Business Law

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Quiz 10 :

Cyberlaw and Privacy

Quiz 10 :

Cyberlaw and Privacy

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Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, has written: The communication technologies we use today are invasive by design, collecting our photos, comments and friends into giant databases that are searchable and, in the absence of outside regulation, fair game for employers, university admissions personnel and town gossips. We are what we tweet. Do you consider this a problem? If so, can the law fix it?
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Communication Technology:
It being the source for information technology has provided a means to reach distance with different services and applications. Communication technology has brought the world under the fingertip, as information can be transferred and downloaded with a click on applications.
The communication technologies are not invasive by design. It has provided various advantages like distance education, videoconferencing, etc. The disadvantage of communication technology is completely based on people usage. It creates a problem of information privacy, and is controllable only based on ethical aspects of people using it.
Law greatly has a role to play, but the problem can be solved only when people respond positively towards the usage of communication technologies.
Amendments are made by the constitutions to prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures. It is applicable to certain parties which includes government workers. Even though there is a problem, as it threats the privacy and personal interests of the public. The law possesses the complete authority to fix the menace of privacy invasion by technologies and also ability to suit the offenders to court.

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ETHICS Chitika, Inc., provided online tracking tools on websites. When consumers clicked the "opt-out" button, indicating that they did not want to be tracked, they were not-for 10 days. After that, the software would resume tracking. Is there a legal problem with Chitika's system? An ethical problem? What Life Principles were operating here?
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Case synopsis:
C Inc. provides online tracking tools on websites. If a consumer does not want to be tracked by the company, then they can click the "Opt-out" button. However, this works only for 10 days and it automatically starts tracking from the 11 th day.
Legal problem with the system of C Inc.:
There is a legal problem with the system of C Inc.'s tracking tools. The problem of the consumer is that they might forget to click the "Opt-out" button for every 10 days so that the system tracks the day when the consumer does not really wants to be tracked.
The legal problem is an ethical problem because the company should provide the service of tracking only when the consumer needs it. However, the company tracks the consumer by default, which violates the consumer's personal freedom.
The life principles operating in the ethics:
The life principle operated in the situation is as follows:
• Protection of individual's rights
• Protection of personal information of the individual
• The company must provide only the service asked by the consumer. It must not provide any services by default.

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Marina Stengart used her company laptop to communicate with her lawyer via her personal, password-protected, web-based email account. The company's policy stated: E-mail and voice mail messages, internet use and communication, and computer files are considered part of the company's business and client records. Such communications are not to be considered private or personal to any individual employee. Occasional personal use is permitted; however, the system should not be used to solicit for outside business ventures, charitable organizations, or for any political or religious purpose, unless authorized by the Director of Human Resources. After she filed an employment lawsuit against her employer, the company hired an expert to access her emails that had been automatically stored on the laptop. Are these emails protected by the attorney-client privilege? How does this case differ from Scott v. Beth Israel earlier in the chapter?
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Case synopsis:
Ms. MS used the laptop given by her company for her personal use. That is, she used it for communicating with her lawyer. The company says that the laptop should be used only for office purpose and occasionally it can be used for personal purposes.
Ms. MS filed a lawsuit against her employer and hence the company hired an expert to access her mail conversations.
Protection of electronic mails by attorney-client privilege:
The electronic mails are supposed to be protected by the attorney-client privilege, as it is considered as the personal information of an individual. Reading the confidential mail conversations of an individual is said to be illegal.
Difference of the case from S versus B:
In the case of S versus B, the company gives clear notification to the employees that all the things done with the laptop will be monitored and it must be used only for company's purposes. But in the case of Ms. MS, the organization says that the laptop can be used occasionally for personal purposes.

