|Photo by Renjith Krishnan|
I read an article on the Forbes.com blog today that involves three of my passions: business, writing, and insurance claims. I'm thinking Apple isn't so happy about my personal windfall, however.
According to the article, Apple was hit by two lawsuits last week alleging that they help advertisers create profiles of their iPhone and iPad users. The article's author claims that the lawsuits are "essentially copy and paste jobs of a recent Wall Street Journal article" that claimed approximately one-half of popular smartphone applications transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent." A number of companies that own the involved applications (including Pandora, The Weather Channel, and Dictionary.com) are said to also be named in the lawsuit against Apple, which claims violations of consumer and computer laws.
What, you're wondering, does all this have to do with insurance and writing? Although you get the connection to business, you think I'm really pushing it with the other two topics.
Well, don't you think that if a business is sued, it's going to notify its insurance company? Of course it is! And if it doesn't, it definitely should: insurance policies usually include the cost of defense and attorney fees in coverage for covered losses and claims. That's one of the major aspects of wonderfulness contained in insurance policies!
Now, as far as writing goes, can't you just see it? Single women. Smart. Attractive. Being stalked and killed by a sociopathic serial-killer who knows their whereabouts because he's monitoring them via their iPads, iPhones, Smartphones, or Androids?
Okay. I'll get serious. (Although I think my story idea is very fine...)
Federal legislation providing consumer protection abounds. As a business person, it behooves you to know precisely what types of information you are, and are not, permitted to share. Off the top of my head, I can think of the following legislation that affects most business people:
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) - nonpublic financial information;
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) - personal health information;
- National Do Not Call Registry - personal of phone numbers from telemarketers;
- National Consumer Credit Protection; and
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).