9 research outputs found

    Peeling Back the Student Privacy Pledge

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    Education software is a multi-billion dollar industry that is rapidly growing. The federal government has encouraged this growth through a series of initiatives that reward schools for tracking and aggregating student data. Amid this increasingly digitized education landscape, parents and educators have begun to raise concerns about the scope and security of student data collection. Industry players, rather than policymakers, have so far led efforts to protect student data. Central to these efforts is the Student Privacy Pledge, a set of standards that providers of digital education services have voluntarily adopted. By many accounts, the Pledge has been a success. Since its introduction in 2014, over 300 companies have signed on, indicating widespread commitment to the Pledge’s seemingly broad protections for student privacy. This industry participation is encouraging, but the Pledge does not contain any meaningful oversight or enforcement provisions. This Article analyzes whether signatory companies are actually complying with the Pledge rather than just paying lip service to its goals. By looking to the privacy policies and terms of service of a sample of the Pledge’s signatories, I conclude that noncompliance may be a significant and prevalent issue. Consumers of education software have some power to hold signatories accountable, but their oversight abilities are limited. This Article argues that the federal government, specifically the Federal Trade Commission, is best positioned to enforce compliance with the Pledge and should hold Pledge signatories to their promises

    Peeling Back the Student Privacy Pledge

    Get PDF
    Education software is a multi-billion dollar industry that is rapidly growing. The federal government has encouraged this growth through a series of initiatives that reward schools for tracking and aggregating student data. Amid this increasingly digitized education landscape, parents and educators have begun to raise concerns about the scope and security of student data collection. Industry players, rather than policymakers, have so far led efforts to protect student data. Central to these efforts is the Student Privacy Pledge, a set of standards that providers of digital education services have voluntarily adopted. By many accounts, the Pledge has been a success. Since its introduction in 2014, over 300 companies have signed on, indicating widespread commitment to the Pledge’s seemingly broad protections for student privacy. This industry participation is encouraging, but the Pledge does not contain any meaningful oversight or enforcement provisions. This Article analyzes whether signatory companies are actually complying with the Pledge rather than just paying lip service to its goals. By looking to the privacy policies and terms of service of a sample of the Pledge’s signatories, I conclude that noncompliance may be a significant and prevalent issue. Consumers of education software have some power to hold signatories accountable, but their oversight abilities are limited. This Article argues that the federal government, specifically the Federal Trade Commission, is best positioned to enforce compliance with the Pledge and should hold Pledge signatories to their promises

    Unfair by Default: Arbitration’s Reverse Default Judgment Problem

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    When “Disruption” Collides with Accountability: Holding Ridesharing Companies Liable for Acts of Their Drivers

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    When Uber launched in San Francisco in 2010, it took the city by storm. Here was a high-tech transportation service that seemingly did everything better than taxicabs: it was more convenient, more accessible, more comfortable, and even cheaper in many instances. Uber’s initial success inspired a number of lower-cost, nonprofessional “ridesharing” options, which have flourished. Some skeptics, including taxicab operators, have decried the arrival of these peer-to-peer ridesharing services, now classified by regulators as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). While such complaints could be easily dismissed as the dying groans of a “disrupted” industry, a string of passenger safety incidents has raised doubts about whether these services are ready to safely replace traditional transportation services. One critical gray area for consumers is whether injured parties can recover from TNCs rather than their drivers alone. This Note argues that TNCs should be liable for acts of their drivers, and it provides a novel approach—the nondelegable duty rule—that has yet to be argued by plaintiffs in existing cases. Such an approach will place responsibility where it should be: on the companies profiting from the drivers and passengers. More importantly, preventing TNCs from exploiting regulatory loopholes has broader implications for the rapidly growing “sharing economy.

    Unfair by Default: Arbitration\u27s Reverse Default Judgment Problem

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    It is a foundational principle of civil law that a defendant who fails to respond to allegations is deemed to have admitted those allegations and can be subjected to default judgment liability. This threat of default judgment incentivizes defendants to respond to claims, thereby discouraging delay tactics and helping ensure cases are resolved efficiently on the merits. In consumer and employment arbitration, though, the fairness and efficiency benefits of traditional default judgment are flipped, rewarding rather than punishing unresponsive defendants. This difference from civil litigation arises out of arbitration’s fee structures: if a defendant-company fails to pay its share of the fees required to initiate arbitration, which can exceed 3,000,thefinancialburdenshiftsbacktotheplaintifftopickupthetab—ontopoftheplaintiff’sownrequiredinitialfees,whichrangefrom3,000, the financial burden shifts back to the plaintiff to pick up the tab—on top of the plaintiff ’s own required initial fees, which range from 200 to $400. A plaintiff unable or unwilling to pay the defendant’s fees will face dismissal of the arbitration claims and be left with the choice of going to court—the very thing arbitration is meant to avoid—or simply walking away. By ignoring claims, then, defendant-companies can stall the process, significantly increase the financial burden on plaintiffs, and improve their own odds of escaping liability. This Article confronts arbitration’s problematic default rule, which I term the “Reverse Default Judgment Rule.” Drawing on historical research into the development of arbitration’s modern rules, the Article shows how the Reverse Default Judgment Rule came to be. It then reveals the potentially insurmountable financial and procedural roadblocks that the Rule puts in the path of individual employees and consumers seeking to vindicate their rights. The burdens created by the Reverse Default Judgment Rule significantly undermine arbitration’s supposed speed, informality, and fairness in resolving consumer and employment disputes. But hope for reform has recently come from plaintiffs leveraging arbitration’s same fee structures to bring coordinated, simultaneous “mass arbitration” claims against defendant-companies. Faced with paying tens of millions in court-ordered arbitration fees and the possibility of defending thousands of individual arbitration hearings, companies have quickly settled while demanding that arbitration providers change their fees. By turning the tables on defendants, mass-arbitration plaintiffs have thus not only scored major legal victories, but have also opened a political window to remedy arbitration’s fee structures. Understanding and confronting arbitration’s Reverse Default Judgment Rule will shed light on whether consumer and employment arbitration can adequately replace the courts or if it is undeserving of the privileged legal status and judicial favoritism it has received

    Civil Disobedience in the Face of Texas’s Abortion Ban

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    This Article uses Texas’s abortion ban to demonstrate why civil disobedience is the best strategy against such private-enforcement schemes. It proceeds in three parts. Part I demonstrates that Texas’s private enforcement scheme in fact directly implicates state court officials and potentially state police forces. It then explains why bringing about the involvement of state courts and police through civil disobedience will put SB8 on constitutionally weaker ground. Part II details potential arguments against civil disobedience as a means of challenging private enforcement schemes. This Part also explains why relying on the federal government to challenge such laws will be insufficient. Part III then provides a timely snapshot of how pro-choice activists have responded to SB8, in Texas and beyond

    Civil Disobedience in the Face of Texas’s Abortion Ban

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    Unfair by Default: Arbitration’s Reverse Default Judgment Problem

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    Fabaceae Lindl.

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