Category: University of Washington School of Law

Buyer Beware: How Modern Cars Can Spy on You



By: Matthew Jurgensmeier

In the modern economy, data is essential to survive. Whether used to improve products and processes or sold for a profit, data drives companies. While it might be understandable that social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Google, make their money by allowing companies to target users with advertisements, how data is monetized in other contexts may be less clear. Social media and search-based businesses collect user data based on activity both on-and-off site and allow incredibly well-targeted consumer advertising. What consumers may be less aware of is that the information these platforms keep on users could pale in comparison to the data collected by modern vehicles.

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The Critical Importance of Genetic Privacy


By: Ben Cashdollar

The human genome is, arguably, the single most important piece of information an individual possesses. Yet, in an age where privacy on the internet is under increasing scrutiny, people seem more than willing to part with their genetic information. The simple act of spitting into a collection tube can have far-reaching consequences. Unlike data posted online, which tells a story in retrospect, genetic information is a roadmap for the future. Companies like 23andMe, want to sell you that roadmap. But what happens to your DNA after your sample has been shipped off for analysis? What exactly have you agreed to part with? Appreciating the potential privacy ramifications of “spitting in the tube” first requires an understanding of the science behind genetic testing and how the results of such a test are used.

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No Breaking, Just Entering: Smart Home Technology Lets In Unwelcome Visitors

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By: Noelle Symanski

“Alexa, let my ex see all the things I purchased off Amazon and the list of commands I gave you.” This is not a command that a smart home technology user would be expected to give, but this command may still be a reality for users of these devices. Smart technology is creeping into homes at a steadily growing rate. In fact, 29 million homes in the United States used some type of smart home technology in 2017 and smart home technology is expected to be a $150.6 billion industry by 2023. Amazon, Google, Ring, and Nest all market smart home gadgets to consumers. Smart home technology users can adjust their thermostat, turn off the lights, or check who is at the door without even being home. Gone are the days of wondering whether you forgot to lock your door behind you – just check your app and turn the key from anywhere in the world. Appropriately, Nest’s slogan is “Control your home at a glance.”

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Blockchain Creates Lucrative Opportunity for Movie Fans and Investment Firms


By: Jack Miller

In the near future, producers, investment firms, and fans may benefit from the use of blockchain technology to fund movie production.

Only a small portion of the movies produced are profitable, a few blockbusters each year drive profitability. Because of this profit structure, movie producers often buy the rights to ideas producers think could become a great movie, but ultimately decide to not produce the movie for a variety of reasons, one of which is a lack of consumer demand.

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E-Smoke and Mirrors: Why Expecting E-Cigarette Manufacturers to Solve Teen Vaping is Futile


By: Jake Plovanic

In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Juul Labs and four other manufacturers of e-cigarettes 60 days to provide a detailed plan for keeping their products out of the hands of the nation’s youth. An insufficient response from manufacturers could have resulted in the FDA handing down a ban on the sale of Juul’s top-selling flavored nicotine pods. The deadline expired this past Tuesday, and in a surprising move, Juul announced a voluntary withdrawal of most of its flavored nicotine products from retail stores.

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