The Change Needed to Protect Consumer Privacy from “Always On” Devices
By Jessica Chan
The growing number of “always on” devices that surreptitiously record the communications of consumers creates the need for federal protection to protect consumer privacy interests affected. The risk posed to a user’s privacy rights stemming from the use of always on devices in the home has already begun to increase. The government has already gained access to the data collected by always on devices without the consent of the user. In an Arkansas murder case, the prosecutor sought recordings of the defendant;s Amazon Echo smart speaker as evidence in the case. Amazon partially complied with a warrant, turning over information from the always on device. Amazon’s compliance is just one example of the government’s ability to gain access to a user’s personal data without their consent.
Standing as the Gatekeeper to Privacy Claims: Spokeo’s Effect
By Jennifer V. Nguyen
Political, social, and economic changes entail the recognition of new rights, and the common law, in its eternal youth, grows to meet the demands of society. . . Recent inventions and business methods call attention to the next step which must be taken for the protection of the person, and for securing to the individual . . “the right to be let alone.”
Although this excerpt written by Warren and Brandeis was published over a century ago, it is very much applicable to society today as data mining, which can be used to gather personal information, is a rapidly evolving
invention and business method that calls for such protections. Warren and Brandeis wrote that the common law would grow “to meet the demands of society” which was anticipated for the Supreme Court’s analysis in Spokeo,
Inc. v. Robins. Attorneys awaited this decision for guidance on how to bring or defend cases regarding intangible harms, some of which are caused by data mining.