Saturday, September 26, 2015

Facebook "Unfriending" May Create Legal Liability

Be careful whom you Facebook "friend" and "unfriend" because this act may have legal consequences.  An employment law case originating in Australia recently mentioned Facebook "Unfriending" in one of its decisions as a point of contention and it wouldn't surprise me if this issue gains more legal significance in similar cases around the world.

According to Wired UK, Australia's Fair Work Commission recently stated that that "unfriending" a work colleague showed a "lack of emotional maturity".  Did the commission declare the act bullying?  No; however, the fact that this was even mentioned demonstrates that the issue was on the minds of the commission's members and that it may play a larger role in future decisions.  

This new development demonstrates the importance of creating reasonable digital policies and training and continually educating employees about online issues.  The bottom line is that every digital mouse click and character posted may have legal repercussions.  Therefore, its imperative to ensure that the legal issues inherent are understood before you "friend" or "unfriend" people on Facebook and other electronic platforms.  

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.     

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Did Volkswagen Violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

I was very troubled to learn that Volkswagen has been intentionally misleading consumers, governments, and other industry members about its cars' emissions.  This was obviously an attempt engineered to steal market share away from its competitors, harm consumers, and mislead governments about its practices.  As a former Volkswagen owner, I am outraged by this behavior.

When I recently took my car to have its bi-annual emissions inspection in Maryland, I wondered if the inspection was still really needed because I was under the impression that all cars today adhere to the EPA's emissions standards.  Obviously, Volkswagen's intentionally reckless and illegal behavior will ensure that state emissions testing programs will continue on for years to come.
There are potential FTC Article 5 unfair and deceptive trade practice and state consumer protection violations here.  In addition, it wouldn't surprise me if there are multi-billion dollar class action lawsuits filed.  However, one legal issue that has been largely overlooked is that it appears Volkswagen hacked its own car software for monetary gain.

Investigative Journalist Bob Sullivan was the first reporter to discuss the hacking issue in the proper context.  In a recent article he stated, the "Volkswagen story should be the beginning of some really serious soul searching, perhaps even a turning point for the Internet of Things.  It’s inevitable: our light bulbs, toasters, door bells, and our cars will all communicate some day soon.  We need a rock-solid ethic — not just laws, but a social morality — that machines should never do things unless people know all about them."

Did Volkswagen violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by intentionally accessing software without car owners' knowledge or consent?  Did it also violate multiple state computer access/hacking laws?

While its too soon to speculate on all of the fallout that will occur, I believe this matter will bring more attention to computer/digital crimes, the Internet of Things, and the privacy and cyber security issues inherent.  My hope is that federal and state authorities make an example out of Volkswagen so other companies are less inclined to follow the same path.

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cybersecurity Alert: Porn App Blackmails Users

As a former New Yorker, I loved the Broadway musical "Avenue Q".  There are some Broadway shows that have widespread appeal because they are a microcosm of our society.  The production had many memorable musical numbers; however, one that is timeless is "The Internet is for Porn."

In 2013, more people visited porn websites than Twitter, Amazon, and Netflix combined.  In other words, Avenue Q's "The Internet is For Porn" still resonates with audiences more than 12 years after it was introduced.  Not only have Broadway writers taken note of society's love affair with porn so have hackers and criminals.  

According to CNN, a porn app called, "Adult Player", "secretly takes your photo and locks you out of your digital device and demands $500 to unlock it.  This activity is known as ransomware and it is becoming a growing challenge.  Criminals have even successfully targeted police departments and law firms with these schemes.

To avoid becoming a victim of this type of crime, it is imperative to be careful what you download.  Even if something appears to be legitimate it may be a phishing expedition by a criminal enterprise. Therefore, if an email attachment or link looks suspicious delete it.  If someone really wants to get in touch with you they will figure out a way to do so.    

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back To School Student Privacy Issues

Since its back to school time, I thought it would be productive to discuss some digital privacy issues that parents and students should be thinking about.  During this time of the year, student privacy is hot because back to school means filling out Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) forms.  I filled one out over the weekend and I thought about what type of information I want to keep private and what was best for the school to share about my child (and our family) with other parents and the public.  For each parent or guardian, this is a personal decision and there are no wrong answers.  What may work for one family may not work for others.

