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Paul Zimmerman

Showing 13 posts in Internet Software & Technology.

Internet Software & Technology
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Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

Attorneys at Michelman & Robinson, LLP have seen an uptick in claims made on behalf of visually impaired individuals against operators of websites not optimized for screen-reader technology. In fact, several of our clients have been sued or received demand letters from plaintiffs’ attorneys claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Read More)

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The Consumer Review Fairness Act: Compliance and the Quest for Transparent Customer Assessment

In the age of Yelp, Facebook Amazon and Trip Advisor, most people make purchasing, dining, travel and entertainment decisions based on reviews posted by fellow consumers. These reviews are critical for both would-be customers and businesses, and it is crucial that they honestly reflect the quality of a company’s products, services and customer service. (Read More)

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GDPR contact: Scott Lyon
714.557.7990 |

GDPR Compliance Strategy

The European Union adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on April 27, 2016, establishing the rights and freedoms of EU residents with regard to how their personal data is collected, processed, shared, and retained. No surprise that companies around the world, including clients of Michelman & Robinson, LLP in a range of industries, are struggling to understand how the GDPR will impact their business operations and how they should respond. As the May 25, 2018 deadline for compliance is fast approaching, we thought it would helpful to provide answers to some of the most frequently ask questions about GDPR. (Read More)

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UPDATE: Airbnb Sues Anaheim Over Law That Makes Website Liable for Illegal Short Term Rentals

Update (8.23.16):

On Monday, August 22, 2016, Airbnb announced that it has dropped its federal lawsuit against the City of Anaheim, California over a municipal ordinance that, in part, imposes fines on short-term rental websites. The voluntary dismissal came after an Anaheim official sent a letter to Airbnb’s legal counsel informing them that the city would not enforce the ordinance against websites such as Airbnb. The city advised that “no criminal or civil penalties will be issued against hosting platforms under the ordinance.”

While the case has now been dismissed, the issue may not be fully resolved. Of importance, the City Attorney’s one-paragraph letter did not rule out the city’s future passage of an ordinance “that is determined to be consistent with the Communications Decency Act and any other laws deemed to be applicable to hosting platforms.” M&R will stay abreast of this issue, and report on the various ways that municipalities are seeking to regulate and manage the booming short-term rental industry. (Read More)

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Controversial Federal Court Ruling Could Shape Future of Computer Trespass Prosecution

In a controversial decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that it is a federal crime to access a website after being specifically instructed not to by the site’s owner. The court ruled largely in favor of a now-defunct social networking business—Power Ventures, Inc. (“PV”) – finding that the internet startup did not violate an anti-spam statute. However, most strikingly, the court found that PV did violate an anti-hacking law when it tried to circumvent Facebook’s IP block during a promotional campaign. PV was adjudged to have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by accessing Facebook's site after the company told the startup to stop doing so. This decision has potentially massive implications going forward, as it clearly announces that social media companies, not users, ultimately control information shared on their platforms. Furthermore, it sets significant precedent regarding unauthorized access of websites. (Read More)

Internet Software & Technology
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Pokémon Oh No! Augmented reality raises specter of personal injury claims

Article was originally published on GeekWire on August 6, 2016

There’s no denying it—Pokémon have taken over the country and, as of the popular app’s launch in more than 30 countries over the past few weeks, the world.  As the media is eager to point out, the game’s launch has not been without certain glitches (i.e. server errors), publicity mishaps (Poké Stops on graves and in Holocaust museums), and security concerns (apparently Niantic Inc., developer and publisher of Pokémon Go, had full access to users’ Google accounts). But perhaps the most frequently discussed incidents are the minor, and sometimes major, physical injuries occurring as players hunt high and low in the hope of catching ‘em all. (Read More)

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Courts and Patent Litigants Continue to Wrestle With Scope of Supreme Court’s Alice Test

The U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 Alice ruling – which established that abstract ideas implemented on a computer are not patent-eligible – has fostered significant confusion regarding what exactly can and cannot be patented. A new case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Thales Visionix Inc. v. US (case no. 15-5150), perfectly illustrates the potential negative ramifications of overbroad application of the Alice test for patent holders. (Read More)

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Electronic Health Records Company Settles FTC Charges It Misled Consumers 

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has entered into a proposed settlement with Practice Fusion, the largest cloud-based electronic health records company in the country. The company solicited physician reviews from patients, leading them to incorrectly assume that their written commentary would be communicated confidentially to the physician who treated them when, in fact, it was posted online. Under the settlement, FTC will prohibit the company from making deceptive statements about the privacy or confidentiality of the data it collects, and will also require it – prior to making any consumer information publicly available – to "clearly and conspicuously disclose this fact" and obtain affirmative consent. (Read More)

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New Interactive Tool Will Assist Health-Related App Developers

Health-related apps are growing quickly in number, raising many interconnected legal questions. In an effort to eliminate confusion, the federal government has stepped in to offer guidance. On April 6, 2016, while speaking at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) conference in Washington, D.C., Chairwoman Edith Ramirez of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the release of new guidance directed towards developers of mobile health apps (the “Guidance”). The Guidance is a product of collaboration among the FTC, Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Read More)

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U.S. Google Compare Foreshadows Bigger Plans for Insurance Market Participation

A new competitor is making a big splash in the insurance shopping market. Last Thursday, Google announced that it was introducing Google Compare, an insurance comparison website similar to its British counterpart, which will provide consumers side-by-side comparisons of insurance quotes from various insurers. Consumers simply enter information including their names and driver’s license numbers to produce search results. The British Google Compare currently generates quotes for car and travel insurance, credit card opportunities, and mortgage deals as well. Thus far, Google has only limitedly engaged in the U.S., generating car insurance quotes in California only. The site will roll out to other states in the coming months, although which ones have yet to be identified. (Read more)