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Internet Of Things For Sustainability: Perspectives In Privacy, Cybersecurity, And Future Trends, Abdul Salam Jan 2020

Internet Of Things For Sustainability: Perspectives In Privacy, Cybersecurity, And Future Trends, Abdul Salam

Faculty Publications

In the sustainability IoT, the cybersecurity risks to things, sensors, and monitoring systems are distinct from the conventional networking systems in many aspects. The interaction of sustainability IoT with the physical world phenomena (e.g., weather, climate, water, and oceans) is mostly not found in the modern information technology systems. Accordingly, actuation, the ability of these devices to make changes in real world based on sensing and monitoring, requires special consideration in terms of privacy and security. Moreover, the energy efficiency, safety, power, performance requirements of these device distinguish them from conventional computers systems. In this chapter, the cybersecurity approaches ...


Consumer Remedies For Civil Rights, Kate Sablosky Elengold Jan 2019

Consumer Remedies For Civil Rights, Kate Sablosky Elengold

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Tethered Economy, Aaron K. Perzanowski, Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Aniket Kesari Jan 2019

The Tethered Economy, Aaron K. Perzanowski, Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Aniket Kesari

Faculty Publications

Imagine a future in which every purchase decision is as complex as choosing a mobile phone. What will ongoing service cost? Is it compatible with other devices you use? Can you move data and applications across de- vices? Can you switch providers? These are just some of the questions one must consider when a product is “tethered” or persistently linked to the seller. The Internet of Things, but more broadly, consumer products with embedded software, are already tethered. While tethered products bring the benefits of connection, they also carry its pathologies. As sellers blend hardware and software—as well as ...


The Content Of Consumer Law Classes Iii, Jeff Sovern Oct 2018

The Content Of Consumer Law Classes Iii, Jeff Sovern

Faculty Publications

This paper reports on a 2018 survey of law professors teaching consumer protection, and follows up on similar 2010 and 2008 surveys, which appeared in Jeff Sovern, The Content of Consumer Law Classes II, 14 J. Consumer & Commercial L. 16 (No. 1 2010), at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1657624 and Jeff Sovern, The Content of Consumer Law Classes, 12 J. Consumer & Commercial L. 48 (No. 1 2008), at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1139894, respectively. As reported in previous surveys, professors teaching consumer law report considerable variation in coverage. Professors want to cover ...


Fintech: Antidote To Rent-Seeking?, Jeremy Kidd Jan 2018

Fintech: Antidote To Rent-Seeking?, Jeremy Kidd

Faculty Publications

Fintech is a reality of our modern society, and will likely become even more so in the future. Peer-to-peer lending, cybercurrencies, smart contracts, algorithmic lending, and more, have required adaptation by consumers and producers of financial services. Our modes of doing business will continue to be challenged and changed by these and other Fintech innovations, almost certainly expanding beyond merely “promot[ing] financial inclusion, expand[ing] access to capital for individuals and small businesses, and more broadly reshap[ing] how society interacts with financial services.” By reducing transaction costs, advancing technology opens the doors to innovations the likes of which ...


Gender, Race & The Inadequate Regulation Of Cosmetics, Marie C. Boyd Jan 2018

Gender, Race & The Inadequate Regulation Of Cosmetics, Marie C. Boyd

Faculty Publications

Scholars and other commentators have identified failures in the regulation of cosmetics-which depends heavily on voluntary industry self- regulation-and called for more stringent regulation of these products. Yet these calls have largely neglected an important dimension of the problem: the current laissez-faire approach to the regulation of cosmetics disproportionally places women, and particularly women who are members of other excluded groups, at risk. This Article examines federal cosmetics law and regulation through a feminist lens. It argues that cosmetics law and regulation have lagged behind that of the other major product categories regulated by the Food and Drug Administration under ...


Free-Market Failure: The Wells Fargo Arbitration Clause Example, Jeff Sovern Jan 2018

Free-Market Failure: The Wells Fargo Arbitration Clause Example, Jeff Sovern

Faculty Publications

In September 2016, regulators charged Wells Fargo with opening millions of unauthorized accounts on behalf of its customers. When some of those customers filed class actions against Wells, the bank initially responded by moving to compel arbitration on the ground that the consumers had agreed to arbitrate disputes and waive their class action rights. Because most customers with claims in small amounts would probably have foregone filing an arbitration claim, the effect would have been to leave their damages uncompensated except for the refunding of fees, which Wells agreed to in the consent order it entered into with regulators. The ...


