The Legal Footholds of Three States and the District of Columbia Against a Technological Goliath

Written by Hannah G. Babinski, Class of 2024 

I. Introduction

To no one’s surprise, Big Tech is in trouble yet again for attempting to overstep the boundaries of consumer privacy. From the notorious Facebook controversy involving Cambridge Analytica in 2018 to the most recent ballad of chronic misinformation stemming from Spotify’s perpetuation of Joe Rogan’s podcast, it seems that Big Tech’s complacency or even compliance with problematic practices connected to its online presence consistently leaves many Americans scratching their heads. Google is the latest tech conglomerate to stumble in the public arena.

This is not a historic moment for the California-based tech giant whose business model is heavily dependent on its prolific digital advertising, collection, surveillance, and auction of user data, including location tracking which alone earned the company an estimated $150 billion dollars in 2020.[1] In October 2020, the U.S. Justice Department and eleven states sued Google in federal court, alleging that Google abused its dominance over the search engine market—comprising 90% of web searches globally—and online advertising.[2] Then, in December of 2020, ten states separately sued Google in federal court on the grounds of alleged anti-competitive conduct.[3] Undoubtedly, Google’s utter electronic control over the online market is equally as impressive as it is troubling—a sentiment resounded by the bombardment of state-instigated suits—but it pales in comparison to the basis of the most recent lawsuit.

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How China is Weaponizing Privacy

Written by Noah Katz, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

What is China’s new privacy law?

The Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which took effect in November 2021, is China’s first comprehensive data privacy law.[1] The PIPL’s impact is immense given that China is home to almost one billion internet users.[2] The new legislation provides a clear framework for regulating the use of personal data, but, if violated, businesses could face massive fines and may even be blacklisted by the Chinese government.[3]

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Words of Wisdom from the Young Privacy Professionals Panel: Highlights and Takeaways 

KELSEY KENNY, Class of 2023

The evening of Thursday, November 4th, Maine Law’s Information Privacy Association, in collaboration with the Mortiz College of Law’s Data Privacy and Cyber Security Club, hosted an informal discussion panel to facilitate a dialogue between law students with an interest in information privacy and six professionals who have had success navigating the early stages of their evolving and dynamic careers in the field. Craig Carpenter, Caroline Hopland, Casey Waughn, Kenesa Ahmad, Lee Matheson, and Scott Bloomberg graciously contributed their time and insights to the forum. Continue reading

For Adequacy There Must Be a Private Right of Action

BRANDON BERG, Class of 2021 (Submitted while a student at Maine Law) 

We are still feeling the ripple effects from the European Court of Justice’s Schrems II decision. Among other things, the decision ripped apart the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield with particular exception to the data subject’s inability to seek redress from a court or tribunal. With the goal of U.S. adequacy in mind, the question becomes, how do we move forward? With several privacy bills currently being debated in Congress, one important question must be addressed: do these bills address the judicial remedy concerns cited in Schrems II? Continue reading