by Nolan Goldberg
Emerging technologies – such as big data – can change both the scope and practical impact of the law. For example, a Court in California recently held for the first time that a zip code was personally identifiable information within the meaning of the state’s Song Beverly Credit Card Act. Prior case law treated zip codes as identifying only groups of people at best and therefore zip codes were not personally identifiable information and requesting zip codes at the point of sale did not appear to be prohibited. The California Court, however, was forced to depart from precedent after acknowledging that easily accessible de-anonymization technologies now enabled retailers to use zip codes to determine exact home addresses. Accordingly, the well established practice of asking for zip codes at points of purchase needed to stop (and a flood of new lawsuits followed). Putting the above example aside, Big Data technologies have the potential to require changes in important areas of the law, such as intellectual property, e-discovery, data ownership and privacy. This session will explore both the potential impact of big data on the law generally and some of the specific legal issues of concern when monetizing big data.
19th September 2011