You are here: Home »

Privacy

Category Archives: Privacy

Are You a Victim of Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn may or may not be prosecuted in your state, depending upon how they were obtained, whether copyrights exist, and if a video voyeurism statute applies.camera

The site WomenAgainstRevengePorn.com has some step-by-step hints to remove photos.

If you have a copy of the nude picture, you can use Google’s “Search by Image” in order to reverse-look-up what sites are posting your photo.

Webinar: Electronic Spying and Tracking Spouses in Divorce Cases: What’s Legal in the Digital World?

Come join us via the internet in a 1.5 hour webinar about spying, surveillance, GPS monitoring, keylogging, and other privacy invasions which occur in the context of divorce cases.

While this is discussed in the context of divorces, these tips and techniques arise in our personal and professional lives, regardless of your practice.

Early registration is less than $100 and is here.

Learn about my co-presenter, Harry Gornbein, at his website.

Thanks to the the folks at Stafford Publications for inviting me.

Spying Spouses: Social Media & Divorce / Family Law

 

Thanks to the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Family Law CLE Committee for inviting me to speak at the “Spying Spouses” seminar today.Spying_000006098210XSmall_zps7f1f3d0b

The materials for my section on “Family Law Discovery: Social Media and E-Discovery” is here.

We discussed:

* mistakes that lawyers make in e-discovery and social media discovery;

* protection for lawyers and paralegals on LinkedIn when researching people;

* guidance to your clients on their social media use;

* where to look for social media content in 2013;

* steps to obtain social media discovery and how the courts are handling discoverability;

* sample social media requests; discussion of e-discovery and litigation holds in the family law context; and

* a few helpful apps for family law lawyers.

The cases cited in the materials are here:

Cheryl Young v. Michael Young (Fla. 1st DCA 2012)
Schreiber v. Schreiber, 904 N.Y.S.2d 886 (N.Y. App. 2010)
Davenport v. State Farm, 2012 WL 555759 (M.D. Fla. 2012)
Beswick v. Northwest Medical Center, (Broward 2011)
Levine v. Culligan of Florida, 2013 WL 1100404 (Palm Beach 2013)
Salvato v. Miley, 2012 WL 2712206 (M.D. Fla. June 11, 2013)
German v. Micro, 2013 WL 143377 (S.D. Ohio 2013)
Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc., 2011 WL 2065410 (Pa. 2011)
Juror Number One v. Superior Court of Sacramento (CA. App. 2012)
In Re White Tail, 2012 WL 4857777 (E.D. La. Oct. 11, 2012)
EEOC v. Original Honeybaked Ham,  (D. Colo. Nov. 7, 2012)
Perrone v. Lancaster Regional Medical Cntr. (Pa. 2013)

 

Google Using Your Photo in Ads? Turn Off “Shared Endorsements”

 

New terms and conditions going into effect on November 11, 2013 for Google Plus members will permit Google to use your photo in ads.

Here’s how to turn it off:

The following is long but I’m assuming you haven’t used Google Plus since you signed up!

1.  Log into your Google / Gmail / Google Plus account (it’s all the same)

2.  go to plus.google.com  (this is your Google+ homepage)

3.  On the left, find the “Home” tab.  Put your mouse on it.  Scroll down to “Settings.”

4.  The third bold section is “Shared Endorsements” — hit edit.

5.  Scroll down and un-check the box, “Based on my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo….”

6.  Hit “save.”

7.  On the same page, scroll back up and hit “Back to Account Settings” in top left.

8.  Check to make sure Shared Endorsements is “off” (if it isn’t, you likely did not save in steps 4-6).

9.  You’re done.

 

A Tinfoil Hat Which Works: “Booster Bag” Is An Anti-Shoplifting Device Under Florida Statute

Make jokes about the paranoid and their tinfoil hats, but the “tinfoil bag” is the real-deal.  Until you stand right in front of the person you’re stealing from.large_woman_tin_foil_hat

Most retail stores, as you know, have security tower devices which detect when items with tags pass through the front door, sounding an alarm.

Shoplifters turn to what is called a booster bag: in this case, a regular shopping bag lined with aluminum foil.  This is also known as a Faraday cage.  It shields the tags from begin detected by security.

In case you are guessing, yes, this is illegal.  In the case of Francesca Cenatis vs. State of Florida, she was spotted (the good old fashion way: by employees) allegedly trying to steal items using a battered Victoria’s Secret bag lined with foil.  It appears the booster functioned as intended — just that she was apprehended by employees who saw her.  And she was arrested anyways.  Use of such a bag is illegal, according to the Fourth District, under F.S. 812.015, Florida’s Antishoplifting Device Countermeasure Statute.

