Are All Americans Deserving of Equal Privacy Rights in the Age of the Internet of Things?

By: Colin Nardone

I. Introduction

In this modern technology age, do we really have a right to privacy? Practically everything we do, whether it is checking the weather, changing our thermostat, or using an internet connected home security system, is tracked by some company online. These companies compile these vast amounts of data, and often sell them to the highest bidder. Sometimes, even the police gain access to this data in order to solve crimes. Does the Constitution have any meaning in this kind of hyper-connected world?

The Fourth amendment provides “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” but is there anything left to these words to provide that security for individuals, especially those most impoverished in our country?[1] Within the last few decades, the Supreme Court has generally recognized a right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment in specific contexts where technology is involved.[2] But does this same right extend equally to all Americans including those who live in public housing across the United States?

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The European Commission on the Privacy Shield: All Bark and No Bite?

By: Kimberly A. Houser[*] and W. Gregory Voss[**]

Introduction

Much has been written about the difference in the privacy laws of the European Union and the United States and ideologies behind the two regimes.[1]  One risk of the increasing divergence in views on privacy is the potential halting of data transfers from the European Union to the United States by the European Commission (EC).  As data is a significant driver of the world economy,[2] special care must be taken both to ensure that data is able to cross borders easily, and individuals’ rights to data protection are respected.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)[3] prohibits the transfer of personal data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) to countries without “adequate” privacy protections.  As the United States is considered to have insufficient protections, the EC requires that an approved mechanism, such as the Privacy Shield—its agreement with the United States that permits U.S. companies to self-certify that they will meet certain minimum privacy protections[4]—be used for such transfers.  Alternative mechanisms include standard contractual clauses (SCCs).[5]  Suspension of any one approved mechanism may call into question the legitimacy of the others.

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The Bitcoin Problem: An Impending Dilemma for Bankruptcy Courts

By Michael Medved

I.         Introduction

In early 2009 the United States, along with the rest of the world, was facing the largest financial crisis capitalism had endured since the Great Depression.  Later research uncovered that this crisis mostly occurred due to banking institutions, rating agencies, and insurers undervaluing the risk of debtor’s becoming insolvent when banks in effect became their creditors through their offering of new “structured asset-backed securities.”[1] As it turned out, the “assets” that backed these offerings were not as viable as the “Triple A” rating given to them made it seem.[2]  The practical result of the crisis was that these banks, which stored the vast majority of American family’s financial resources, were at a risk of becoming insolvent themselves.[3]  The same went for the insurers who insured these banks.[4]  Faced without any viable alternative, the government was forced to use citizen tax dollars to bail the banks out of impending insolvency.[5]  Eventually, financial markets mostly recovered.  Looking back, it has been argued that it was the bankers’ fault for being too greedy, the government’s fault for having a lack of oversight, or even the American public’s fault for being uneducated when taking on these obligations.  In practical matters, a combination of these factors caused the crisis.[6]  The banks failed, and it was the American citizens who had to pay for their failure to save capitalism from collapsing.

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