Category Archives: My LegalShield

Workplace harassment

Types of Harassment in the Workplace

  • Workplace harassment is all too common, and can ruin a great job and turn a company into a toxic and unproductive environment.
  • Often, harassment goes unreported, as victims may be unsure of what qualifies as workplace harassment and what to do when they experience it.
  • Many workers may remain unsure what constitutes harassment, sexual or otherwise. Learn what the law says about workplace harassment and how to protect yourself.  
  • Definition of Workplace Harassment
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines harassment as unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender/gender identity, nationality, age (40 or older), physical or mental disability, or genetic information.4þffHarassment becomes unlawful when:
    1. Enduring the offensive conduct becomes a prerequisite to continued employment, or
    2. The conduct is severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would consider the workplace intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Also, if a supervisor’s harassment results in an obvious change in the employee’s salary or status, this conduct would be considered unlawful workplace harassment.
  • Some states have broader definitions of what constitutes harassment. For instance, a court in Florida determined that “fat jokes” made about an obese employee violated the Americans With Disabilities Act
  • Harassing conduct may include offensive jokes, slurs, name-calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule, insults, offensive pictures, and more.
  • Note that not all unpleasant behavior qualifies as harassment. Per the EEOC: “Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.”
  • Laws regarding workplace harassment are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Any individual who believes that their employment rights have been violated may file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
  • However, prior to doing so, the EEOC advises that victims should usually make an effort to address the situation by reaching out to the offending individual directly.4þff Describe your feelings and the unacceptable language or behavior and request that it stop. Another option could involve contacting your supervisor for assistance if you are uncomfortable confronting the offender directly.
  • Job applicants and other harassment victims may choose to consult a labor/employment attorney if other measures have not resulted in a satisfactory resolution. If so, be sure to select a lawyer with extensive experience and or a certification in employment law.

Privacy Please! – Don’t Count on It

Here is some important and shocking information provided by my law firm that is helpful to those that want to take steps to increase privacy.

Listen to this show here. It is about 37 minutes long but informative. Below I put some clips of the transcript and links mentioned in the show. You can follow along as you listen if you like.

Recent surveys conducted by TrustArc and other companies show that:

  • 92% of consumers are concerned about online privacy;
  • 84% of consumers want more control over how their data is used;
  • 89% of consumers avoid companies that do not protect their privacy; and
  • 32% of consumers are not only willing to but have actually changed companies or providers over data-sharing policies.

Yet despite this ubiquitous concern for online privacy, a recent state Supreme Court ruling in Arizona held that in today’s world, there is “no reasonable expectation,” of online privacy. IS THAT EVEN LEGAL?  How much privacy do we actually have?

Your host, Bob Sewell, interviews K. RoyalAssociate General Counsel of TrustArc., a professor of privacy law and the co-host of the popular “Serious Privacy,” Podcast

Copied from: https://www.buzzsprout.com/831556/7524853

Transcript Notes

  • K Royal…an attorney who specializes in privacy law. You’re professor of law and privacy. You are associate general counsel at a company called TrustArc which advises other companies about privacy issues and how to comply with privacy issues.
  • It’s a founding principle of our democracy we have the Fourth Amendment…guarantees us the right to not have our things searched without a warrant…Supreme Court Justices have ruled that privacy is sort of impregnated in the Constitution…

  • The fact is in this modern age we really don’t have it…a lot of people keep saying you know we don’t have privacy we gave it up and my thought is we need to reclaim our privacy…Facebook once advertised that they have I always confuse whether it’s 15 000 or 50 000 different data points on every single person.
  • We assume we do and then something happens and we’re like oh wow I thought that was private yeah no

