Category Archives: Ethics,Laws & Policy


To ensure employees do what they’re supposed to, some employers have begun using surveillance apps and programs to monitor worker productivity.  This has raised some worker privacy concerns and the questions of whether this is legal or proper.  Employers have been monitoring employees since the dawn of the employer-employee relationship. In the Internet age, with the ubiquity of laptops, tablets and smartphones, what the employer can do has gone up a notch.  Employers can keep track of what employees type, record internet activity, take screenshots, and use the company-owned device’s webcam.  As a general rule, when using your employer’s equipment while on your employer’s network, your employer will have the right to monitor what you do. If you’re on your own device and using your own Internet connection, it’s less likely to be legal if your employer monitors you, although it still is often perfectly legal. Employees in some states may have slightly more employee privacy protections.  For example, some states, like Maryland, Illinois and California have “all-consent” or “two-party consent” laws that require everyone involved in an electronic communication or telephone call to consent to the monitoring.  A few states require employers to give notice to employees before monitoring can take place. Connecticut and Delaware are two such states with specific laws on the books, although Connecticut’s law might not apply when the employee is working from home.  The bottom line: most employers can legally monitor what you do while working as long as it’s for legitimate business purposes or they have your consent. If you decide to engage in personal activities during business hours, you will usually do so at your own risk.  Read More >>


Motherboard and PCMag have found something incredibly terrifying.  An antivirus program used by hundreds of millions of people around the world is selling highly sensitive web browsing data to many of the world’s biggest companies.  The Avast antivirus program installed on a person’s computer collects data, and that Jumpshot repackages it into various different products that are then sold to many of the largest companies in the world.  Avast claims to have more than 435 million active users per month, and Jumpshot says it has data from 100 million devices. Avast collects data from users that opt-in and then provides that to Jumpshot, but multiple Avast users told Motherboard they were not aware Avast sold browsing data, raising questions about how informed that consent is.  The data obtained by Motherboard and PCMag includes Google searches, lookups of locations and GPS coordinates on Google Maps, people visiting companies’ LinkedIn pages, particular YouTube videos, and people visiting porn websites.  Read More >>


Within today’s tech-filled world, victims of data breaches can face identity theft, social stigma, and barriers to housing and jobs.  Big companies are spending incredible amounts of money to make sure their customers’ data is protected. Additionally, new laws are being put in place to motivate companies about the issue.  The CCPA estimates companies will spend between $50,000 to $55 billion to get in compliance. Smaller companies struggle to find funding for these privacy issues. It is essential, as privacy, defined as the ability to control or limit access to personal information, is an expectation for the end users of these products.  Smaller companies are forced to get creative when solving this problem. There’s never a moment where a company can check the theoretical box of “now we’re privacy-compliant.” Data privacy is becoming less about compliance and more about building products that meet user expectations and contexts.  Read More >>

After Their Own Manufacturer Betrayed Them With a Copycat Product, These Founders Fought Back

Chuck Shirley and Relina DeDios-Shirley were recruiters when they started HIDEit Mounts, a company that designs and sells device mounts that camouflage game consoles and cable boxes. Their online business was growing steadily, but when they did some detective work on a competitor, they discovered they were being copycatted–by one of their own manufacturers. Read more>>

USCIS Proposes Rule to Welcome International Entrepreneurs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing a new rule, which would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (temporary permission to be in the United States) so that they may start or scale their businesses here in the United States. The proposed rule would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use its existing discretionary statutory parole authority for entrepreneurs of startup entities whose stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit. Read More>>

Net Worth Of Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes Plunges To $0 In New ‘Forbes’ Estimate

Citing her company’s problems, Forbes says it has sharply revised its estimate of the net worth of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. She founded Theranos and said she would disrupt the world of medicine with easy and inexpensive blood tests. One year after Holmes topped the magazine’s list of the wealthiest self-made women with a worth of $4.5 billion, Forbes now values her fortune at “nothing.” Read More>>

A patient reportedly went to the emergency room based on a blood test that Theranos had to retract

Troubled startup Theranos has voided two years’ worth of blood tests result from its flagship Edison machines. That means that anybody who got a Theranos blood test during that period may have gotten wrong results.In fact, one patient went to the emergency room in 2014 based on a Theranos blood test result, says a report – a result that’s now been amended. That’s important, because Theranos is facing a criminal investigation, and it’s trying to prevent further problems. Read More>>

Facebook’s Piracy Problem

A form of online piracy called “freebooting” has grown rampant on Facebook in just the past year. For the first time in its history, YouTube has a real rival and Facebook isn’t playing by the same rules.
Australian film maker Brady Haran coined the term freebooting to describe the act of taking someone’s YouTube video and re-uploading it on a different platform for your own benefit. Read More>>

3 female founders on what it’s like to run a startup when you’re under 30

The global technology industry is woeful when it comes to female representation and diversity. Youth, on the other hand, has real currency in this brave new world. But what it is to be both a woman and young while working on your own startup?
The article talks about three female founders all under 30, who are in the trenches, growing their own businesses and leading international teams. Read More>>