“Pokémon Go” Developer feels the heat over data collection; 2nd Circuit Ruling limits government’s access to data stored overseas; 9th Circuit CFAA Ruling increases Facebook’s control over its Users’ Data; Dutch Study reveals tension between EU Trade Deals and Data Protection

“Pokémon Go” Developer in Hot Water over Extensive Data Collection Practices

In early July, mobile game developer Niantic released “Pokémon Go,” a free-to-download “augmented reality” game for Android and iOS devices. In less than a week, the game had been downloaded by more than 15 million unique users, making the game’s launch one of the most widely-adopted in history. Privacy advocates soon raised serious questions about the game and its accompanying privacy policy, which until July 12 granted full access to users’ Google account data unless users opted-out of such permissions—prompting Niantic to issue its first update resolving the permissions issue.

On July 12, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) sent a letter to Niantic CEO John Hanke demanding the company explain in detail the types of data Niantic collects from players, why that data “in necessary for the provision or improvement of services,” and how the company plans to use the data gathered. Franken’s letter also questioned the company’s opt-out data collection practices, suggesting that “Niantic consider making this collection/access opt-in.”  Franken, who serves as the Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, has in the past spoken out against similar practices by other mobile app developers, including Uber and Lyft. Mr. Hanke has until August 12 to respond to Sen. Franken’s questions.


Continue Reading

Social media has become an ubiquitous means of communication in today’s society, with more than 90% of today’s online adults using social media regularly.  With this backdrop, it is no surprise that social media implicates an evolving legal landscape.  In the  “Data Law Trends & Developments: E-Discovery, Privacy, Cybersecurity & Information Governance”, on

We are pleased to announce the publication of a report titled “Data Law Trends & Developments: E-Discovery, Privacy, Cyber-Security & Information Governance.” The report explores recent trends and anticipated future developments on critical issues related to the intersection of technology and the law, which affect a wide range of companies and industries. In addition, the report highlights key cases and issues to watch in 11 areas of data law, including: information governance, cybersecurity, social media, technology-assisted review, criminal law, regulatory, cooperation, privacy, cross border transfers, bring your own device (BYOD), and privilege.
Continue Reading

In a recent article published in Law360, Beware of Conditional Reponses to Discovery, Gregory J. Leighton, Kevin C. May, and Andrew S. Fraker of Neal Gerber & Eisenberg LLP discuss the growing number of cases in which federal judges have scrutinized conditional discovery responses—responses that assert objections but state that documents will be produced “subject to” or “reserving” the objections. Because the use of this type of response is commonplace, and because the potential consequences—including wholesale waiver of objections—suggested by recent decisions could be severe, the issue is worth careful consideration.
Continue Reading

On Wednesday August 14, 2013, I will be participating in a free BNA webinar exploring the constitutional and practical dimensions of ESI in federal and state criminal actions. I will be speaking with an experienced group of panelists, including Hon. Craig B. Shaffer, United States Magistrate Judge, District of Colorado; Roy Altman, Assistant United States

On June 20, 2013, I participated in a one-hour webinar regarding “Bring Your Own Device” (or BYOD) policies. I addressed certain e-discovery issues involving BYOD policies. An audio recording and instructional slides are available here for those who missed it. The webinar was part of a monthly series entitled Third Thursday – Crowell & Moring’s Labor and Employment Update. This series is dedicated to helping our clients stay on top of developing law, emerging compliance issues, and best practices. I had the pleasure of joining my colleagues Tom Gies and Chris Calsyn from our Labor & Employment Group on the roundtable panel.
Continue Reading

In conjunction with the 2013 American Bar Association annual State of Criminal Justice, I have published a new article on “E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation.” The article provides an in-depth look at many of the current and cutting edge issues raised by e-discovery in this context, including the search and seizure

We commonly see news stories about law enforcement using social media to investigate, arrest or prosecute criminal defendants. Some of these cases are starting to raise interesting constitutional issues. One such case relates to Cameron D’Ambrosio, a high school senior who was arrested last month for “communicating terrorist threats” through music lyrics that were posted to his Facebook page. As I told Michelle Bowman of Lawyers.com, “D’Ambrosio’s case is an example of the new legal issues that the recent proliferation of social media use is bringing to the attention of courts and the public.”
Continue Reading

In conjunction with the Richmond Journal or Law and Technology’s annual survey, Adrian Fontecilla and I have published a new article: Social Media Evidence in Government Investigations and Criminal Proceedings. The article provides an in-depth look at many of the cutting edge issues raised by social media in government investigations and the criminal context,