Before we receive gripes and emails about aiding or encouraging someone to break the law: folks, if the instructions are (widely available) on the internet, it is (a) unlikely that this law-related site is going to lead you into a life of crime and (b) it is also likely well-known to shop owners, who have beaten you to the punch and trained employees and have employed better security measures before this “bright” idea came to you.

Can the Government Compel Your Client to Decrypt a Hard Drive?

The Fourth  & Fifth Amendments and technology continue to collide as law enforcement seeks to compel defendants to unencrypt their computer harddrives.  Can they force your client to hand over the password?key

We discussed a similar issue in May about whether, under the Fourth Amendment, the Government could inspect the contents of your laptop, tablet, phone or camera when you cross the border.

Of course, do not expect the answer to be set in stone in your jurisdiction.  The answer(s) are in flux.  Much of it depends on how your client responds to questioning.

The first issue is whether production of  a password is compelled testimony or merely a ministerial act like submitting to fingerprints, blood tests, or a key.

The second issue turns on your client.  In two cases, Boucher and Fricosu, clients sunk their own ship.  In a Florida case, In Re Grand Jury Subpoena Dated March 25, 2011, the defendant did better.

The article, “Can the Government Compel Your Client to Decrypt a Hard Drive” is in the July-August 2013 edition of the Palm Beach Bar Bulletin.

Boston Bombing: Getting Your News From Internet vs. Television or Print

The recent bombing of the Boston Marathon lead to an unprecedented manhunt which shut down a city and drove a nation to watch the events unfold on live tv. But how “live” was it?  BombPhotoNew

If you were to follow the news hashtags on twitter or listen to the police scanner via Ustream, the news came much faster. The difference is that truly “breaking” events, like any sudden tragedy, involve unexpected turns and, along the way, mis-steps and bad information.  Your job, even as a (passive) reader or listener, is to use good judgment.

The Boston Marathon and Faster Breaking News” was published in the June 2013 Palm Beach Bar Bulletin and covers the difference between following breaking news on 24 hour news channels versus finding “raw” feeds on YouTube, social media, and other streams of information.

Can the Government Search Your iPhone or iPad at the US Border?

Can Border Patrol rummage through the contents of your digital camera, laptop, smartphones, etc at the border?

Yes, according to several recent cases and a broad exception to the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure).

Read “Can They Search Your iPad or iPhone at the Border?” from the May 2013 Palm Beach County Bar Association Bulletin.

And, yes, that case to the right is for sale here .

Internet Safety for Parents & Students 2013

Last year we discussed, “there is no delete.”  This year we add to that: social media is not free; the price of admission is your personal information.

A special thanks to Rosarian Academy for allowing me to speak to parents and students in separate sessions so parents can learn tips about social media and how to protect their own privacy as well as start the discussion with their children.  

Likewise, students learned about examples where emails, photos, and Facebook posts which people thought were private… ended up circulated around the globe.  And how that can affect their high school, college, and job applications.  We also discussed illegal downloading and other computer crimes.

The Powerpoint for the parents is here.  The student version is here.

What the Patreaus Scandal Tells Us About Email Privacy

This article discusses the Patreaus affair from the standpoint of practical email privacy tips for lawyers, law firms, their clients, and families.

A brief explanation is provided how emails (or even fake email addresses) are traceable with free software and what data exists on the person’s computer to show what sites have been viewed.

This article appeared in the January 2013 edition of the Palm Beach Bar Association Bulletin.

Sniffing Unencrypted WiFi Does Not Violate Wiretap Act

A federal court in Illinois recently approved a party’s interception of user data on public WiFi systems at hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets and other commercial outlets.  This practice, known as sniffing, involves someone with a laptop, a Riverbed AiPcap Nx packet capture adapter (or equivalent), and free Wireshark network analyzer software, intercepting unencrypted packets between the public wifi hotspot and everyday users.  In the course of sniffing, the person with the heavily-armed laptop can see your emails, financial information, photos, and whatever else you transmit.

Fortunately, in the case of In Re Innovatio IP Ventures, LLC Patent Litigation, the “sniffing” party agreed to overwrite the personal data of the wifi users.  This, of course, does not mean that other, non-litigants within the airspace of a free wifi hotspot are so scrupulous.  Nonetheless, the court determined that, absent a true “interception” of the user data, there was no violation of the Wiretap Act.