State vs Mixton

  • I want to talk about a case that recently came out with the Arizona Supreme Court…the case of the State versus Mixton…Mixton is not a nice guy no he’s involved in…child pornography
  • So the question that came up in front of the Arizona Supreme Court is, were they allowed to go to Cox, the ISP provider, and actually get the subscriber information that they then combined with other information?
  • Under the Fourth Amendment you have to have a warrant as you said to get certain information. There are exceptions to that…the Third Party Doctrine meaning that when you give your information to a third party, a vendor, a bank, a retailer, an internet service provider, you lose your expectation of privacy…
  • The expectation of privacy is as long as it’s between you and maybe one other person you have an expectation of privacy. Once you share it out to a company that you’re buying services from you don’t. So, it’s called the Third Party Doctrine which means since you have no expectation of privacy they can go to that third party and get your information.
  • CSLI (Cell Signal Location Information) and cops routinely pull information from cell signal towers because it tracks where you are…
  • They say that’s why he [Mixton] didn’t have an expectation is because it was sitting with the third party because Third-Party Doctrine no expectation of privacy
  • Arizona has a Constitutional Provision Of Privacy
  • So the dissent to this opinion last week which was by the Chief Justice and the Vice Justice and one of the other leading ones, Bolick, and they say that because of Arizona’s increased sense of privacy that was deliberately put in there to differentiate itself from the United States Constitution of the Fourth Amendment that we should be held to a higher standard and therefore we shouldn’t default to the Third Party Doctrine to allow a subpoena we should have had a warrant for his private affairs with Cox…
  • I am troubled by this decision. I mean most people should be troubled by this decision…If the minority won we would have a more difficult time rooting out these villains…if the majority wins then it’s easier for cops to get information on you…
  • Now here’s the thing most people don’t realize when cops are investigating a crime they may not have it narrowed to a suspect so they are often pulling information from third-party providers in order to find a list of suspects…
  • Most people don’t consider IP Address to be personal information…
  • Law firms really do have a reputation of being the worst vendors for privacy because we rely on our confidentiality and attorney privilege of course it’s private well that has nothing to do with protecting the data
  • We don’t even understand privacy…most people probably think that uh all of your medical data is protected under HIPAA it’s not…not all doctors are even subject to HIPAA…nowadays in COVID my daughter’s employer wants her husband’s test results for COVID in order to excuse her from work doesn’t that violate HIPAA? Well her employer is not subject to HIPAA
  • We were hearing in the news about data breach after data breach…I do business with that company…it dawns on me my information is already out there…

What do we do to protect ourselves?

  • make sure that the government has laws in place that protect you because that’s the first thing to rely on if something goes wrong…
  • For most of us there really isn’t there’s really not much protections under law in most cases you have to have a harm under privacy in order to seek any kind of money or pay back from a company and most of us unlike you cannot tie a specific harm being hacked back to a specific breach because there’s been so many breaches how do we possibly know
  • So what can you do the first thing is as I say multi-factor authentication…it means that when you log into a site in order to get on it also sends a code to your cell phone…that is the number one way to protect yourself from being hacked…
  • Don’t ever ever ever give out your password or your code to anyone over the phone…the best thing to actually do for passwords is one you can use a password manager which is an account that keeps them all but yes they’ve been hacked…
  • Another thing that people may not be aware of now is when you’re downloading an app to your phone and you look at the permissions the app is asking for like accessing your photos accessing your contacts…but you might have your phone set to automatically update apps
  • So the police being able to access someone’s phone is very much a violation of privacy and there is a controversy out there as to whether or not giving the password to your phone is consider um against the amendment to where you have the right not to implicate yourself and so if you give your password are you giving them the access to the phone to be able to find out all kinds of information about you absolutely…
  • but if you lock it with a fingerprint or face identification some courts have held that that’s not protected information because your fingerprints and your face are publicly available and so if you lock it with a fingerprint or a face print the police can force you to unlock it because that’s not information private to you that would implicate yourself in a crime
  • that’s the controversy that came up a few years ago when the federal government wanted a backdoor into the apple devices and apple was refusing to give them the way in now you probably could have given it to a ten-year-old and they could have hacked it but the federal government wanted apple to give them a back door and apple refuses to do so and that’s what we want companies to do is to refuse to cooperate with the government
  • but go back to this guy in child pornography the government’s really only looking for bad people right yeah so you think it has to be okay but what if they think you’re one of the bad people and you know you’re not how does that make it okay…everybody is wrongly accused until well they are until a jury convicts

