February 28, 2020 Feature

Case Developments in Data Law

By Rick Aldrich

“Data, data everywhere, but not a thought to think.”

—John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics

Data has increasingly become the currency of the day. Some 2.7 zettabytes1 comprise the existing digital universe, and it is constantly growing. Google searches are performed at the rate of 3.8 million per minute. Facebook posts are created at the rate of 3.3 million per minute.2 Data is also increasingly added by wearable technology (such as activity trackers, smart watches, GPS devices), smart speakers (such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomePod), connected vehicles, and an increasing array of Internet of Things (IoT) devices for the home (such as thermostats, refrigerators, light bulbs, entertainment systems), plus much more. An important subset of the IoT is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which includes industrial control systems, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices managing critical infrastructure services, and cyber-physical systems. With such a proliferation of data, the law relating to data has also had to evolve. This article briefly examines some of the most important recent case developments in a few key areas of data law.

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