On another note, be careful about what information you post about your children on various social media platforms.  In particular, be mindful that neither Facebook nor Google are "friends" of children's privacy.  Last year, it was uncovered in federal court that Google was scanning student emails for advertising purposes and I witnessed both Facebook and Google lobbying against stronger student digital data privacy laws in the state of Maryland.  With Facebook's new found interest in the education market, parents should be particularly leery about allowing their children's data to be "friends" with Facebook's data mining machine.

The bottom line is that parents should discuss these and other digital privacy issues with their children as soon as they start utilizing digital devices.  Its never too early to educate your kids about the virtual world that will affect their physical world.

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

U.S. Dept. Of Justice v. Microsoft: The Fight For Digital Privacy

Last week, the U.S.government issued new guidance regarding when and how federal law enforcement may deploy cell phone site simulators (i.e. stingray technology) that collect consumer mobile phone/digital device data.  In general, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will now require federal officials obtain a warrant to deploy these technologies and utilize the data collected.  This change in policy signals that the U.S. government is beginning to understand that it must create reasonable rules and procedures regarding the collection and usage of digital evidence that adheres to the principles of the Fourth Amendment. 

While the federal government has changed its policy regarding the use of cell site simulators, I am perplexed that it hasn’t changed its position about some other digital data privacy issues. For example, in a New York City federal appeals courtroom later this week the DOJ will be squaring off against Microsoft in a matter about digital privacy law that has tremendous international ramifications.  In short, the federal government wants to be able to require U.S. based companies to turn over digital data that is held in foreign based servers without being required to follow the evidence collection laws of the countries where the data is located.  This position is very troubling and goes against well-established national and international law regarding the collection and usage of evidence. 

In general, to obtain physical evidence law enforcement must follow the laws of the jurisdiction where it is located.  In some circumstances jurisdiction occurs by citizenship.  However, here the data is located outside the U.S. and the user (DOJ target) doesn't appear to be American.  Under these facts, I question the DOJ's theory as to why it has the legal authority to obtain the requested information without the cooperation of the government of Ireland.  

The DOJ is arguing that data stored in digital clouds should be treated differently than evidence stored in physical filing cabinets.  Interestingly, the DOJ has so far won its flawed argument in federal court so Microsoft has taken its fight to the federal second circuit  court of appeals.  

Multiple academics (i.e. here and here) have previously written about this case (and so have I) because it sounds like a law school final exam.  For non-lawyers this means that the law is not clear on how to handle this specific situation.  If general jurisprudence on how to handle physical evidence is followed, the DOJ would be required to contact law enforcement agencies in the country (in this case it is Ireland) where the digital data is located.  However, since this is technology, and the information requested is stored in the cloud the courts are grappling with how to handle these issues.

DOJ is claiming (among other things) that since Microsoft (i.e. or other technology providers) has legal control over its servers in Ireland it should be required to turn over the data requested without going through the legal process in Ireland.  With this same argument, a foreign government could in turn claim that it doesn’t have to follow U.S. law when demanding access to U.S. consumer digital data located in the U.S. if the server provider has operations in that foreign country.

If the DOJ wins its legal argument, in addition to foreign governments making the same access demands to digital accounts located in the U.S., a win may also encourage U.S. tech companies to change the legal structure of their foreign subsidiaries to be able to legitimately claim that they do not have the authority to access and/or turn over customer data located in a foreign country.  This may lead to many high paying jobs being transferred from the U.S. to other countries to oversee the operations of these new legal entities. 

Amicus briefs from not only other technology companies, but also from civil rights groups, academic scholars, and privacy advocates supporting Microsoft's position demonstrate that this case is more than just about protecting the bottom line of the U.S. cloud industry. This case goes to the heart of the proper way to handle unique digital law and public policy issues.  Whether its through the federal courts, or via congressional action such as the Law Enforcement Access To Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act, or other similar legislation, the U.S. must set an example and take a leadership role on how to properly balance lawful access with personal privacy.  

Regardless of the outcome of this case, it is imperative that a broad international discussion occur on how to handle this and similar burgeoning digital law and public policy issues.  

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ballot Selfies, The First Amendment, Privacy, and Public Safety

I was recently contacted by a reporter about the New Hampshire ballot seflie law court case and unfortunately I was not able to get back to the reporter before the article's deadline.  I first recall speaking with the media in 2012 about ballot selfies and at that time it was an activity that seemed ready to dramatically increase.

