Sunday, August 27, 2017

Surely nothing so blatant? 
Bruce Kelly reports:
Allstate Insurance Co. is suing Ameriprise Financial in a spat alleging Ameriprise is stealing Allstate’s confidential information by recruiting the giant insurance company’s salespeople, known as “exclusive financial specialists.”
Ameriprise is allegedly encouraging the Allstate sales agents to create contact lists from customer information, use flash drives and portable electronic devices to download client data, and then solicit Allstate clients once they quit and move to Ameriprise, according to the complaint.
Read more on Investment News.  Ameriprise issued a statement to the publication indicating it believed the complaint to be without merit.
[From the article: 
The complaint alleges violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, tortious interference with business relationships and unfair competition.

In theory then, anything Utah requires a report on would be part of the public record? 
Leslie Francis and John Francis write:
Urgent public health crises generate pressures for access to information to protect the public’s health.  Identifying patients with contagious conditions and tracing their contacts may seem imperative for serious diseases such as Ebola or SARS.  But pressures for information reach far more broadly than the threat of deadly contagion.  Such is the situation with the opioid epidemic, at least in Utah, where a federal district court recently determined that patients have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their prescription records, which can be transferred to state agencies under state public health laws.
Patients should know that their physicians are required by law to make reports of these prescriptions to state health departments, the court said.  These reports to state agencies can include abuse, various infectious diseases, possible instances of bioterrorism, tumors, abortions, birth defects—and, in most states, controlled substance prescriptions.  Because patients should know about these reports, they have no Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy in them.  And, so, warrantless searches by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are constitutionally permissible.  The Utah court’s reasoning potentially throws into question the extent to which these reports may receive Fourth Amendment protection.

All those lawyers in Congress (and staff) and no one noticed? 
Rachel Blevins of The Free Thought Project writes:
A bill that will allow homes to be searched without a warrant was passed with overwhelming support by the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Trump—and it happened with no media coverage and very little fanfare.
On the surface, House Joint Resolution 76 looks harmless.  The title of the bill claims that its purpose is “Granting the consent and approval of Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to enter into a compact relating to the establishment of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.”
However, there is one major red flag buried within the text of the bill that stems from the list of “powers” given to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, and it violates one of the basic tenets of the U.S. Constitution.
“In performing its duties, the Commission, through its Board or designated employees or agents, may: Enter upon the WMATA Rail System and, upon reasonable notice and a finding by the chief executive officer that a need exists, upon any lands, waters, and premises adjacent to the WMATA Rail System, including, without limitation, property owned or occupied by the federal government, for the purpose of making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing as the Commission may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this MSC Compact, and such entry shall not be deemed a trespass.”
The text gives the Commission the authority to enter property near the Metro Rail System “without limitation” and without a warrant, for the purpose of “making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing.”
The roll call shows that 5 legislators voted against the bill (all Republicans), while 29 legislators did not vote on the bill at all.  The bill had bipartisan support, passing 399-5.

Perspective.  I thought all those Smartphone users downloaded everything they could get their hands on…
Majority of U.S. consumers still download zero apps per month, says comScore
Apps are dominating consumers’ digital media habits, but getting people to try new ones is still a tough sell.  That’s the latest from comScore’s newly released 2017 U.S. Mobile Apps Report, which finds that 57 percent of consumers’ time spent using digital media is now taking place in mobile apps.  Of that, 50 percent is occurring in smartphone apps versus only 7 percent for apps on tablets.
   A majority of users (51%) still don’t download any apps in a month, says comScore.
Of those who download one or more apps on average in a month (49%), 13 percent download just one app, 11 percent download 2 apps, 8 percent download 3 apps, 5 percent download 4 apps, 7 percent download 5 to 7 apps, and 5 percent download 8 or more.
Again, it’s millennials (18-34) who are driving much of the interest in new app downloads, the report also finds.  70 percent say they’re always looking for new apps to try, and they’re willing to pay.

No comments: