Category Archives: e-Commerce

Autonomous Vehicles: Job Killer?

According to the 2014 Census data, more than 4.4 million Americans work as drivers. Will autonomous vehicles kill most of these driver required jobs? With the growth and advancement in autonomous vehicle technologies, many Americans are in danger of losing their job or taking significant cuts in their income because a new and convenient technology is taking their place. Autonomous vehicles are expected to reduce labor cost, fuel cost and accidents. The potential savings will outweigh the human cost, especially as companies fight for profit margins. While companies plot to save money in the future through using this new tech …

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Legal Considerations for Website Privacy Policies

You finally created your website. Did you include eye-catching graphics? Check. Did you include an attention-grabbing banner slogan? Did you post all of your social media handles? Did you include a privacy policy for the website? Maybe… We get questions from clients about whether they are required to include a privacy policy and, if so, what should it say.  The answers may surprise you, but a privacy policy should definitely not be an afterthought for website owners.  It certainly isn’t a best practice to simply copy and paste the privacy policy of another’s company’s website.  The representations made in website …

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Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Section 230 Protections

Information Counts.  That’s the title of this blog.  And it’s an indisputable fact.  Information is – and has been for at least 20 years – the currency of our economy, providing consumers, regulators and the general public information about business, practices and events. A critical, and even indispensable, factor in the development of the information economy is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was part of the massive Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996.  That subsection provides that “[n]o provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided …

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You Just Used My Picture Without Permission?

Artist Richard Prince’s exhibit entitled “New Portraits’’ was displayed at New York City’s Gagosian Gallery and Frieze New York during the summer of 2015.  This exhibit featured screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos.  These screenshots were not altered.  They were simply the pictures that Instagram users posted, with an addition of Prince’s comments in the comment section of the post. What is remarkable is that the individuals whose likenesses and photographs were used were unaware of the use.  Prince did not ask for permission or provide notice.  He just used the pictures.  Apparently, the art world was pleased with his …

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Autonomous Vehicles and the Internet of Things

This is our second post in a row regarding autonomous vehicles, otherwise referred to as driverless cars.  As we noted last week, driverless cars are no longer an idea of the future or science-fiction. Very soon they will become every commuter’s reality. Several major car companies such as Ford, Volvo, and Toyota have announced that their autonomous vehicles will be available to the mass market within five years. The belief among manufacturers is that autonomous vehicles will reduce traffic congestion, create efficiency, increase safety and save consumers money (i.e. time and fuel). Simultaneously with the development of autonomous cars – …

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Autonomous Vehicle Business Models: How Will You ‘Own’ One?

Google, Uber, and several major automakers are working to bring autonomous vehicles (i.e. self-driving cars) to the marketplace. In mid-October 2016, Tesla announced that three of its models will be fitted with all the hardware needed to be driverless. In September 2016, Uber cars were seen on the streets in self-driving mode. The technology is rapidly maturing, and we continue to see testing of cars with driverless capabilities in some cities.  There has been speculation that autonomous vehicles are the next radical market transformation for the automotive industry, as cloud computing was for the software industry.  The prediction is that …

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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – Be Smart

At the dawn of portable electronic devices, they were primarily work-related productivity tools.  Often, employers would purchase (or lease) devices and distribute them to their need-to-have employee base.  It’s not so long ago that we can remember when the Blackberry transitioned from a business device to a consumer device.  Everybody wanted a Blackberry (weren’t those the days for RIM?) and free email providers like Yahoo and Gmail offered accessibility of their email content through the Blackberry. Then, mobile devices got smart.  They became phones and productivity tools and the footprint shrunk from two devices to one.  One smart device that …

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Outsourcing Lessons from an “Uber” Uber-Rider

In July 2015, my 12-year-old SUV, with 220,000 miles, finally breathed its last breath.  It was time for me to buy a new car.  But, instead, I decided to try a little personal experiment with the “sharing economy.”  Based on a back-of-the-napkin calculation, I determined that it might actually be cheaper to completely outsource my driving to Uber (or its competitor, Lyft).  Using a source like Edmunds.com, it’s easy to find out the “true cost of ownership” of any car you might have your eye on.  Looking at comparable replacement vehicles, my “true cost to own”– fees, fuel, insurance, maintenance …

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Authenticating Purchases with Facial Recognition

Facial recognition technology has rapidly advanced in sophistication and accuracy over the years. Early use of the technology was focused on facial detection in security systems. Since 2014, the federal government has introduced facial recognition technology, along with collecting travelers’ fingerprints, in its U.S. Global Entry system in an effort to strengthen border security in major airports across the U.S. And perhaps the most widely known use of facial recognition technology today is the function of “tagging” in online social networks which allows users to identify friends in photos. Recently, businesses have begun exploring facial recognition’s potential benefits for increasing …

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The Case of the Monkey Selfie

Here’s the story: back in 2011, this monkey gets hold of a photographer’s camera (there are multiple versions of how the monkey actually got the camera, so we will just state the fact we do know for certain – it ended up with the camera) and starts snapping pics of itself. The owner of the camera, David Slater, claims a copyright in the resulting photos and demands that Wikipedia take them down. So, who owns the pic? The owner of the camera, or the photographer (regardless of species) who actually took the picture? Copyright 101 – the creator of the …

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