Current Issue

Volume 2016 - Issue 2 (Fall)

Articles:

"Biometrics and Disability Rights: Legal Compliance in Biometric Identification Programs" by Tiffany Lee
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Biometric technology is a rapidly expanding field in both the public and private sectors. Biometric data is increasingly being used to create more secure methods of identifying individuals, track the movements of people, and allow access to restricted areas. The use of biometric data in such a wide range of applications presents a unique challenge to people with disabilities. Studies evaluating the impact of biometric programs on the disability community are limited, but tend to indicate that many people with disabilities will face difficulties accessing biometric programs. This raises the concern that people with disabilities may face increased difficulty in accessing opportunities and services that require the production of biometric data, or be unable to use documents that require biometric data. Because of the potential for discrimination, it is necessary to implement legislative protections to ensure the civil rights of people with disabilities as these programs begin to be implemented on a widespread basis.

"Learning Lessons From Cloud Examinations in Europe: Bargaining Enforcement and Multiple Centers of Regulation In Data Protection" by Asma A.I. Vranaki
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The race is on for businesses and consumers to join the cloud. From increased efficiency to low operational costs to scalability, reasons abound as to why we are adopting cloud solutions. However, unleashing the potential of cloud ecosystems for companies and individuals has not been without difficulties. Industry research has highlighted that data protection and privacy concerns, in particular, can often be one of the main inhibitors to the widespread adoption of cloud-based systems. Lately, some U.S.-based cloud companies have been required to comply with European data protection laws through the regulatory process of investigation by European data protection authorities (“Cloud Investigations”). In this Article, I analyze selected empirical findings from my recent qualitative socio-legal research project where I have examined the investigations of companies providing cloud-based services (“Cloud Providers”) by European data protection authorities (EU DPAs) to reflect on the roles of data protection laws during such investigations. I advance two arguments. First, a decentralized perspective on Cloud Investigations sheds a more comprehensive light on the roles of data protection laws during Cloud Investigations without assuming a priori that such laws have a privileged and static role in the regulatory process. Second, and relatedly, I argue that by “cutting off the King’s head,” we can understand more fully the dynamic and context-dependent roles of data protection laws during Cloud Investigations. From time to time, law can be deployed to achieve the aims of the lawmakers or enforcers. At other times, law can also be used as bargaining chips by EU DPAs and Cloud Providers to obstruct or facilitate the negotiations during Cloud Investigations. At other times still, law can often retreat from the field of action as other actors carry out the “act of government” to determine if and to what extent Cloud Providers are “accountable in reality.”

"Crossing the Line: When Cyberbullying Prevention Operates as a Prior Restraint on Free Speech" by Nisha Chandran
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The proliferation of technology has shifted bullying from the schoolyard to the computer screen. To prevent the detrimental impact cyberbullying has on the educational environment, state legislatures are increasingly vesting school districts with almost unfettered authority to seek out and monitor student speech. This Article will survey some of the resulting proactive efforts schools have implemented to conduct suspicionless monitoring of student social media accounts. After outlining the relevant constitutional framework for student speech regulation, the Article will show why proactive prevention efforts infringe on students’ First Amendment rights and operate akin to a presumptively impermissible system of prior restraint. The Article will conclude by proposing a heightened judicial standard to protect students’ First Amendment rights while allowing schools to effectively prevent cyberbullying threats.

"An Arm and a Leg: Paying for Helicopter Air Ambulances" by Henry H. Perritt Jr.
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An increase in Medicare reimbursement rates in 2002 caused the number of helicopter air ambulances in the United States to increase threefold. The vast majority of air ambulance flights are ultimately paid for through Medicare or private insurance reimbursement, although the patient often remains legally responsible for the cost of a flight. Average costs for helicopter air ambulance (HEMS) operators have increased much more rapidly than the reimbursement rate, mostly due to low utilization of the helicopters. New safety requirements imposed by the FAA, after a ten-year period of much higher accident rates for helicopter air ambulances than for the rest of helicopter aviation, have only partially brought HEMS accident rates to an acceptable level. To assess arguments for adjusting reimbursement rates and FAA safety rules, one must understand the different types of missions that helicopter air ambulances fly, the kinds of helicopters available, labor markets for the necessary personnel, the economics of helicopter ambulance operation, and the data on fixed and variable costs. Several policy options exist for resolving the funding controversy. The best is to keep the existing Medicare reimbursement formula, expecting private insurance to continue to model their policies on Medicare. This will encourage further consolidation and shrinkage of the fleet to a more sustainable level. State and local governments can support noncompensatory HEMS operations in areas where population density is insufficient to support breakeven flight frequencies. The FAA should complete the task of promoting safety by requiring autopilots on all HEMS aircraft, collecting complete safety data, and abandoning the position that air ambulance operators are “airlines,” which interferes with state health care regulation.

Notes:

"Excuse Me, You're Mining My Asteroid: Space Property Rights and the U.S. Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015" by Craig Foster
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"The Struggle for CRISPR: A Billion Dollar Question in Intellectual Property" by James W. Sanner
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"Warning—Weak Password: The Courts' Indecipherable Approach to Encryption and the Fifth Amendment" by Matthew J. Weber
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