legal

Uber, Lyft swept up in drivers’ lawsuits challenging contractor status

Uber, Lyft swept up in drivers’ lawsuits challenging contractor status

Drivers for Uber and Lyft work as contractors, and as such they're left to deal with certain expenses themselves: gas, maintaining their vehicles, and more. New lawsuits hoping to get class-action status in California are looking to change that, contending that the services' drivers are employees and should be reimbursed for those aforementioned expenses. Uber sought a pretrial ruling that'll peg the drivers on its system as contractors, but didn't ultimately get what it wants, and the issue will be going before a jury.

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Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google will change its controversial privacy policy in the UK, acquiescing to regulators who maintain the search giant's attempts to simplify its terms & conditions in fact left them half-baked. The agreement, announced today by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK, will see Google make changes to how it collects, uses, and communicates user data by June 30, 2015, with more adjustments over the coming two years. It's another pain point in what has been a nearly three year long headache for Google, which revealed its new approach to privacy back in early 2012.

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White House drone crash was caused by drunk gov worker

White House drone crash was caused by drunk gov worker

Remember that drone discovered on the White House lawn? The Secret Service was looking into the matter and had said it wasn't a safety risk, but concerns quickly spawned that such an incident could serve to further harm the already damaged reputation small-time drones have received -- with all of it coming at the worse time possible as the FAA prepares to rule on drone usage regulations. This particular mystery has already come to an end, and while it was a harmless accident, the cause of it all further tarnishes the personal use of drones in some eyes.

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DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

A national database of vehicles is quietly being created by the Department of Justice to help track drivers in the United States. The program has been tipped by both government documents and US officials, and is said to be done in secret with the DEA running the matter. The database is being put to use for numerous reasons, according to the sources, though it was originally created for seizing cars and other possessions in relation to the trafficking of drugs.

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Uber suspended a dozen drivers for getting proper registration

Uber suspended a dozen drivers for getting proper registration

Uber has again pulled a business move that has garnered controversy, this time by suspending drivers who elected to follow state law rather than company demands. In California, individuals who drive for hire are required to register their cars as commercial vehicles rather than personal ones. Some drivers complied with that requirement, but were give the boot by Uber, which told the drivers they must switch over to personal registration to get their driving privileges back. At least 12 drivers were suspended.

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Dish Network liable for millions of telemarketing violations, rules court

Dish Network liable for millions of telemarketing violations, rules court

In a recent court ruling, Dish Network was found to be liable for millions of telemarketing violations, including failure to honor Do Not Call requests. The ruling was made by the Central District of Illinois' district court, which says that Dish has "tens of millions" of calls under its belt that weren't made in line with the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule. This is a partial summary judgement victory for the FTC, which had a case filed on its behalf by the Justice Department back in early 2009.

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Turkey threatens Twitter to censor nation’s newspaper account

Turkey threatens Twitter to censor nation’s newspaper account

It seems like it wasn't that long ago when the Turkish government was trying to make the social network services Twitter and YouTube illegal in the country for not playing along with their censorship requirements. Oh, wait, that's because it was less than a year ago. Well, Turkey is as at it again, this time threatening Twitter that it outright ban the site (again) if it doesn't censor the account belonging to a left-wing, opposition newspaper.

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Uber told to stop service in South Carolina

Uber told to stop service in South Carolina

Uber has developed more troubles stateside, with South Carolina bringing the service to a halt over a certification issue. Yesterday, the state's Public Service Commission ordered the ridesharing service to stop until it gets a certificate of public convenience and necessity, something taxi companies and other vehicle-related carriers must get. The state seems to have retained a favorable opinion of the service, but is firm in requiring it to get in line with state law. Uber, for its part, is proceeding to satisfy the requirements.

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Man gets 5 year sentence for swatting prank

Man gets 5 year sentence for swatting prank

Swatting is perhaps the best example of one of the worst "pranks" you can pull on someone, and the punishments for being caught are severe. With this, someone calls in a bomb threat or something similar to get a SWAT team and/or law enforcement sent to an unsuspecting victim's home or location. The risks of this are high, but that hasn't stopped people from swatting regardless, and now prison sentences are starting to follow. Such is the case for swatter Jason Allen Neff.

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Marriott drops hotel WiFi-blocking efforts

Marriott drops hotel WiFi-blocking efforts

You've likely heard the news by now: Marriott was slapped with a big fine for blocking patrons' WiFi hotspots, something done under the guise of "security" but criticized as being a ploy to force guests to pay for WiFi access. This led to an official push for permission from the FCC to jam guest hotspots, and many entities and companies -- including Google and Microsoft -- spoke out against the petition. Now Marriott has backed down, saying it won't go through with the plan.

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