Monthly Archives: March 2016

FTC vs. Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

Posted by Michael Larkin.

When one checks into a hotel, one would expect to have their information stored in a company’s database, but one would not expect that database to get compromised. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation was using a property management system that stored customer’s names, addresses, and credit card number. On three separate occasions in 2008 and 2009, Wyndham was hacked and this information was pulled off of over 600,000 accounts. Damage was approximately $10.6 million and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought Wyndham to trial.

Even though Wyndham was the company that got hacked, it was the customers who got hurt and that is why the FTC filed against Wyndham. The FTC argued that the hacks were caused due the very limited security that the management system used. It was found that the credit card numbers could easily be read, passwords were easy to guess, and a firewall was not deployed along with various other issues. Wyndham argued that the FTC had no right to file a suit against them and that the unfairness and deception claims were not sufficiently validated. It was founded that Wyndham didn’t provide a fair system for its customers and the court required the company to change in order to protect its customers. Mainly, Wyndham needs a more comprehensive security program in order to protect account information and also conduct annual information security audits and maintain a safeguard for its servers.

This case was a matter of protection and privacy for the company’s customers. A customer is providing personal information in order to engage in business so Wyndham has a duty to protect that information. Having a higher security will ensure that hackers will not be able to breach the system and steal information. The FTC won the trial, and in doing so, made sure that a company had a high security to protect the customers.

Michael is a finance major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Sources:

FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

Verdict From: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/12/wyndham-settles-ftc-charges-it-unfairly-placed-consumers-payment

Suen vs. Las Vegas Sands

Posted by Michael Larkin.

In a case that has been around for over a decade, Richard Suen will meet in the Nevada Supreme Court for the second time with Las Vegas Sands. This case is about the Las Vegas Sands casino opening up a location in Macau, China. The argument is whether or not Suen had a major role in this transaction to be able to share in the profits that the Sands casino would make.

Macau is the world’s largest gaming market so Sands would be able to share in the profit and attempt to make money. In order to open a location there, Sands would have to have had a license authorized by the Chinese government and business officials. Suen was a Hong Kong businessman who was able to set up these relationships for Sands in order for them to get the license with a payment of $5 million and 2 percent of profits. This is where the case gets tricky as Sands argues that Suen did not have a major influence in setting up these relationships, therefore, the company owes him nothing. Suen argues that if it were not for him, then Sands would have had no chance of getting the Macau license and because of this, he wants money due to the service he did. Suen filed a lawsuit saying that Las Vegas Sands owes him $115 million. Going back to 2008, Suen won $43.8 million dollars and later in 2010, he won another $70 million. Now continuing to the present, Las Vegas Sands is fighting these awards again in the Supreme Court.

Sands’ biggest argument is that there is a lack of evidence in the previous trials. What has been proven, however, is that there were cases where Sands’ executives recognized Suen and the work that he did. It appears that Suen does have the right to receive some payment, but all of it is the real question. Las Vegas Sands was trying to expand their locations to one the biggest gaming area of the world, but because they disregarded someone who helped, they have been facing a long-run issue.

Michael is a finance major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Apple’s Dilemma

Posted by Joseph Papandrea.

All different opinions are being thrown around in this case between Apple and the Federal Government. Syed Farook’s phone is what the Federal Government wants to access, due to his previous activity. Farrook killed 14 people during the San Bernardino attack. His relations to ISIS is why the government wants to access his phone. The judge decided to side with Apple in not letting the Fed’s access Farrok’s phone. Apple’s argument not to unlock this phone is because it affects everyone who owns iPhones. “Apple’s lawyers argue that the government’s demands would ultimately make iPhones less safe”(Riley). Apple being able to unlock this phone would make it less safe because phones could fall into the wrong hands. Apple in the past has helped the law enforcement in a drug dealer case. In this case it is much more serious and dangerous for society. Judge James Orenstein says there is no way he can force Apple to hack and access the phone.

The Federal Government holding this phone and stressing about this case does not make sense. There has to be a way the government can hack into the phone themselves, but do not want to reveal that power. If they are able to do that without the help of Apple that could also put a lot of people in danger.