Tracking – Targeted Behavioral Advertising

  • we’re talking to friends about some sort of product yeah let’s talk about cruising on Norwegian Cruise Lines to Alaska and let’s see which of us starts getting ads for Alaska and cruises
  • Why is this happening? They are doing targeted behavioral advertising and location based advertising
  • they’re literally tracking you based on location and can they track you to an aisle in a store…is that even legal? Yes it is legal that’s the crazy part yes it is legal unless you turn off location-based uh tracking on your phone and there’s a lot of ways that they do that on your phone so you’d have to be really savvy to know how to do it
  • the other is targeted behavioral advertising where they’re tracking what you’re doing online um are they listening to you yes is it paranoia yes but it means it’s true just because you’re paranoid about it just because it sounds far-fetched doesn’t mean it’s not happening right…is it legal yes…i mean your phone has um has a uh a microphone and a speaker and a camera on it and yes they can watch what you’re doing and they can listen to what you’re doing
  • Think of the case a few years ago and i love samsung but the samsung tvs were recording people yes really your tv is record…
  • the ability of companies to acquire data sale data combined data rent it…when they’re under a government edict not to sell data they’ll lease it i mean that’s not selling it they lease it to other companies and the way that they combine this data they can literally target people on your street who are conservative versus liberal…and serve different advertisements to them and different news stories to indicate or to convince them whether or not to go vote and it does happen i’m not being paranoid here they will target people who are in certain areas certain districts and if they don’t want you to go vote all day long you will see news stories on how long the voting lines are and it could very well be a lie
  • let me ask you what are privacy advocates what are they really if they could get their christmas list right top two christmas christmas gifts okay they can go to congress they can go to their state legislatures they can get what they want what are they going to get in the united states
  • we want a federal omnibus law which means we want a federal privacy law we don’t have one we have HIPAA for health care and FERPA for education we don’t have a federal one now that we have Kamala Harris as the incoming vice president very strong privacy advocate
  • I would like it to be very strong hippo’s actually a very strong law in its sector so I would like it to one give people rights over their information but I would like it to also to go further and govern what companies are allowed to do with data
  • now here in the U.S we believe in enterprise and commerce and getting all the money you can as a business so businesses are going to fight that left and right trust me they really are uh data is the biggest commerce
  • if you could if you could get what you wanted out of that omnibus law right what would i benefit average person…average person would have rights you’d be able to find out what a company has on you and what they do with it and you’d be able to stop them…second there would be penalties for breaches even if you can’t prove that you’ve been harmed
  • third I’d want an agency that actually oversees it because if you think of a dedicated agency that oversees privacy law you might actually see a lot more attention paid to privacy because people and companies would be punished for doing something with other people’s data that they shouldn’t be doing
  • the second thing that I would ask for because the first one’s big but the second thing i would want somehow some way to create a way for people to understand the privacy implications of the activities they’re engaged in…nobody reads privacy notices
  • we’ve talked about mostly consumer perspective what about the business perspective…should i be worried as a business about protecting other people’s privacies…absolutely because you protect your assets and data is one of the biggest assets available period…we see a lot of startup companies that don’t understand managing personal data…if they don’t understand it fully startup companies don’t put in often the right rules to manage personal data and there are rules even now and so when they go to sell themselves or get bought they devalue themselves because half of what they’re doing is illegal they either collected the data wrong or they used it wrong or they shared it wrong…and so for a company you absolutely should understand what laws apply to the data you do have
  • and then take an ethics view what should you be doing just because you can do something in engineering should you be doing it and think about if it was your data or your child’s data what would you be doing with that data
  • if they’re concerned about it for their own sales why are they allowing their companies to do it
  • it’s competitive information so not only do you have a risk of people you have a risk companies because competitors can hack you to get information on the companies you’re managing and that happens all the time
  • go to a website called haveibeenpwned.com …and you can put in your email address or your password and see if you’ve been part of a breach…this was very enlightening and scary a little scary yeah
  • it’s something that we need to take seriously i think we need to all get together and have real conversations with our representatives about what can be done…and we saw we saw that there’s been some attempt at this but really it’s been pretty weak…and yes I think the big issue is we’ve got to educate our legislators

End of transcript clips.

Additional Notes

Questions

Should you give your phone to a cop if he asks for it?
You should let your lawyer answer that question.

Should I give the cops the password to my phone?
You should let your lawyer answer that question.

Are fingerprints public or private information?

Have I been pwned? Check here https://haveibeenpwned.com/

Let me refer a lawyer in your state.

Let me refer this ID Theft service.

Data Points

News

Arizona High Court Misses Opportunity to Uphold Internet Users’ Online Privacy

Bank Of America ‘Is Without The Knowledge Or The Consent’ Of Customers ‘Sharing Private’ Info With Feds, Tucker Carlson Reports

Things to Do

Turn off auto updates on Android

Educate Others

Educate Our Legislators

What You Need To Know About Govt. Grants, Loans, & Forbearance To Survive The Pandemic Economy

What You Need To Know About Govt. Grants, Loans, & Forbearance To Survive The Pandemic Economy | Zero Hedge

