A recent lawsuit filed against the University of Southern California (USC) and 2U, Inc., a publicly traded company, alleges that the institution of higher education provided limited information and statistics to U.S. News & World Report. In order to draw in prospective students to online programs, USC presented favorable rankings, which were only accurate for one in-person program. According to the lawsuit, USC has established a history of supplying misleading information to U.S. News & World Report and allegedly withheld data that might have influenced a lesser rank. USC is placing blame on the dean of the Rossier School of Education. Continue reading
California is home to one of the most rigid consumer privacy laws in the country. Originally passed in 2018 and later intensified in 2020, the law affords consumers the right to know the extent of information collected by companies online, the ability to have that private data deleted, and the capability to refuse the sale of their information to third party entities. The strength of this law led to the $1.2 million settlement of a civil suit, which pinned the cosmetics company, Sephora Inc., of violating consumer rights. The company failed to comply with the law and allegedly sold customer information without consent. Continue reading
Google may list an additional antitrust lawsuit to its resume of accomplishments, as three states and the District of Columbia have filed claims, alleging that the technology company deceived users into believing that they could disable location tracking functions. Despite viewing the message that “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored,” Google users were apparently tricked into revealing more of their data. From 2014 to 2019, Google used the collected data for advertising purposes and profited from the deception. Continue reading
Via AP: When smartphones first came on the market, telephone companies offered “unlimited” data plans cheaply in an effort to attract users. Back then, there were so few smartphones, and even fewer users who used more than a couple of gigabytes of data, that advertising these unlimited plans would mean a great many people would buy them without using much data at all. As smartphones became more ubiquitous and easier-to-use, though, the number of heavy users on unlimited plans rose to the point where they outnumbered regular users, and it was no longer profitable to sustain truly unlimited use. Then, AT&T did something incredibly boneheaded: they started capping data use for certain unlimited plans. In a textbook “do not do this” move, AT&T throttled the service for the top 5% of users, or slowed it down until phones were rendered nearly useless for anything other than calls and texts. This varied by area, too. The top 5% in New York City would be using a vastly different amount of data than the top 5% in Middle-of-Nowhere, Kansas. Many customers subsequently sued AT&T for false advertising. Rightfully so, because I can’t imagine “unlimited” to mean anything other than “not limited at all”. AT&T has since announced that it will be throttling data at 3GBs/month for all unlimited users, not just the top 5%, which brought up yet another problem: limited users pay $30/month for 3GB of data, the same as so-called “unlimited” plans. All in all, AT&T’s handling of the affair has been a major clusterwhoops.