Validation And Verification Vignettes: More Results From An Empirical Study Of Consumer Understanding Of Debt Collection Validation Notices, Jeff Sovern, Kate E. Walton, Nathan Frishberg Jan 2018

Validation And Verification Vignettes: More Results From An Empirical Study Of Consumer Understanding Of Debt Collection Validation Notices, Jeff Sovern, Kate E. Walton, Nathan Frishberg

Faculty Publications

The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act obliges debt collectors to provide certain notices to consumers from whom they are attempting to collect debts. This Article is our second to report findings from the first academic study of consumer understanding of one of those notices, commonly called the validation notice. We showed consumers different versions of collection letters and then asked questions to measure their understanding of the notices.

This Article explores some issues not discussed in our first Article. For example, in this Article, we examine what consumers thought collectors would have to do in response to a request ...


Empowering Consumers Through Online Dispute Resolution, Amy J. Schmitz Oct 2017

Empowering Consumers Through Online Dispute Resolution, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

We transact online every day, hoping that no problems will occur. However, our purchases are not always perfect: goods may not arrive; products may be faulty; expectations may go unmet. When this occurs, we are often left frustrated, with no means for seeking redress. Phone calls to customer service are generally unappealing and ineffective, and traditional face-to-face or judicial processes for asserting claims are impractical after weighing costs against likely recovery. This is especially true when seeking redress requires travel, or for crossborder claims involving jurisdictional complexities. This situation has created a need for online dispute resolution (“ODR”), which brings ...


The New Handshake: Where We Are Now, Amy J. Schmitz, Colin Rule Jun 2017

The New Handshake: Where We Are Now, Amy J. Schmitz, Colin Rule

Faculty Publications

The internet has empowered consumers in new and exciting ways. It has opened more efficient avenues for consumers to buy just about anything. Want proof? Just pull out your smartphone, swipe your finger across the screen a few times, and presto – your collector’s edition Notorious RBG bobblehead is on its way from China. Unfortunately, however, the internet has not yet delivered on its promise to improve consumer protection.


What We Buy When We "Buy Now", Aaron K. Perzanowski, Chris Jay Hoofnagle Jan 2017

What We Buy When We "Buy Now", Aaron K. Perzanowski, Chris Jay Hoofnagle

Faculty Publications

Retailers such as Apple and Amazon market digital media to consumers using the familiar language of product ownership, including phrases like “buy now,” “own,” and “purchase.” Consumers may understandably associate such language with strong personal property rights. But the license agreements and terms of use associated with these transactions tell a different story. They explain that ebooks, mp3 albums, digital movies, games, and software are not sold, but merely licensed. The terms limit consumers' ability to resell, lend, transfer, and even retain possession of the digital media they acquire. Moreover, unlike physical media products, access to digital media is contingent ...


Are Validation Notices Valid? An Empirical Evaluation Of Consumer Understanding Of Debt Collection Validation Notices, Jeff Sovern, Kate E. Walton Jan 2017

Are Validation Notices Valid? An Empirical Evaluation Of Consumer Understanding Of Debt Collection Validation Notices, Jeff Sovern, Kate E. Walton

Faculty Publications

A principal protection against the collection of consumer debts that are not actually owed is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s (FDCPA) validation notice, which obliges debt collectors demanding payment to notify consumers of their rights to dispute debts and request verification, among other things. This Article reports on the first public study of whether consumers understand the notices or what they take away from them. For nearly four decades, courts have decided whether validation notices satisfied the FDCPA without ever knowing when or if consumers understand the notices. This Article attempts to remedy that problem.

Collectors who prefer ...


You As A Brand: A Legal History, Lyrissa Lidsky Jan 2016

You As A Brand: A Legal History, Lyrissa Lidsky

Faculty Publications

Dr. Samantha Barbas’ book, Laws of Image: Privacy and Publicity in America, makes an original, important, and engaging contribution to the history of the privacy law in the United States. In the process, the book illuminates how we became a culture obsessed with image management and how the law developed and continues to evolve to protect our rights to become our own personal brands.


"Whimsy Little Contracts" With Unexpected Consequences: An Empirical Analysis Of Consumer Understanding Of Arbitration Agreements, Jeff Sovern, Elayne E. Greenberg, Paul F. Kirgis, Yuxiang Liu Jan 2015

"Whimsy Little Contracts" With Unexpected Consequences: An Empirical Analysis Of Consumer Understanding Of Arbitration Agreements, Jeff Sovern, Elayne E. Greenberg, Paul F. Kirgis, Yuxiang Liu

Faculty Publications

Arbitration clauses have become ubiquitous in consumer contracts. These arbitration clauses require consumers to waive the constitutional right to a civil jury, access to court, and, increasingly, the procedural remedy of class representation. Because those rights cannot be divested without consent, the validity of arbitration agreements rests on the premise of consent. Consumers who do not want to arbitrate or waive their class rights can simply decline to purchase the products or services covered by an arbitration agreement. But the premise of consent is undermined if consumers do not understand the effect on their procedural rights of clicking a box ...