  • The economic stimulus payments have begun to be distributed, but it’s an uneven roll-out.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUI)
  • Self-employed persons and people who didn’t work the minimum amount that is normally required for unemployment will qualify,
  • The states are responsible for making this happen and most of them have not done so yet.
  • The term for not paying your mortgage is forbearance. That means your mortgage payments are not currently due. Currently, government-backed loans are mandatory 3-12 months forbearance periods.
  • Do you have a car payment that you can’t make? A number of car loan companies and leasing companies have programs in place to delay or extend the term of your contract.
  • Check in at https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/coronavirus-payment-relief to see if your lender is offering such a deal. Communication is always best in cases like this. Here’s an article about talking to creditors.
  • Many credit card companies are coming forward with forbearance programs as well. They may allow you to put off making a payment, make a smaller payment, reduce your interest rate or eliminate late fees. Some credit card issuers have also agreed to not report the late payments to credit bureaus. That means your credit score wouldn’t be impacted, at least not by this.
  • First – don’t depend on the government, but be prepared to get the money they’re offering. The new coronavirus economic stimulus and tax acts have created a whole new group of grants, loans, and tax breaks. We call these CoronaTax.
  • Congress has given us four CoronaTax bills. The first one dealt mainly with funding for important health agencies. The gold is in the next two bills.
  • the purpose of these next two bills is:
    • Keeping you employed (if you currently have a job),
    • Keeping your employees working (assuming you have a business)
    • If you can’t work now (or your business can’t), getting you some income fast,
    • Providing sick & paid leave for your employees, with the government’s help, and
    • Giving businesses special tax breaks.
  • Get your family stable financially. Then learn about what’s possible for the next step. Form a strategy and implement perspective.
  • We’ve got a new economy coming. Be prepared with knowledge, strategies, and action.

60% of Americans lack will or estate planning

Survey: 60% of Americans lack will or estate planning

  • The results suggest that “as people age … they face the reality that having an estate plan is important and they’re getting the job done,” says elder law attorney Sally Hurme, author of Checklist for My Family: A Guide to My History, Financial Plans and Final Wishes.It’s important for younger people to have wills, too, points out Hurme, especially if they have children, to ensure that they’ll be cared for by the people the parents want as guardians in the event of their death. Yet a whopping 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36) and 64 percent of Generation Xers (ages 37-52) do not have a will.
  • Preparing for the end of life is one of those things you know you should do — but have you actually sat down and done it? Probably not, according to a new survey from Caring.com, which found that only 4 in 10 American adults have a will or living trust. Happily, older adults appear to lead the pack in readying these important documents.
  • While most U.S. adults age 18 and over have not done the needful, 81 percent of those age 72 or older and 58 percent of boomers (ages 53-71) do, in fact, have estate-planning documents.
  • It’s important for younger people to have wills, too, points out Hurme, especially if they have children, to ensure that they’ll be cared for by the people the parents want as guardians in the event of their death. Yet a whopping 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36) and 64 percent of Generation Xers (ages 37-52) do not have a will.
  • More people are proactive about their health care power of attorney, which grants someone legal authority to make medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. A little over half of adults have a power of attorney in place, according to the survey, with 83 percent of people over age 72 having this document compared with 41 percent of millennials.
  • Why do so many people fail to tackle or complete estate planning? The top two reasons of the people surveyed: They “hadn’t gotten around to it” (47 percent), and they “don’t have enough assets to leave to anyone” (29 percent).
  • Excuses aside, Hurme advises that everyone make the time to get their end-of-life documents and plans in order.

A Mysterious Database Exposed 200 Million Americans’ Personal Info

Unidentified Database Exposes 200 Million Americans | CyberNews
Source: https://cybernews.com/security/report-unidentified-database-exposes-200-million-americans/
The CyberNews research team uncovered an unsecured database owned by an unidentified party, comprising 800 gigabytes of personal user information.The database in question was left on a publicly accessible server and contained more than 200 million detailed user records, putting an astonishing number of people at risk.

  • Full names and titles of the exposed individuals
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Credit ratings
  • Home and mortgaged real estate addresses, including their exact locations
  • Demographics, including numbers of children and their genders
  • Detailed mortgage and tax records
  • Detailed data profiles, including information about the individuals’ personal

Here is what I do

annualcreditreport dot com lets you check your credit report once a year. I space my checks with the 3 credit services over the year so I can look in every 4 months instead of once a year. I used to work for an identity theft company. It is good practice to watch your credit card statement monthly. It is much more important to watch your credit report because when you lose your identity to someone, it will be a long lasting nightmare and very expensive in many ways.

If you are too lazy, I can hook you up with something that is even simpler. But you know, you are going to have to pay for it in another way. Here is a 60 second preview. Let me know if you need more info. And here is a document with all the features that will take you 60 minutes to read (just kidding).

Facebook Logins Being Sold for $3.90 on Dark Web

Quotes:

Facebook Logins Being Sold for $3.90 on Dark Web, Report Says

  • An investigation by financial website Money Guru states that Facebook usernames and passwords are available for as little as $3.90 on several prominent dark net markets.

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