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An employer has the right to monitor workers' electronic communications if: (a) the employee consents. (b) the monitoring occurs in the ordinary course of business. (c) the employer provides the computer system. (d) all of the above (e) none of the above
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Spiro Spammer sends millions of emails a day asking people to donate to his college tuition fund. Oddly enough, many people do. Everything in the emails is accurate (including his 1.9 GPA). Which of the following statements is true? (a) Spiro has violated the CAN-SPAM Act because he has sent unsolicited commercial emails. (b) Spiro has violated the CAN-SPAM Act if he has not offered recipients an opportunity to unsubscribe. (c) Spiro has violated the CAN-SPAM Act because he is asking for money. (d) Spiro has violated the CAN-SPAM Act unless the recipients have granted permission to him to send these emails.
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Tracking tools provide benefits to consumers but they also carry risks. Should Congress regulate them? If so, what should the law provide?
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Over the course of 10 months, Joseph Melle sent more than 60 million unsolicited email advertisements to AOL members. What charges could be brought against him? Would you need more information before deciding?
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Roommates.com operated a website designed to match people renting spare rooms with those looking for a place to live. Before subscribers could search listings or post housing opportunities on Roommate's website, they had to create profiles, a process that required them to answer a series of questions that included the subscriber's sex, sexual orientation, and whether he would bring children to a household. The site also encouraged subscribers to provide "Additional Comments," describing themselves and their desired roommate in an open-ended essay. Here are some typical ads: • "I am not looking for Muslims." • "Not acceptable: freaks, geeks, prostitutes (male or female), druggies, pet cobras, drama queens, or mortgage brokers." • "Must be a black gay male!" • We are 3 Christian females who Love our Lord Jesus Christ…. We have weekly bible studies and bi-weekly times of fellowship." Many of the ads violated the Fair Housing Act. Is Roommates.com liable?
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YOU BE THE JUDGE WRITING PROBLEM Jerome Schneider wrote several books on how to avoid taxes. These books were sold on Amazon.com. Amazon permits visitors to post comments about items for sale. Amazon's policy suggests that these comments should be civil (e.g., no profanity or spiteful remarks). The comments about Schneider's books were not so kind. One person alleged Schneider was a felon. When Schneider complained, an Amazon representative agreed that some of the postings violated its guidelines and promised that they would be removed within one to two business days. Two days later, the posting had not been removed. Schneider filed suit. Argument for Schneider: Amazon has editorial discretion over the posted comments. It both establishes guidelines and then monitors the comments to ensure that they comply with the guidelines. These activities make Amazon an information content provider, not protected by the Communications Decency Act. Also, Amazon violated its promise to take down the content. Argument for Amazon: The right to edit material is not the same thing as creating the material in the first place.
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Barrow was a government employee. Because he shared his office computer with another worker, he brought in his personal computer from home to use for office work. No other employee accessed it, but it was connected to the office network. The computer was not password protected, nor was it regularly turned off. When another networked computer was reported to be running slowly, an employee looked at Barrow's machine to see if it was the source of the problem. He found material that led to Barrow's termination. Had Barrow's Fourth Amendment rights been violated?
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The European Union has created a "right to be forgotten" online. This right allows Europeans to request that websites take down their personal information, as long as it is not in the public interest. For example, a person would be able to request that Facebook delete her unflattering photograph, if it is outdated and is not newsworthy. Is this law a good idea? Would U.S. lawmakers ever consider a law like this? Why or why not?
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ETHICS Matt Drudge published a report on his website (http://www.drudgereport.com) that White House aide Sidney Blumenthal "has a spousal abuse past that has been effectively covered up….There are court records of Blumenthal's violence against his wife." The Drudge Report is an electronic publication focusing on Hollywood and Washington gossip. AOL paid Drudge $3,000 a month to make the Drudge Report available to AOL subscribers. Drudge emailed his reports to AOL, which then posted them. Before posting, however, AOL had the right to edit content. Drudge ultimately retracted his allegations against Blumenthal, who sued AOL. He alleged that under the Communications Decency Act of 1996, AOL was a "content provider" because it paid Drudge and edited what he wrote. Do you agree? Putting liability aside, what moral obligation did AOL have to its members? To Blumenthal? Should AOL be liable for content it bought and provided to its members?
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Sushila suspects that her boyfriend is being unfaithful. While he is asleep, she takes his iPod out from under his pillow and goes through all his playlists. Then she finds what she has been looking for: Plum's Playlist. It is full of romantic songs. Sushila sends Plum an email that says, "You are the most evil person in the universe!" Which law has Sushila violated? (a) The First Amendment (b) The CDA (c) The ECPA (d) The CFAA (e) None
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Because Blaine Blogger reviews movies on his blog, cinemas allow him in for free. Nellie Newspaper Reporter also gets free admission to movies. Blaine ___________ disclose on his blog that he receives free tickets. Nellie_________ disclose in her articles that she receives free tickets. (a) must, must (b) need not, need not (c) must, need not (d) need not, must
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