During the past several years, ballot selfie legal issues have picked up steam because some states have enacted laws focused on banning the practice.  Laws and regulations that ban videos/photos during certain court proceedings and in polling places were enacted due to legitimate personal safety and privacy concerns.  While I am a huge proponent of the First Amendment and frown on undue burdens that limit on speech rights, I am also a believer in strong privacy protections.

Once one is inside the polling area, they should feel confident that their decision to vote will not be broadcast to the public.  In 2012, I told ABC News, "[p]eople should feel free to exercise their constitutional right to vote without fear that their votes may be captured and posted online for the entire world to see...Therefore, it is good public policy to restrict the use of cameras and/or video in a public polling area."  While many state laws limiting photos/videos in polling places were enacted well before selfies become in vogue, these laws are generally technology neutral and apply to all still photos/video recordings.

I am sure we can find a solution that would allow people to prove to others (online and in the real world) whom they voted for without encroaching on the personal privacy and safety of other voters. I don't believe it would make good public policy to allow for the widespread use of cameras in a polling place because the rise of facial recognition and other biometric technologies raises serious personal privacy and public safety concerns.  For example, if polling places started to allow for unfettered taping inside a polling station, the entire world may know whom you voted for based upon any stickers or candidate material you are holding before/after your vote.

Several years ago, a Deputy Sheriff in Hampton Virginia was fired along with several colleagues for "liking" a Facebook page of a political candidate (who was running against his boss and eventually lost).  A federal appeals court ultimately ruled that a "Facebook Like" is constitutionally protected free speech; however, this did not change the fact that the Facebook Like dramatically changed the professional careers (and personal lives) of those who were fired for exercising their free speech rights.

In general, I don't recommend posting one's personal ballot online or discussing whom one voted for regardless of the law.  Potential employers, marketers, insurers, data brokers, governments, etc... are watching and your vote/political leanings may negatively penalize your career and/or personal life. People should have the right to post whom they voted for online; however, we may need to think of a creative mechanism to allow for ballot selfies while at the same time protect the personal privacy and safety of others in the voting area.

Copyright 2015 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.   

Friday, August 28, 2015

FTC Announces PrivacyCon Symposium

Earlier today, I received notification from the FTC announcing that on January 14, 2016 it will hold an event called PrivacyCon. According the FTC's website, the conference is designed "to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including whitehat researchers, academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates, academics, and a range of government regulators, to discuss the latest research and trends related to consumer privacy and data security."

The FTC has done some great work in privacy and cybersecurity and just like previous events, this event will bring together some of the world's most knowledgeable experts in the field.  FTC Chairwoman Ramirez published an excellent op-ed earlier today about the need for this symposium. In her piece, she stated, "[p]olicymakers need to ensure that privacy is respected while innovation flourishes, and technology academics and researchers are crucial to hitting that sweet spot."  

Previous FTC symposiums I have attended were well worth my time so if you are interested in learning about some of the most cutting edge regulatory issues in privacy and cybersecurity this event is a must.  

Copyright 2015 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.   

Google Refuses To Acknowledge The Law In Response To European Antitrust Complaint

Earlier this year, the European Commission (EC) sent a Statement of Objections (formal complaint) to Google for violating European antitrust (competition) laws.   In particular, the EC alleges Google “has abused its dominant position in the markets for general internet search services in the European Economic Area (EEA) by systematically favouring its own comparison shopping product in its general search results pages.  The Commission's preliminary view is that such conduct infringes EU antitrust rules because it stifles competition and harms consumers.” 

Yesterday, Google responded to the EC's complaint with a 100 plus page defiant response and blog post.  Interestingly, Google did not request a hearing on the matter and this tactic has provided credibility to Google's opponents' claims that if Google is confident that its legal position is correct as a matter of law it would request a hearing to defend itself.  A spokesman for the EC told Bloomberg News that "[i]t's common for companies to ask for an oral hearing but it doesn't happen all the time".

In my experience, guilty parties generally hide behind written submissions and avoid direct confrontation with their accusers.  According to Bloomberg News, "[h]earings can make a difference. Thirteen of the world's biggest banks succeeded at a face-to-face confrontation last year to unsettle an EU case into the credit-default swaps market...No fines have been issued in that case."  Therefore, Google's refusal to face the EC in an oral hearing indicates to me that it believes it has violated European competition law.

Google's cavalier behavior over the years in regards to competition, privacy, and accepting illegal ads clearly demonstrates that it believes its above the law.  Since the EC opened its antitrust investigation into Google, the company has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and settlements due to illegal behavior.  In each of these situations, Google has dragged its heels when it was caught intentionally misleading regulators, and/or consumers, and/or the media.  

In 2011, Google paid a $500 million fine for knowingly accepting illegal advertisements from Canadian pharmacies.  Subsequently, it paid multiple million dollar fines in the United States and in Europe for privacy violations in connection with its Street View data collection projectits Buzz social network, its 2012 privacy policy change, and the Safari hack incident

Illegally abusing market position in Internet search (and/or other areas) is intertwined with data collection, usage, and privacy issues because in order to receive the most "relevant" search results to a search query a search engine must be able to access and process voluminous amounts of data very quickly.  For years, 90% to 96% of Google’s revenue has come from advertising which means it is dependent upon being able to obtain massive amounts of personal information at a low cost to feed its behavioral advertising machine. 

Countries have different legal criteria when determining whether a company has violated antitrust laws or if a potential merger will create an anti-competitive market.  Europe has a long history in regulating anti-competitive markets. Since Roman times, the continent has regulated commerce to ensure competition and fair play.  The EC is not targeting Google out of nationalistic fervor to boost EU based companies. Google is being targeted because it is clearly utilizing its dominant position to violate antitrust laws.

The EC has actively enforced its competition laws for years.  Last year, a $1.44 billion dollar fine against Intel was upheld for anti-competitive behavior after at least a fiver year plus fight. In 2013, Microsoft was fined $731 million dollars for not adhering to its previous antitrust agreements.  So, why does Google think they are are above the principles that have governed European markets for more than 2000 years?    

My hope is that the EC utilizes all of the legal and regulatory tools at its disposal to ensure that Google and other companies that violate EC competition and privacy laws are held accountable. Internet users around the globe are harmed when companies such as Google violate antitrust laws.

Copyright 2015 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Ashley Madison Hack, Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Legal Liability

Privacy and cyber security go hand and hand.  If the platform you are utilizing has weak and/or misleading privacy policies and/or weak cyber security your safety is at risk.  The ongoing issues related to the Ashley Madison hack (and Adult Friend Finder) should be a wake call to everyone who accesses the Internet and digital services.

While this latest hack along with previous major data breaches is very concerning, I find it very troubling that Ashely Madison intentionally misled clients about its alleged "Delete" service.  For $19, its users were intentionally misled that their personal information would be removed from Ashely Madison's records.  Obviously this was not the case.  Therefore, from a legal perspective, those who paid $19 to have their personal data deleted but didn't receive what was promised to them may be in the greatest position to win damages.

Even though Ashely Madison is based in Canada, the U.S. FTC may get involved since the company did business in the United States.  Since a U.S. federal appeals court recently affirmed that the FTC has the power to regulate cyber security it  would not surprise me if the FTC gets involved due to Ashley Madison's alleged weak cyber security and/or because it misled their clients about its so called "Delete" service.

The bottom line is that Ashely Madison faces tens of millions (or more) of dollars in potential legal liability either from class action lawsuits and/or regulators.  While this situation may take years to sort out, the lesson for all is to be careful what you post online and what digital platforms you trust.

Copyright 2015 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Will The FTC Investigate the NFL's Russell Wilson for Tweet?

Social Media may be a very productive avenue to market your brand and get the word out about an advertising campaign.  Utilizing celebrities and professional athletes who have a well developed social media presence may be a successful method to create buzz about a new product or service.

While engaging celebrity endorsers it is imperative that they (and their agents/agency/sponsors) are educated about the appropriate regulations that need to be followed to ensure legal compliance.  I have written about the FTC advertising regulations multiple times, here, and here for example, and have also provided official comments to the FTC about areas for further review.  Earlier this year, the FTC provided more guidance regarding its online advertising regulations that advertisers and their paid endorsers must follow.        