Private Rights For The Public Good?, J. Janewa Oseitutu Jan 2013

Private Rights For The Public Good?, J. Janewa Oseitutu

Faculty Publications

The counterfeit medicines discussion is an example of how the use of a turbid rationale for greater intellectual property protections serves sophisticated private interests while potentially harming the public interest. The risk of harm created by counterfeit medicines provides a compelling counter-narrative to the access to medicines critique of intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property advocates and the pharmaceutical industry have portrayed poor global enforcement of intellectual property rights as contributing to the proliferation of dangerous counterfeit medications. Yet, the deliberate linkage in the literature between weak intellectual property rights and the harms caused by counterfeit medicines provides a justification for ...


Improving The Lives Of Individuals In Financial Distress Using A Randomized Control Trial: A Research And Clinical Approach, Lois R. Lupica, Dalie´ Jimenez, D. James Greiner, Rebecca L. Sandefur Jan 2013

Improving The Lives Of Individuals In Financial Distress Using A Randomized Control Trial: A Research And Clinical Approach, Lois R. Lupica, Dalie´ Jimenez, D. James Greiner, Rebecca L. Sandefur

Faculty Publications

This Article describes an ambitious Randomized Control Trial (RCT) in the area of consumer debt collection. Randomized trials are the same kind of evaluation that the law requires (or at least strongly encourages) before new drugs and medical devices may be sold to the public. Although they have not yet gained widespread popularity in the evaluation of legal systems, randomized trials are uniquely effective ways of assessing whether any benefits observed after implementation of legal or educational assistance programs are really due to those programs as compared to other factors, such as unusual levels of competence or motivation of program ...


From The Schoolhouse To The Poorhouse: The Credit Card Act's Failure To Adequately Protect Young Consumers, Eboni S. Nelson Jan 2011

From The Schoolhouse To The Poorhouse: The Credit Card Act's Failure To Adequately Protect Young Consumers, Eboni S. Nelson

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Symposium On Commercial Speech And Public Health, Jonathan H. Adler Jan 2011

Symposium On Commercial Speech And Public Health, Jonathan H. Adler

Faculty Publications

Americans have access to more health-related information today than ever before. Consumers are bombarded with medical messages and flooded with health-based claims. Television and magazine advertisements inform consumers about everything from insomnia and erectile dysfunction to the importance of dietary fiber and the allegedly wondrous properties of pomegranates. Product labels and promotions provide more food for thought about fat, sodium, and carbohydrates; nutritional supplement makers further supplement consumer nutritional information. Were that not enough, the internet provides access to still more data (and opinion), much of it of questionable provenance and reliability.


Biasing Brands, Jeremy N. Sheff Jan 2011

Biasing Brands, Jeremy N. Sheff

Faculty Publications

The dominant search-costs model of trademark law posits that consumers choose products to satisfy their preferences by analytically mapping those preferences to product information that trademarks efficiently provide. This Article tests these descriptive claims against empirical and theoretical research in marketing and consumer psychology, particularly the concept of "brand equity": the value to a firm or its customers of a brand and of the firm's efforts to build and maintain that brand.

Internally complex brand equity models, juxtaposed with empirical findings in related psychology and marketing research, challenge the descriptive accuracy of the search-costs model. In particular, branding efforts ...


The Ethics Of Unbranding, Jeremy N. Sheff Jan 2011

The Ethics Of Unbranding, Jeremy N. Sheff

Faculty Publications

This Essay explores the ethical implications of the phenomenon of "unbranding" that has recently been discussed in popular and scholarly literature. It compares two extant definitions of unbranding and examines each under alternative ethical theories of trademark law, specifically deontological and consequentialist theories. With respect to each of these theories, the Essay examines the ethical questions raised by the existence of asymmetric information between brand owners and consumers. This includes asymmetries not only with regard to information about products, but also with regard to information about consumer decision-making processes. The latter asymmetry presents conflicts between deontological and consequentialist conclusions regarding ...


The Content Of Consumer Law Classes Ii, Jeff Sovern Oct 2010

The Content Of Consumer Law Classes Ii, Jeff Sovern

Faculty Publications

This paper reports on a 2010 survey of law professors teaching consumer protection, and follows up on a similar 2008 survey, which appeared in Jeff Sovern, The Content of Consumer Law Classes, 12 J. CONSUMER & COMMERCIAL L. 48 (No. 1 2008), available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1139894. The 2010 survey found more uniformity in topic selection than the 2008 survey. All thirteen professors who taught survey courses reported that they taught common law fraud, UDAP statutes, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, while all but one covered the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and payday lending. In contrast, in 2008 no topics were explored by all the survey professors and three were discussed by all but one. Nevertheless, as in the 2008 survey, the professors varied considerably in selecting other topics. Professors responding to the 2010 survey reported keeping their syllabi current; for example, more than half the professors teaching survey courses covered the Credit CARD Act, enacted only a year before the survey was conducted, while all but two addressed the subprime crisis.


