law Group, we believe that a critical component of competitiveness in the digital economy is the pursuit of sharing and collaboration of relevant information.

We recognize the increasing complexity our Clients face in identifying relevant content and insightful business perspectives on changes and developments important to their practice areas and business interests. We invest in creating and sharing Client-centric content, and provide our Clients with current insights and knowledge that affect critical business decisions and the development of cogent business strategies.

When Data Scraping and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Collide

When Data Scraping and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Collide

By Linda Henry | As the volume of data available on the internet continues to increase at an extraordinary pace, it is no surprise that many companies are eager to harvest publicly available data for their own use and monetization.  Data scraping has come a long way since its early days, which involved manually copying data visible on a website.  Today, data scraping is a thriving industry, and high-performance web scraping tools are fueling the big data revolution.  Like many technological advances though, the law has not kept up with the technology that enables scraping. As a result, the state of the law on data scraping remains in flux.
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Is Your Bug Bounty Program Uber Risky?

Is Your Bug Bounty Program Uber Risky?

By Jennifer Thompson | In October 2016, Uber discovered that the personal contact information of some 57 million Uber customers and drivers, as well as the driver’s license numbers of over 600,000 United States Uber drivers had been hacked.  Uber, like many companies, leveraged a vulnerability disclosure or “bug bounty” program that invited hackers to test Uber’s systems for certain vulnerabilities, and offered financial rewards for qualifying vulnerabilities.  In fact, Uber has paid out over $1,000,000 pursuant to its program, which is administered through HackerOne, a third-party vendor.  Uber initially identified the breach as an authorized vulnerability disclosure, paid the hackers $100,000, and the hackers deleted the records.  Yet, Uber has faced lawsuits, governmental inquiry and much public criticism in connection with this payment.
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IoT Device Companies: COPPA Lessons Learned from VTech’s FTC Settlement

IoT Device Companies: COPPA Lessons Learned from VTech’s FTC Settlement

By Jennifer Thompson | In “IoT Device Companies:  Add COPPA to Your "To Do" Lists,” I summarized the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s June, 2017 guidance that IoT companies selling devices used by children will be subject to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and may face increased scrutiny from the FTC with respect to their data collection practices.  That warning became a harsh reality for VTech Electronics Limited (VTech), which recently entered into a settlement with the FTC to, among other things, pay $650,000 for alleged violations of COPPA and the FTC Act.
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Beware of the Man-in-the-Middle: Lessons from the FTC’s Lenovo Settlement

Beware of the Man-in-the-Middle: Lessons from the FTC’s Lenovo Settlement

By Linda Henry | The Federal Trade Commission’s recent approval of a final settlement with Lenovo (United States) Inc., one of the world’s largest computer manufacturers, offers a reminder that when it comes to consumers’ sensitive personal information, transparency is key, and failure to assess and address security risks created by third-party software vendors may be deemed an unfair act or practice under Section 5 of the FTC Act.
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