For several years, major companies such as Lord & Taylor along with celebrities such as Pharrell Williams, and Kim Kardashian have had to face regulatory scrutiny due to their social media campaigns/endorsements.  While this scrutiny has been limited, it would not surprise me if the FTC decides to make an example out of someone.  Earlier today, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted, "I believe @Recovery_Water helped prevent me from getting a concussion based on a bad hit! #NanoBubbles"  

At first glance, the Tweet seems harmless.  However, Wilson didn't acknowledge in the Tweet that he is an investor in the product.  I don't know if Wilson is a paid endorser or what type of compensation if any he may receive(d) for the Tweet and other online activity regarding the alleged (de facto) endorsement.  While it is too soon to speculate on whether the FTC may become involved it demonstrates that brands and professional athletes must be careful about their online activity.

 Copyright 2015 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.   

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Facebook User To Be Fined Under Spanish Social Media Gag Law For Police Comments

Social Media in its infancy was hailed as a great equalizer for everyone's voice to be heard. Years ago, at conference after conference, I heard so called "futurists" and other "prognosticators" proclaim social media as the best invention since air conditioning or the microwave.

So many social media "evangelists" (a fancy term for some consultants who are full of s*#t) shouted from the roof tops how digital platforms would make the world a safer and freer place to exchange ideas and increase the freedom of speech.  Unfortunately, many of these "evangelists" don't understand how some governments and private companies are using social media to digitally follow and keep tabs on what people are doing.  Some of these new activities are actually a huge threat to democracy and our personal freedoms.  

Earlier this year, the government in Spain enacted its "Citizen Security Law" which appears to restrict what its citizens may say online about some government officials.  On July 22nd, the law was apparently utilized when local police in Spain accused one of its citizens of "making comments on social media that showed a lack of respect and consideration for Gumar's (a town in Spain) local police.  The accused may be fined hundreds of Euros and has hired a lawyer to fight the charges.  

Spain isn't the first country to enact and/or enforce laws specifically designed to stop its citizens from criticizing its government online and it will not be the last country to do so.  Therefore, it is imperative to be vigilant about digital freedom of speech and privacy.  You don't know how important these rights are until you lose them.  

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hulk Hogan Tries To Pre-Empt the Wrath of Social Media Via An Apology

Reacting appropriately during a crisis in the Social Media Age is extremely important.  In fact, its a must for corporate executives, small and large companies/organizations, politicians, celebrities, professional athletes, amateur athletes, etc...  Its imperative to understand the importance of properly reacting to a situation that has not just public relations implications but also major legal ramifications as well.

In the Social Media Age, the right reaction may determine whether your brand is permanently damaged like Paula Deen's or Anthony Weiner's or if you can  make a comeback like Charlie Sheen (a little contrition mixed in with talent, luck, and a "wining attitude").  Americans have always loved great comebacks.  The biggest in recent memory (the last 20 years) was Bill Clinton's come back from impeachment proceedings. 

The latest high profile person to incur a major negative personal/professional event (actually multiple matters) is former pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan.  The National Enquirer recently published a private racist rant Hogan made years ago.  The leaking of this information to the media may be connected to a $100 million dollar lawsuit Hogan commenced against the digital platform Gawker for publicizing a private sex tape that he may have unknowingly participated in.   

It appears that right before Hogan's behavior became public knowledge the WWE (Hogan's employer) scrubbed him from their website and cut ties with him. Within hours of the world learning about his racist rant, Hogan issued to People Magazine a full apology and took full responsibility for his actions.

Will Social Media, the WWE, his fans, etc... forgive Hogan for his behavior?  As long as Hogan's team doesn't follow the missteps of of others, he has an opportunity for redemption.  A good first step was a quick apology.  Will Hogan's next step on his road to redemption be an appearance on The Today Show or other media outlets?

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

NY Court: Facebook has no standing to challenge search warrants

Earlier this week, a New York state appeals court ruled that Facebook had no legal standing to challenge search warrants on behalf of its customers.  The court stated that only the defendant may challenge the search warrant and not Facebook.

The court's unanimous opinion stated that, “[f]here is no constitutional or statutory right to challenge an allegedly defective warrant before it is executed.”  This ruling was not surprising because the law usually takes years to catch up to the technology.  Will other courts around the country follow this ruling?

As more of these types of cases (and similar ones) pop up, it will be interesting to see how the law addresses new technologies.  There is no one size fits all in determining public policy and I hope there is a robust conversation on these important issues.

