Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Stanford Hospital Discovers Patient Financial Information Loaded On Commercial Website

From the New York Times comes news that medical information including billing codes and other financial data from Stanford Hospital turned up on a commercial website called "Student of Fortune" last year and has been there for approximately a year. Student of Fortune is a website offering to assist with homework assisgnments. The hospital has been attempting to determine just how such a privacy breach could have gone unnoticed for so long. Apparently the information does not include SSNs or patient names. Chegg, the owner of Student of Fortune, has since removed the information. The hospital has cancelled its contract with the vendor whose employee apparently originally submitted the information.

September 9, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

John Galliano Convicted; Must Pay 6000 Euro Fine

A French court has convicted designer John Galliano of uttering "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" and fined him 6000 Euros ($8400 US). It could have sentenced him to a jail term. Mr. Galliano made offensive statements twice in the past year at the Parisian cafe La Perle; his statements were the basis for the charges. He blamed drugs and alchohol. Mr. Galliano and his attorney pronounced themselves satisfied with the outcome of the proceeding.

September 8, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Advertising Standards Authority Holds That Running Ad With Winking Jesus Cartoon During Easter Week Is Offensive

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has told a cell phone company that its ad violates standards. The ad reads "Miraculous deals on Samsung Galaxy Android Phones" and features a drawing of a winking Jesus Christ. The ad, for Phones4U, ran last Easter.

More than one hundred complaints poured into the ASA advising the agency that individuals found the ad mocked the Christian faith. In its adjudication, the ASA held,

The ASA noted that Phones 4 U had not intended to cause any offence and we welcomed their explanation that the ads had been withdrawn following the receipt of negative feedback. We noted that the ads featured a cartoon-like graphical illustration of Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, and the Sacred Heart, a sacred symbol central to the Christian faith. We considered that, although the ads were intended to be light-hearted and humorous, their depiction of Jesus winking and holding a thumbs-up sign, with the text "Miraculous" deals during Easter, the Christian Holy Week which celebrated Christ's resurrection, gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs. We agreed that the ads were disrespectful to the Christian faith and were likely to cause serious offence, particularly to Christians.

The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

September 7, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cameras In British Courtrooms

Prime Ministers David Cameron will announce that cameras will begin televising the sentencing of offenders under a program he will implement soon. Mr. Cameron is pushing for more transparency in government. The televising will include the sentencing phase only, and will not extend to the trial portion of the proceedings. More here from a Guardian article.

September 6, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

FCC Chair Appoints New Managing Director

FCC head Julius Genachowski has appointed David B. Robbins as managing director of the agency. In making the appointment, Mr. Genachowski noted, "“In our constant effort to be a model of excellence
in government, I am pleased to welcome David Robbins to the Commission as Managing
Director.  David’s leadership and management experience will be invaluable as we continue our
efforts to do our work on behalf of the public more efficiently and effectively.  The dedicated
professional staff at the FCC is our most valuable resource and I look forward to working with
David to continue empowering our team in ways that help us reach our important goals on behalf
of the American people.”

Mr. Robbins previously served as Associate Administrator for the Office of Management & Administration at the Small Business Administration.

September 6, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)