Smartphones Mobile Devices

News & Analysis as of

Privacy and The Cell Phone: Arizona Says Yes

Arizona recently recognized a “legitimate expectation of privacy” in cell phones. The case was State v. Peoples, and the opinion was issued on September 12, 2016. The Peoples case was about the police’s search of a cell...more

New FCC and Administration Initiatives Adopted to Support the Internet of Things

The Federal Communications Commission and the Obama administration recently adopted several important initiatives to facilitate innovation in and rapid deployment of the nascent Internet of Things (IoT). The FCC identified...more

12-year-old Awarded Patent for Human-Powered Generator

What started as a science fair project for then 12-year-old George Panousis of Penn Hills has led to a patent two years later. With the help of his father and Lisa Geary of Cohen & Grigsby’s intellectual property group,...more

Mobile Apps - Has the Marketplace Downloaded Potential Product Liability Risk?

For many consumers, it is hard to remember performing a daily routine without using a mobile application. App usage starts almost immediately - with a morning alarm that wakes you up slowly or with a coffee waiting for you at...more

Privacy Tip #41 – Tape over your laptop camera and microphone

When I train clients’ employees on data privacy and security, I always mention the microphone on smartphones. They are powerful and if you allow apps access to your microphone, they can listen to every one of your...more

Privacy Tip #31 – Landlines still a safe way to communicate but telephone companies want to drop them

I am pretty up to date on data privacy and security and technology, but the 60 Minutes episode this past Sunday night floored even me. If you didn’t see it, it is worth streaming. Basically, 60 Minutes showed Karsten...more

Retailers Digitizing Daily Operations: From Mobile Payments to E-Receipts

When asked last year to name one technology that we rely on today that would no longer be around in 10 years, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella responded: “fountain pens.” Some may question Mr. Nadella’s prediction of the...more

Burr Alert: Is it Time to "Upgrade" your Cell Phone Policies?

Are your cell phone policies as outdated as your original iPhone? Cell phones have become common place in today’s workplace and employers must consider the legal risks they pose. Thus, if you haven’t revisited your policies...more

Privacy Tip #23 – Home security systems vulnerable to hacking

A Forbes reporter was able to hack into a home alarm system in San Francisco using a browser and “easily-guessable passwords.” The hacking was with permission of the owner but allowed him to make his point—that he could...more

Swipe Left to Avoid Liability: Policing Dating Apps in the Workplace

According to a 2015 survey, nearly two-thirds of people in the United States and over 2 billion people worldwide own smartphones. For some smartphone users, their phones are their only avenue of access to the Internet....more

Third Circuit Gives TCPA Autodialer Plaintiffs Staying Power

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently became the first federal appellate court to apply the Federal Communications Commission’s declaratory ruling that expanded the notion of what constitutes an...more

Mobile Location Analytics: Changing the Game for Brick and Mortar Retail

For brick-and-mortar retailers, smart phones have taken on an entirely new role in customers’ shopping experiences. A technology known as "mobile location analytics" ("MLA") or sometimes, "indoor analytics," gives brick and...more

Google Mandates Full Disk Encryption

With the release of Android 6.0, code name Marshmallow, Google has mandated that OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) enable full disk encryption. Google is requiring that the feature be enabled as part of the ‘out of box...more

California Enacts More Sweeping Data Privacy Laws

Perennially leading the country — and challenging companies to keep up — California has, for the third time in three years, enacted several new data laws, including a groundbreaking digital privacy law and amendments to its...more

New California Law Expands Privacy Rights Applicable To Electronic Data

On October 8, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“CalECPA” or the “Act”), sponsored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). The Act requires law...more

The Paradox of Cell Phones: When the Convenience of Digital Communication becomes Inconvenient

These days, you will be hard pressed to find anyone without a cell phone in their possession. Not surprisingly, those cell phones often capture someone at their best and, at times, their worst moments. As Judge Lawrence R....more

Texting, Distractions, & the Law

The safe operation of a motor vehicle requires constant attention to the road and driving conditions. For this reason, the State of Illinois has passed several laws that prohibit the use of cell phones, tablets, and other...more

California Electronic Communications Privacy Act signed by Governor

Last Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) into law, which requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing or searching individuals’ digital...more

California Enacts CalECPA, Requiring a Search Warrant to Obtain or Access Users’ Electronic Information

On Thursday, October 8, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (the “California ECPA”). This legislation, which takes effect on January 1, 2015, has been heralded by...more

Weekly Privacy Tip #3 – Know how apps are accessing and using your constant location

Everyone loves their smartphone. Everyone loves the newest app. Angry Birds has lots of company now. But most people don’t know the back end of apps and how they are accessing, using and selling your data. Why? Because no one...more

NIST issues Draft Framework for Cyber-Physical System

On September 18, 2015, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued its draft Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), which is “intended to provide a methodology for understanding, designing and...more

Next on DOL’s Agenda: Mobile Device Use Outside Work Hours

It appears that the U.S. Department of Labor intends to remain busy through the rest of the summer. After releasing in June a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Fair Labor...more

Wi-Fi Blocking – More Than A Nuisance; It’s Illegal

One of my law firm partners visited San Francisco this week and was complaining about the fact that she was unable to use her Verizon Hot Spot at her hotel. “In San Francisco?” I said. “Are you kidding?”  She wasn’t....more

FCC Public Notice Provides Details for Incentive Auction

As noted in our recent advisory on this subject, the FCC adopted procedures for next year’s scheduled incentive auction at its open meeting on Aug. 6. The FCC has now released the details in a 156-page Public Notice,...more

Android smartphones Stagefright engine vulnerable

It is being reported that 95% of all Android smartphones are vulnerable to being hacked with a text message, which is being called the “heartbleed for mobile.” According to security experts, the vulnerability exploits the...more

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