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April 2019
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Brand Stewards Face A New Family Dynamic - Millennial Parents

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By, Allison O’KeefeWright –EVP, Managing Director of Research & Strategy atOpen Mind Strategy Marketing to the New Family Dynamic Millennial Parents Millennials are nowraising children. Forty percent are parents or 33 million people.Brands need to understand the millennial parenting style and how it is shaping the next generation. Key themesof thenew family dynamic We’re […]The post Brand Stewards Face A New Family Dynamic – Millennial Parents appeared first on Adotas.

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posted at: 12:00am on 11-Apr-2019
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Kobe Bryant Every Bit As Useless As His Lawyers Predicted In Trademark Opposition

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Late last year, we wrote about a fairly strange case of a trademark opposition involving Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals and its Black Mamba HYPERRUSH line of diet pills, and Kobe Bryant and his Black Mamba line of being a basketball player. The whole thing was both messy and rather pointless. Pointless because the pharma market and anything Kobe Bryant is involved in are quite divergent marketplaces, making the trademark opposition fairly pointless. And, yet, it's been going on for years. Messy, because the timelines are not particularly in Bryant's favor, given that Hi-Tech applied for its mark a year before Bryant applied for his, leading to Hi-Tech requesting to depose Bryant and get documents from him detailing exactly how he came up with his nickname. Bryant's lawyers rebutted the request by suggesting that deposing Bryant would be like deposing Lil Wayne, because the present is a farce we're all somehow forced to live through.Instead, Bryant's lawyers insisted he answer only written questions, all while warning that Bryant's answers would probably be entirely useless. They predicted that Bryant wouldn't recall the answers to the questions Hi-Tech would want to ask, which is more than a little odd, given that this all centers around how he came up with his now-famous nickname. But, give credit where credit is due: Hi-Tech is now complaining that Bryant has been every bit as useless as his lawyers predicted.

The pharma company says they fired off a list of questions they wanted to be answered by Kobe and certain documents they requested him to turn over. The company claims that Kobe has given evasive or incomplete answers and refused to turn over everything based on “unreasonable objections.”Hi-Tech argues they cannot prepare for the upcoming trial if Kobe does not hand over the docs ASAP.They want answers on how he came up with the nickname “Black Mama,” saying their research shows he has given different answers over the years. They allege Kobe has once said it was based on the species of snake but also claimed it was because of the film “Kill Bill,” which had a character named “Black Mamba.”The pharma company is demanding Kobe turn over all documents and communications concerning his use of the name in business and records of any products sold under the mark.
It's worth keeping in mind that Kobe Bryant is the one that issued the opposition to Hi-Tech's trademark application here, not the other way around. And, again, the timing of each party's application doesn't serve to bolster Bryant's side of things. Given that the nickname is the center of this conflict, the questions that Hi-Tech is asking aren't exactly unreasonable. And the company sure seems to think Bryant has answers or documents that are going to be good for its case.A case which, again, is of an opposition that never should have happened. Kobe Bryant does not make drugs or diet pills. Nothing about Hi-Tech's branding suggests there is any involvement by Bryant. Other athletes, in fact, have used the Black Mamba nickname. Maybe it's time for Bryant to drop this and move on.

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posted at: 12:00am on 11-Apr-2019
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Court Says Virginia PD's Use Of Automatic Plate Readers Violates State's Data Privacy Law

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The ACLU has secured a win for privacy in Virginia after taking on the state law enforcement and their many, many automatic license plate readers.The state's ALPR track record isn't great. Law enforcement and other government agencies love the tech, even if they have a considerable amount of trouble showing that plate readers do anything more useful than catch property tax cheats. Law enforcement agencies have turned their plate readers on political rally attendees, raising First Amendment issues along with the usual privacy concerns.The ACLU attacked the state's use of plate readers using one of the state's own laws. According to the "Government Data Collection and Dissemination Act," the long-term collection of untargeted plate data was illegal. The state's attorney general even issued an official opinion to this end, pointing out that active collections seeking targeted plates was permissible, but passive collections with no end date and unrelated to ongoing investigations wasn't.That opinion -- issued in 2013 -- did nothing to alter law enforcement ALPR operations. A lawsuit followed when records requests showed plenty of passive collection was still taking place. The ACLU pointed out (again) these collections violated state law. Fairfax County Circuit Court judge Robert J. Smith agreed.In his 5-page opinion [PDF] granting the ACLU an injunction blocking the Fairfax County Police Department from engaging in passive, untargeted collections, the County Court agrees with the state Supreme Court's findings: the ALPRs are subject to the state data privacy law and the ALPRs -- despite law enforcement protests to the contrary -- collect protected personal info.The FCPD argued the passive license plate collection did not automatically connect plates to car owners. The additional steps officers needed to perform somehow exempted this collection from the state's data privacy law. The court disagrees, pointing to the part of the state law the FCPD decided to ignore when crafting its argument.

If the only issue before the Court was whether the link must be automatic to be found invalid, the defendant's position might well carry the day. However, the Data Act defines "information system" as:The total components and operations of a record-keeping process, including information collected or managed by means of computer networks and the Internet, whether automated or manual, containing personal information and the name, personal number, or other identifying particulars of a data subject. Va. Code §2.2-3801 (emphasis added).The methodology here requires no less than two computer programs and three passwords. Such requirements, while perhaps cumbersome, do not necessarily preclude an establishment of a sufficient link under the Supreme Court's analysis and the Data Act.
According to the court, these steps link the mass collections to individual people. While the plate readers may only collect plate and location info, the fact that this database is tied to others containing identifying info is enough to make the collection subject to privacy protections guaranteed by the state.
After reviewing the evidence presented at trial, I find that the ALPR system provides a means through which a link to the identity of a vehicle's owner can be readily made. The Police Department's "passive use" of the ALPR system therefore violates the Data Act. Accordingly, the petition for injunction is granted.
This may only prevent the FCPD from passive ALPR collections but the state Supreme Court's ruling should have some effect on law enforcement's use of the tech across the state. No one else has been blocked from letting their ALPRs run day-and-night with no nexus to ongoing investigations, but that day will be coming. It might take a lawsuit to force the issue, but unless law enforcement lobbyists can pressure legislators into rolling back these privacy protections, the courts have made it clear ALPRs collect personal data in an indiscriminate fashion.

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