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Google Forced to Change Its Privacy Policy in the Netherlands

According to Telecompaper, Google has changed its privacy policy in the Netherlands to comply with its data protection laws.  The Dutch privacy regulator (the "CBP") determined last year that Google combines and uses the personal data of internet users without first obtaining permission according to its laws.  Google acquires personal information about its users when they are logged into Google and from other data sources, such as Internet searches, location data, videos, and emails.

While this is a welcome development, why did the CBP have to threaten Google with a multi-million dollar fine before it agreed to change its privacy policy?  Will Google soon change its U.S. privacy policy to actually protect the personal privacy of its users?  Since Google led the charge to gut Maryland's student privacy law earlier this year, I doubt it will do so.

The bottom line is that the U.S. FTC and state attorney generals should follow the E.U.'s lead when it comes to protecting our digital privacy.  The more data that companies such as Google, Facebook, data brokers, etc... are allowed to collect and utilize the less safe we become since privacy and security are bedrocks of a democratic society.

Troubling practices and antiquated thoughts about data privacy continue to be a national security threat.  My hope is that our regulators and elected leaders will soon take the appropriate actions necessary to enforce and update our data privacy laws to better protect us and our children.

Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

IACP Releases Updated Guidance On Police Bodyworn Camera Video Data Storage

Privacy and cybersecurity go hand and hand.  Therefore, it is imperative that policy makers on the local, state, and federal level adopt policies and enforce practices that promote these principles.  This is especially important due to the increased amount of data that governments are collecting.

During the past decade, law enforcement agencies around the world have begun to implement police body cameras to assist in evidence gathering, transparency, and accountability.  In the United States, several incidents during the past year have prompted local police departments to test and begin utilizing body cameras.  While this technology brings great promise it also creates new privacy and cyber security challenges. 

To help alleviate these concerns, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recently published their "Guiding Principles on Cloud Computing in Law Enforcement".  These principles are much needed because as more digital video evidence is created by law enforcement, the proper safeguards must be in place to ensure that the data is stored in an appropriate manner for the legal justice system.

The IACP's principles state: 

1)  FBI CJIS Security Policy Compliance Services provided by a cloud service provider must comply with the requirements of the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Policy (current version 5.3, dated August 4, 2014), as it may be amended.  

2)  All Data Storage Systems Should Meet the Highest Common Denominator of Security.

3)  Data Storage Technology Can Be Disaggregated From Collection.

4)  Data Ownership-Law enforcement agencies should ensure that they retain ownership of all data.

5)   Impermissibility of data mining-Law enforcement agencies should ensure that the cloud service provider does not mine or otherwise process or analyze data for any purpose not explicitly authorized by the law enforcement agency.

6)   Auditing - Upon request, or at regularly scheduled intervals mutually agreed, the cloud service provider should conduct, or allow the law enforcement agency to conduct audits of the cloud service provider's performance, use, access, and compliance with the terms of any agreement.

7)  Portability and interoperability - The cloud service provider should ensure that that CJI maintained by the providers is portable to other systems and interoperable with other operating systems to an extent that does not compromise the security and integrity of the data.

8)  Integrity - The cloud service provider must maintain the physical or logical integrity of CJI.

9)  Survivability - The terms of any agreement with cloud service providers should recognize potential changes in business structure, operations, and/or organization of the cloud service provider, and ensure continuity of operations and the security, confidentiality, integrity, access and utility of the data.

10)  Confidentiality - The cloud service provider should ensure the confidentiality of CJI it maintains on behalf of a law enforcement agency.

11)  Availability, Reliability, and Performance - The cloud service provider must ensure that CJI will be available to the law enforcement agency when it is required within agreed performance metrics.

12)  Cost - Law enforcement agencies should focus cloud acquisition decisions on the Total Cost of Ownership model.

The recent multiple hacks into the federal government's networks have demonstrated the importance of updating and implementing the proper digital policies and technologies.  With access comes responsibility.  It is imperative that law enforcement agencies that utilize bodyworn cameras and other digital data collection technologies follow these principles to protect law enforcement agencies, the general public, and the criminal justice system.  The IACP's cloud computing principles will help ensure that justice stays blind in the age of police body cameras.

 Copyright 2015 by The Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.