The take away lesson, however, is that your information which is sent over free, unencrypted wifi is sufficiently insecure that the court determined it was “readily accessible to the public.”  In short, a person who intercepts you wifi data on an unencrypted wifi network is not committing wiretapping.  As one might expect, the argument was that the data packets were only accessible to those with sophisticated packet sniffers.  But the court concluded that such sniffing devices ran $200 – $700 and were not so unusual even though “the majority of the public is likely unaware that communications on an unencrypted wifi network are so easily intercepted by a third party.”

Worse, “[t]he public still has a strong expectation of privacy in its communication on an unencrypted wifi network even if reality does not match that expectation.”

Some further discussions can be had here and here (the latter suggesting that there is a $55 sniffing device available…).

Lawyers in the Cloud

Considering using “cloud” storage for your law firm?  Or do you already use services like DropBox and GoogleDrive to transmit large attachments via email links?  Increasingly, lawyers like everyone else are moving towards the cloud.  Is it safe?

What do you need to know before you commit?  If you already have a cloud service, what features can you check to ensure your data is safe?

The article, “Lawyers in the Cloud,” from the Palm Beach Bar Bulletin, should answer some of those questions.

 

First Amendment / Defamation Case Discusses “Religious Internet Filtration Software”

The case of Darrel Bilbrey v. David Myers and First Pentecostal, Etc. from Florida’s Fifth DCA may be a significant case as to the “church autonomy doctrine” but also yielded a reference to an interesting internet tool:  faith-based internet monitoring.

Here’s how this came up in a court opinion: the Bilbrey case involves two church members in a mentor relationship where the plaintiff confided in the defendant that he (plaintiff) had been labelled as gay “as a teenager by an authority figure.”  According to the court opinion, this somehow “…ultimately led to Bilbrey’s installation of a religious internet filtration and accountability system on his personal computer that reports suspect internet usage, or attempted usage, to third parties.  [Defendant] Myers served as Bilbrey’s ‘accountability partner’ under the system and one report prompted Myers to ask Bilbrey if he was gay.”

A Google search revealed that there are at least ten such faith-based internet monitoring services available.  Most appear to be for self-regulation or for child-raising but some software, such as CovenantEyes, notifies third parties of the user’s internet travels.  In other words, a user puts this software on his or her PC/cellphone or connects via a cloud service, and permits other people to monitor the user’s internet habits.  The concept is that the user is accountable to a third person — one example given included a wife concerned about her husband’s internet habits.  Interestingly, this is not necessarily a filtration or blocking service.  It allows the user to proceed but reports the attempted/successful access of suspect sites to third person(s).

To be clear, we’re not driving at a specific legal or social point other than to acknowledge that we did not know that faith-based third party reporting tools existed before this court case was published.  To some, this kind of filter/reporting software is a welcome tool for spirituality, safe-Internetting, and peace of mind.  To others, this software might represent censorship and a frightening degree of trust in other people.

Our discovery revealed some interesting and somewhat related stories such as  this ACLU case where a public library filtered Wiccan and Native American religious terms.  Also on a related note, see this recent L.A. Times story about a religious group studying popular movie content and ticket sales to conclude that “clean” movies are more profitable than their R rated counterparts.

Florida “Do Not Call” List — Now Free

Register your home and mobile phones with the Florida Dept of Agricultural and Consumer Services’ “Do Not Call” list to prevent sales call to your home and cell phones.

Previously, there was a charge for this service.  In light of new legislation, registration is free and easy.

First, go to http://www.fldnc.com/

Second, enter your various numbers, contact info, and an email address.

Third, if you get a marketing call, you can file a complaint here.

Fourth, for further information (and possible remedies), read Florida Statute 501.059.

Florida Court Orders Plaintiff to Produce Facebook Content

Consistent with most jurisdictions nationwide, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida circuit court judge ordered plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case to produce Facebook data in discovery.  Plaintiffs had objected to the production on the grounds that the request was overbroad, burdensome, not within the scope of discovery, and violated privacy rights.  The order recites two of the social media interrogatories at issue which may be of use to practitioners.  

Judge Mily Rodriguez Powell wrote that the information shared by the Plaintiffs on social media websites was “clearly relevant to the subject matter of the current litigation” and narrow in scope (given the short history of social media, narrowly tailoring such requests is often not difficult).  The court further held there was no expectation of privacy, citing to New York and California cases.

The Bent v. Northwest Medical Center et al. order is here.

For similar recent opinions out of Pennsylvania and New York, see “No Such Thing As Privacy in the Social Media World.”