Tech Titans Play Monopoly

Last week, a federal judge dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s monopoly lawsuit against Facebook, concluding that the agency hadn’t made a sufficiently clear case that the social media giant controlled the market in a monopolistic way. At the same time, Amazon has demanded that FTC Chair Lina Khan recuse herself from any antitrust investigation into… Read More

We’re Missing the Point in the Trump-Facebook Ban Story

If there’s one thing that social media loves, it’s talking about social media. It’s no surprise, then, that this week’s internal review at Facebook about whether Donald Trump’s account should be reinstated has chewed up hashtags and trends around the world. If you recall, social networks like Twitter and Facebook banned The Donald in the… Read More

Why Privacy is Like Bubble Wrap

Today is Data Privacy Day, a great time to remember that we live our lives increasingly in visible, recorded ways, and that privacy is something that belongs to all of us and to each of us. Also, it’s a day when privacy professionals post jargon-filled memes that no one understands. “Did you hear the one… Read More

What the First Amendment Actually Means Online

Having a debate about the First Amendment in law school was never something that interested me. For some reason, everyone else was always energized by the idea of debating the contours of permissible expression, or what constituted the prior restraint on the press, but I always preferred structure and process-driven questions about federalism, the Administartive… Read More

California’s New (New) Privacy Law: Part 2

Last time, we talked about the passage of the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), a ballot referendum that expands and enhances the scope and consequences of CCPA. Today, we’ll look a little deeper into why CPRA is such a big deal, and also why it may simultaneously be the cause of its own undoing. When… Read More

The Biggest Crisis

We hear the word “crisis” a lot these days. A phenomenon of our age is that issues are transformed into crises, and many crises are transformed into existential threats. Think about the way we looked at online harms and screen time for children. Just a year or two ago, the rage was the claim that… Read More

Anonymous Schanonymous

Everybody loves a fad. You can pinpoint someone’s generation better than carbon dating by asking them what their favorite toys and gadgets were as a kid. Tamagotchi and pogs? You were born around 1988, weren’t you? Coleco Electronic Quarterback and Garanimals? Well well, an early X-er. A fad is cultural currency and social lubricant at… Read More

Privacy Shield Is Gone. Now What?

For those of us who pay attention to and care about these kinds of things, the Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a ruling today stating that the FTC’s Privacy Shield framework governing the transfer of personal data from Europe to the United States is no longer valid. This ruling is very… Read More

A Quarantine Lesson – One Month In

I think we can all agree that March 2020 lasted approximately 11 years and that April lasted about 11 minutes.  Seriously, what happened to April?  Why did time seem to absolutely whiz by while just a few weeks earlier it felt like we were waking up on March 78th?  Perhaps it has something to do… Read More

Zoom Bombs

Zoom, the videoconferencing platform on everyone’s lips this month, has had an roller coaster of a first quarter.  As remote working became the norm for hundreds of millions, the company rapidly emerged as a favorite in the United States, where its simplicity and video quality made it stand out from competitors.  Its daily usage swelled… Read More

Two Examples of Valuable Data Partnerships

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about data partnerships because we believe in their potential as vehicles for growth, success, and innovation.  But sometimes it’s valuable to lay out particular versions of those partnerships to give you an idea of what data you can deploy and how it can be valuable.  Use this discussion… Read More

Protecting Your Data, Protecting Your Business

One of the biggest concerns we have when we talk to clients about how to create data partnerships is the security and protection of data.  We don’t mean cybersecurity and the literal safeguarding of information, though that’s undoubtedly essential too.  Instead, we’re talking about ensuring that datasets are used only as appropriate, are kept within… Read More

What it Means to “Control” Data

There is an unconventional data partnership structure based around controlling the data that others have about you. Remember, most businesses gather datasets from their operations. However, each record of those datasets is usually referencing one particular entity, like a person or a business or a product. There is an entire partnership structure around the entities… Read More

Innovative Data Partnerships (Part II)

We’ve already spent some time discussing the kind of partnerships where a small, innovative firm wants to partner with a larger one to create new value and drive growth.  Many times, this is how the smaller business gets its foot in the door, and (together, perhaps, with a channel agreement) first is able to get… Read More

Online Trust, Facts, and the Best Evidence Rule

When you’re a lawyer and you write about truth, you’re basically asking to be insulted because….you know….you’re a lawyer.  It’s true, some of my fellow legal professionals have occasionally had a less than intimate connection with the truth, but, in general, even the best lawyers squint their eyes and look wary when someone talks about… Read More

Understanding Reseller Channel Partnerships

On Monday, we talked about how to structure channel data partnerships, particularly in the context of affiliates.  Affiliate partnerships are a great way to ensure that your data reaches the widest possible audience, relying on the affiliate’s access to potential customers.  They are, in effect, a force multiplier for your data, broadcasting it to a… Read More

Predictions, Lists, and Complete Wild Guesses II

After a whirlwind start to this year (let’s leave the decade debates aside please), we’re finally ready to start making our 2020 predictions for privacy, data partnerships, and data strategy. This is where we lay out our view for how businesses, regulators, government, and internet users will shift the rules and change the way we… Read More

Facebook’s Privacy Game

Fads are a big part of January. Everyone wants to hashtag their efforts at keeping up their New Year’s Resolution (#NoCheeseMonth, #NoCarbMonth, #NoFunMonth), and our collective refusal to acknowledge that the holidays are over means we’re all still desperate for distractions. But nobody minds, because we all love fads — it’s why we get obsessed… Read More

Responding to a Data Crisis in Three Steps

It’s been a week, folks.  Not even a week.  And we’ve already got a looming hot war, an active cyberwar, three major data breaches, and the promise of a major fight over GDPR on the very near horizon.  Apparently, 2020 is going to be like 2019, just more so. Normally, this is the time of… Read More

2019: The Year of Meh

To me, the most meaningful meme of this year was “OK, Boomer” (Baby Yoda was a non-event, don’t @ me).  It not only perfectly captures the very real, politically potent generational conflict going on right now, but it also reflects how completely ignored Generation X is in our current culture wars. (I feel no guilt… Read More