Addressing legal issues with the latest technological developments and social media trends.
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As California reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic and workers begin returning to work in-person, many employers have begun requesting their employees provide, sometimes on an ongoing basis, certain health information before returning to the workplace. This includes information such as temperature checks, health surveys, COVID-19 test results, or proof of vaccination status. Given the likelihood that collecting this information will trigger certain requirements under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), employers should take certain measures to ensure they remain in compliance with the CCPA as their workplaces reopen.

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Hashtag-disclosure-1305783808-300x200Social Media has gone from frontier to “settled land of influencers” when it comes to brand promotion. In 2020, social media ad revenues reached $41.5 billion, making up nearly 30 percent of all internet and ad revenue. The latest influencer trend has been marketing “altcoins,” which are cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. From YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul promoting the digital coin Safemoon to the social-media veteran Kim Kardashian marketing “Ethereum Max,” cryptocurrency promotion permeates social media. On the flip side, there’s also been a boom in consumers seeking financial advice from social media platforms like Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets. However, as with all advertising, cryptocurrency promotion has raised many concerns. Among them? Are the cryptocurrencies marketed by influencers are simply pump-and-dump scams? One approach influencers try to limit liability is by including the disclaimer “this is not financial advice” in their posts and videos, but is including or hashtagging a disclaimer enough to limit liability?

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Biometrics-academic-testing-1051420210-300x200COVID-19 accelerated digital transformations across every industry. From the growth of e-commerce and food delivery services to virtual workspaces and online learning, a seismic shift towards digitalizing our day-to-day activities has become the new normal.

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Fingerprints. Retinas. Facial symmetry itself. We frequently address the problems raised as new technology brings new privacy concerns for customers and businesses alike. In “Check Your Policies for Privacy Claim Coverage: New York City’s New Biometrics Law Is Now in Effect,” examines New York City’s recent statute that imposes two limitations on the use of “biometric identifier information” and why businesses operating in New York City should consider both their potential liability under these new requirements and whether their current insurance program protects them against associated risks.


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Check Your Policies for Privacy Claim Coverage: New York City’s New Biometrics Law Is Now in Effect

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Here at Internet & Social Media Law, we examine new developments and challenges that impact the digital and social media landscape. Over on our Policyholder Pulse insurance law blog, we  provide insight on non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) and the importance of knowing the available insurance options when dealing with them. As NFTs become more common, whether it’s sports tickets and memorabilia or art work, it’s imperative to know how to protect these digital assets. We discuss further in “Covering the Highlight Reel: The Need for Insurance Options to Protect NFT Owners.”

 

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As innovative applications with integrated smart contract functionality emerge from blockchain technology platforms, there is an expanding list of digital currencies, tokens and peer-to-peer financial products and services. Abbreviations abound. There are non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which, unlike fungible cryptocurrencies, are “one-of-a-kind’ digital assets stored on a blockchain platform, and can include images, videos, recordings, collectibles and tangible items in the physical world. There is decentralized finance (DeFi), the peer-to-peer transaction infrastructure for tokens and other software applications and contracts designed to replace traditional banking products and services and streamline transactions. Decentralized applications (dApps) are a relatively new technology similar to traditional web applications from a user perspective, but which run on distributed blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum, rather than on a single computer—dApps are typically open source, allowing software developers to improve features and functions quickly, and free from control by any single authority. Smart contract protocols permit dApps to access the blockchain platform and integrate with cryptocurrencies, NFTs and DeFi projects.

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Industry_Podcast_cover-update-final-bottom-300x169Cydney Tune recently joined host Joel Simon on the Industry Insights podcast to chat about the NFT trend, its expansive industry reach and some of its interesting pop culture manifestations.

Joel Simon: Our discussion today is going to touch on a number of things that are a mystery to a lot of people. We’ll focus on non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs, and in the process, can’t help but mention blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Cydney, I read recently that the technology for an NFT has existed since 2010. They went mainstream in 2017, and this year, NFTs have already generated more than $2 billion in sales. So this is definitely a topic that people should get up to speed on. Let’s start with the most basic question: What is an NFT?

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As the use of biometric information such as fingerprints, iris scans, facial scans, and voice prints becomes more and more common, so, too, have the number of lawsuits brought for the unauthorized use of private information and for the violation of privacy laws—including class action lawsuits. In “The Duty to Defend a Privacy Claim Arises from Even Limited Publication of Biometric Identifiers,” our colleague examines an important recent Illinois Supreme Court decision that is “likely to be at the forefront of future coverage litigation as other state courts grapple with the coverage afforded by business insurance policies for privacy claims.”

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Industry_Podcast_cover-update-final-bottom-300x169Brian Finch recently returned to Joel Simon‘s Industry Insights podcast to discuss the uptick in cyberattacks, data breaches perpetuating insider trading and strategies companies can employ to guard against these problems.

Joel Simon: It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 10 months since you joined us for a discussion of social engineering, fund diversion scams and a then recent escalation of state-sponsored cyberattacks. A lot has changed since then, but not surprisingly cyberattacks have increased and some of their aftereffects have had far-ranging implications. What are you seeing as the biggest threats today?

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In our previous post we discussed the importance of conducting a thorough due diligence and procurement process with smart technology providers. Next up? The contract.

The price of a procured product is always important, but equally important are other contractual terms that reflect the commercial agreement. Ultimately, the contract should answer the fundamental question of “What are you buying?” The product itself is not the only feature being purchased. A customer is also buying certainty, service performance, risk mitigation, flexibility, security, compliance, and other similar “intangible” items of value.

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