Reading The Product: Warnings, Disclaimers, And Literary Theory, Laura A. Heymann Jul 2010

Reading The Product: Warnings, Disclaimers, And Literary Theory, Laura A. Heymann

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Bending Nature, Bending Law, David Owen Jul 2010

Bending Nature, Bending Law, David Owen

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Consumer Interest In Corporate Law, David Yosifon Nov 2009

Consumer Interest In Corporate Law, David Yosifon

Faculty Publications

This Article provides a comprehensive assessment of the consumer interest in dominant theories of the corporation and in the fundamental doctrines of corporate law. In so doing, the Article fills a void in contemporary corporate law scholarship, which has failed to give sustained attention to consumers in favor of exploring the interests of other corporate stakeholders, especially shareholders, creditors, and workers. Utilizing insights derived from the law and behavioralism movement, this Article examines, in particular, the limitations of the shareholder primacy norm at the heart of prevailing "nexus of contracts" and "team production" theories of the firm. The Article concludes ...


Deception, Decisions, And Investor Education, Jayne W. Barnard Jan 2009

Deception, Decisions, And Investor Education, Jayne W. Barnard

Faculty Publications

Tens of millions of dollars each year are spent on investor education. Because older adults (those aged sixty and older) are disproportionately victims of investment fraud schemes, many educational programs are targeted at them. In this Article, Professor Barnard questions the effectiveness of these programs. Drawing on recent studies from marketing scholars, neurobiologists, social psychologists, and behavioral economists examining the ways in which older adults process information and make decisions, she offers a model of fraud victimization (the "deception/decision cycle") that explains why older adults are often vulnerable to investment fraud schemes. She then suggests that many of the ...


The Content Of Consumer Law Classes, Jeff Sovern Oct 2008

The Content Of Consumer Law Classes, Jeff Sovern

Faculty Publications

Attendees at the University of Houston Law Center Conference titled Teaching Consumer Law: The Who, What, Where, Why, When and How were surveyed to determine what topics they covered in consumer law classes. Twenty-five responses were received, representing fourteen survey classes, five clinics, and six miscellaneous responses. The responses indicated considerable diversity in the topics covered. No topic was covered by more than 21 professors and each of the 32 topics listed on the survey instrument was discussed by at least four professors. Under the circumstances, it seems difficult to claim that consumer protection classes have a canon agreed upon ...


City Government And Predatory Lending, Jonathan L. Entin, Shadya Y. Yazback Jan 2007

City Government And Predatory Lending, Jonathan L. Entin, Shadya Y. Yazback

Faculty Publications

Predatory lending is heavily concentrated in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and disproportionately affects minorities and the elderly. The consequences of predatory lending are devastating not only to the consumers who fall prey to unscrupulous lenders' tactics, but to the community as a whole. For these reasons, many cities have tried to regulate or prohibit the practice. These efforts face formidable legal obstacles, however. This article examines the problems that cities face in suing as parens patriae on behalf of their residents, the strong possibility that even home rule municipalities will find their efforts preempted by state law, and the growing ...


The (Boundedly) Rational Basis Of Trademark Liability, Jeremy N. Sheff Jan 2007

The (Boundedly) Rational Basis Of Trademark Liability, Jeremy N. Sheff

Faculty Publications

This article argues that trademark infringement and dilution are best understood as commercial behavior that manipulates the cognitive biases of consumers, and as such threatens to render their heuristic judgments persistently inaccurate. In this view, trademark liability—whether imposed under the label of infringement or dilution—serves neither to protect property rights of trademark owners, nor to protect them against the unfair trade practices of competitors, but to shape consumer markets in such a way as to conform to the innate cognitive processes of boundedly rational consumers. The trademark regime can thus be understood as a legal apparatus designed (albeit ...


Bartnicki As Lochner: Some Thoughts On First Amendment Lochnerism, Howard M. Wasserman Jan 2006

Bartnicki As Lochner: Some Thoughts On First Amendment Lochnerism, Howard M. Wasserman

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Product Liability: A Commentary On The Liability Of Suppliers Of Component Parts And Raw Materials, David A. Fischer Jan 2002

Product Liability: A Commentary On The Liability Of Suppliers Of Component Parts And Raw Materials, David A. Fischer

Faculty Publications

The liability of suppliers of raw materials and component parts for harm caused by the product into which the materials have been incorporated poses difficult questions. When the raw material or component part is clearly defective, there is no question that the supplier is liable. Thus, where an ingredient in processed food is contaminated or where a truck tire has a flaw that causes a blowout, the supplier of the ingredient or the tire is liable. The difficult questions arise where the components are not inherently defective, but the finished product is defective because it lacks a safety feature or ...