Technology

Issues to Watch

Facial Recognition Technology: First and Fourth Amendment Implications


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Facial Recognition Technology: First and Fourth Amendment Implications

Ashley Triplett*

On October 18, 2016, the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology released a report regarding the use of facial recognition technology in law enforcement agencies throughout the country.  Clare Garvie et al., The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America 1 (2016), https://www.perpetuallineup.org/sites/default/files/2016-12/The%20Perpetual%20Line-Up%20-%20Center%20on%20Privacy%20and%20Technology%20at%20Georgetown%20Law%20-%20121616.pdf.  According to the report, over 117 million American adults are subject to face scanning programs with their picture in a law enforcement database.  Id.  The report highlights the risks of such programs and calls for legislative oversight at the state and federal level.  See id. at 1–6.

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Issues to Watch

Two Fronts Converge in the War Against Online Sex Trafficking


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Two Fronts Converge in the War Against Online Sex Trafficking

David Dix*

Two fronts in the fight against online sex trafficking will soon come to a head.  Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage.com, was recently arrested and charged with felony pimping. Christopher Mele, C.E.O. of Backpage.com, Known for Escort Ads, Is Charged with Pimping a Minor, N.Y. Times (Oct. 6, 2016), http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/07/us/carl-ferrer-backpage-ceo-is-arrested.html.  Backpage describes itself as the second-largest online classified advertisement service, and according to California prosecutors, ninety-nine percent of its income is “directly attributed” to its adult advertising.  Id.  At the time of the arrest, Ferrer was already embroiled in a standoff with the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations for failing to show up to a subpoena in 2015.  Senate Permanent Subcomm. v. Ferrer, No. 16-mc-621 (RMC), 2016 WL 4179289 (D.D.C. Aug. 5 2016).

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Issues to Watch

#youvebeenserved: Court Holds Twitter as an Acceptable Method of Service of Process


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#youvebeenserved: Court Holds Twitter as an Acceptable Method of Service of Process

Julie Giardina*

On September 30, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler granted a motion to serve process by alternative means, holding that the plaintiff could use Twitter to serve process on the defendant.  St. Francis Assisi v. Kuwait Fin. House, No. 3:16-CV-3240-LB, 2016 WL 5725002, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 30, 2016).  Plaintiff, nonprofit organization St. Francis Assisi, sued three defendants for damages “arising from the defendants’ financing of the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which resulted in the targeted murder of Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria.”  Id. at *1.  St. Francis Assisi was unable to locate one of the three defendants, Hajjaj al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti resident, and thus was unsuccessful in serving him via traditional methods of service of process.  Id.  St. Francis Assisi filed a Motion to Serve Process by Alternative Means, requesting permission to serve al-Ajmi on the social media site Twitter.  Id.  The court granted the nonprofit organization’s motion, stating that service via Twitter is “reasonably calculated to give notice[,]” is the “method of service most likely to reach” the defendant due to his active use of Twitter as a means of communicating with his audience, and is a method not prohibited by international agreement.  Id.

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Issues to Watch

No More Road Rage: Who is Liable When an Automated Vehicle Causes an Accident?


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No More Road Rage: Who is Liable When an Automated Vehicle Causes an Accident?

Joshua Gorsky*

     I.     Introduction

When I, Robot premiered in 2004, audiences were riveted by a self-driving Audi that transported Will Smith’s character to his desired locations.  I, Robot (20th Century Fox 2004).  What seemed like science fiction in 2004 is now a reality.  Automated vehicles have been roaming the streets for at least the last seven years.  Associated Press, Google Founder Defends Accident Records of Self-Driving Cars, L.A. Times (June 3, 2015, 2:48 PM), http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-google-cars-20150603-story.html.  Google claims that its self-driving cars have logged more than 1.7 million miles since their creation.  Id.  Tesla, BMW, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz have joined Google in the self-driving vehicle market by releasing semi-autonomous cars that are already available for purchase.  Don Sherman, Semi-Autonomous Cars Compared! Tesla Model S vs. BMW 750i, Infiniti Q50S, and Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, Car and Driver (Feb. 2016), http://www.caranddriver.com/features/semi-autonomous-cars-compared-tesla-vs-bmw-mercedes-and-infiniti-feature.

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Issues to Watch

The “Textalyzer”: A Violation of the Fourth Amendment or a Life Saving Device?


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The “Textalyzer”: A Violation of the Fourth Amendment or A Life Saving Device?

Marleigh Davis*

With distracted driving statistics revealing the large number of people who dangerously choose to use their cell phones while driving, the question arises of how many accidents occur because of this phenomenon and whether they could be prevented? New York’s legislature is attempting to take action to help end this common practice with a device called a “Textaylzer.” N.Y. Sen. S6325A, 2016 Leg., Sess. (N.Y. 2016). Road patrol officers would each have one of these devices which would be used to see if an individual in a car accident was using a phone at the time of the accident or immediately before it. See id. Is this device, however, constitutional after the Supreme Court held in 2014 that police officers need a warrant to search a phone? See Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2495 (2014). Can this device be easily compared to the Breathalyzer that is used in the fight against drunk driving? Noah Feldman, Breathalyzers, Textalyzers and the Constitution, Bloomberg (Apr. 28, 2016, 11:56 AM), https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-04-28/breathalyzers-textalyzers-and-the-constitution.

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