James sez, "Everyone knows that Facebook's Beacon application was a privacy disaster. But it was also probably illegal.
I've written up an analysis of Beacon under a 1988 law that flatly prohibits video stores from telling people what their customers rented. Every time Blockbuster spammed your friends list with an announcement about your latest online video purchase, it was violating that law. At a minimum $2,500 fine per violation, this could be a pretty serious legal problem for Blockbuster and Facebook."
There are two possible sources of VPPA trouble here . First, in step (4) when Facebook found out that Ethan had purchase The Producers, that might have been a disclosure either by Ethan or by Blockbuster. Second, in step (6) when Ethan's friends found out that he'd bought it, that might have been a disclosure by Ethan or by Facebook.
Let's start with the disclosure to Facebook (step (4)). Blockbuster looks like it has a strong argument here that Ethan was the discloser, not it. After all, it was Ethan's browser that told Facebook what he'd rented, not Blockbuster's web site. Since Ethan isn't a video tape service provider, that's the end of the story.
I don't think that argument works, though, because Ethan's disclosure to Facebook is pretty much a textbook example of an involuntary act.
The escalating tariff slap-fight between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China is messing with so many bottom lines that the only people playing the market and making bank are those with companies that make red ink in their portfolios. Even Apple, a company that pretty much prints its own damn […]
We presume it can tell by the pixels.
This alarmingly funny video shows an “Apple Engineer” explaining the company’s forthcoming $999 monitor stand. This guy is better than the “Downfall” meme! Also funny: to see people who had complained vocally about Apple’s lack of truly “pro” gear denouncing it when it finally came along, because it was too pro. Perhaps Apple should have […]
In case it wasn’t clear from the Google pedigree, Google Go has a ton of support in the coding world. Already, this new programming language is the fourth most active on Github, and developers who work with Go are the third-highest paid globally in the Stack Overflow developer survey for 2019. Globally, the average Go […]
When it comes to large computer systems, not one of them is fully secure. Even with constant updates to the platforms that keep vital networks humming, there’s always a back door. And companies are willing to pay handsomely to effective bouncers that can keep an eye on them. Call them ethical hackers or white hat […]
So you’ve visited the Kennedy Space Center every year. You’ve watched “The Right Stuff” for the 95th time. There must be something to do while you’re waiting to join Space Force for the next manned mission to Mars or the moon. Here’s a combo that should raise a salute from any fan of space or […]