March 11, 2013
If you are interested in following my personal blog, it’s WDFloyd.com. Currently, I’m posting about a variety of topics which I find interesting. I will soon be launching a law blog focused on general business issues, insurance issues, and cyber law. Once that is ready, I’ll post a link on this site as well as on my personal blog.
February 8, 2013
Dave Floyd of Prism Risk Management, LLC has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Fellows of the Foundation are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas. Election is a mark of distinction and recognition of Mr. Floyd’s contributions to the legal profession.
Selection as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation is restricted to members of the State Bar of Texas. Each year one-third of one percent of State Bar members are invited to become Fellows. Once nominees are selected, the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees must elect them. Membership has grown from an initial 254 Charter Fellows in 1965 to more than 7,500 Fellows throughout Texas today.
The Texas Bar Foundation is the largest charitably-funded bar foundation in the country. Founded in 1965 by lawyers determined to assist the public and improve the profession of law, the Texas Bar Foundation has maintained its mission of using the financial contributions of its membership to build a strong justice system for all Texans. To date, the Texas Bar Foundation has distributed more than $14 million throughout Texas to assist nonprofit organizations with a wide range of justice-related programs and services. For more information, contact the Texas Bar Foundation at www.txbf.org.
January 22, 2013
Two individuals recently settled a lawsuit against a web analytics company in which they alleged that the company hid code in users’ web browsers to track internet activity. The code allowed the company to bypass security settings on users’ computers, thus revealing data to the company without users’ consent. The lawsuit is a class action, and the settlement is not binding on the potentially millions of additional web users who might have claims against this defendant and other companies. Nearly two hundred class action lawsuits around the country allege that multiple companies engaged in various schemes to collect data without users’ knowledge or consent. Companies that engage in web tracking, in order to avoid potential legal liability, should be certain that they disclose their tracking activities to users, or enable them to opt out of tracking.
The plaintiffs, John Kim and Dan Schutzman, filed suit against Space Pencil, Inc., which engages in the business of web analytics under the name KISSmetrics, in a San Francisco federal court. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant, along with other websites and internet companies, engaged in a joint effort to hide code in the web browsers of users who visited the companies’ websites. According to the plaintiffs’ complaint, the code reconfigured users’ browser software to bypass users’ security and privacy settings and allow the company to track browsing activity. Read the rest of this entry »
January 17, 2013
Privacy, meaning the security of computer users’ personal information, has become a major concern for the federal government, and therefore of technology companies. Legislation protecting personally identifiable information (PII) is in effect at the state and federal level, but federal regulators like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) take the lead role on this issue. The FTC recently announced plans to create a standardized form for disclosing the privacy practices of a website or application, comparing it to a nutrition label on food. Several tech companies, meanwhile, have also developed systems of icons to indicate how they use data collected from users. No single standard exists yet, but companies and organizations that do business on the internet should be aware of how these issues are developing.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, speaking at a digital business conference in September 2012, said that businesses should design privacy protections into their products and services from the beginning, and that they should be transparent about how and why they collect PII. He also spoke of the need to craft privacy policies that are comprehensible to computer users. Most privacy policies and end-user license agreements (EULAs) are multiple pages in length and full of dense legal terminology. Few people, if any, ever read the privacy policies or EULAs associated with websites, software, and other computer applications, but they are still bound by them. Leibowitz stated that he and the FTC’s chief technologist are developing a list of “five essential terms” for businesses to include on a privacy label.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Cylab Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) Laboratory proposed a similar concept earlier in 2012. One professor in the lab noted how consumers use nutrition label information to compare food products when deciding what to buy. Computer users should have the same ability to make an informed decision. Read the rest of this entry »
January 14, 2013