Both Apple and the Federal Government are making a lot of things difficult. Apple was faced with a big decision about whether they were going to help access Farrok’s phone. If Apple accesses the phone, it can help the government in many ways. Their view on it though is that it affects every iPhone owner. Apple’s power to access one phone will give the government access all. A lot of people would side with Apple for fear of their own privacy, but others will argue and say that it will benefit the government because there can be evidence leading to ISIS. Apple decision is probably what is best for the company. Apple wants to stay loyal to its customers and do not want to lose income. People knowing that Apple is able to unlock a phone so easy is where customers lose trust with the company.

In conclusion, both Apple and the Federal Government are stuck between what is morally right. Apple is doing what is best for the company, because if the technology falls into the wrong hands it will bring the company down. I believe the Federal Government must have someone who can find a way to access this phone., because they have the technology already and are looking for a means to protect that secret. They can listen in on anything. In my opinion Apple is not wrong for not wanting to unlock the phone, because they are only protecting the company.

Joseph is a sports management major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Erin Andrews Lawsuit

Posted by Dalton Soffer.

Erin Andrews, a sportscaster who has worked for ESPN and currently for FOX, was recently awarded $55 million by a Nashville jury for her civil lawsuit against a Nashville, Tennessee hotel owner and her stalker Michael David Barrett. In 2008 Barrett used a hacksaw to tamper with Andrews’ peephole and secretly video taped her while she was undressed. The video was later released on the internet, and it turned in to a nightmare for Andrews. Her privacy was taken from her and she was publicly humiliated after the video surfaced. Andrews gave an emotional testimony and sent out an emotional post on twitter saying the support she has received throughout the whole process has helped her fight to hold those accountable for whose job it is to protect everyone’s security, safety, and privacy.

Andrews originally sought $75 million in her suit however the court settled for $20 million less than that. The jury found the stalker, Barrett, was 51% at fault and was ordered to pay out $28 million, while the West End Hotel Partners, which owns and operates that Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, was found to be 49 percent at fault and asked to pay out more than $26 million. The West End Hotel Partners has said that Barrett is solely responsible for his criminal actions.

In my opinion, I feel like the settlement amount was fair but I do not feel that it was properly divided between the guilty sides. Barrett was more at fault than 51%, I would say he was more like 75% at fault in this and should be ordered to pay more of the settlement.

Dalton is a business major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

The Chipotle Crisis

Posted by Joseph Papandrea.

Chipotle is a company that has had a rough year due to people getting sick from eating at the popular fast-food chain. Steve Ells and Monty Moran, two executives who share the job as CEO, were affected when people started getting sick. Just before that outbreak, the company’s stock reached an all-time high. It was going for $758 a share, but once people started getting sick it was down to a little over $507 a share. Both Ells and Moran brought in around $13.8 million each, with the based salaries increasing by just over $100,000. The outbreak of this health crisis hurt Chipotle’s sales and had a huge impact on their image. For this to happen during a time where stocks and sales were up is tragic. The company did the right thing by temporarily closing their restaurants for the safety of society. The company had to sit down and figure out what was causing this health crisis.

This was the first time the company had a decrease since opening 10 years ago. The company took in only $68 million in profit, which reflected a 44% drop. Things like this are going to happen to companies. A company that is very successful has its down falls. Chipotle did the right thing by closing temporarily. Getting their image back from this crisis will be be tough. The focus for the company should be getting the trust back from their customers. We know this breakout was called E.coli, but the cause was never determined.

The best thing the company could do is advertise to get the trust back. The customers should always come first and their satisfaction should as well. The company still did fairly well even when the health issue broke out. This is an eye opening situation for all businesses, that even though there is a downfall they could always bounce back and get the customers trust back. Customers were hospitalized, and it is best that Chipotle is able to prevent that from happening again.

Joseph is a sports management major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Corruption Instead of Protection

Posted by Peyton Adams.

Avery was wrongly convicted for strangling Maryetta Griffin.  According to sources, Avery did not admit to the crime, and if he did, it was a forced confession.  However, the jury did not believe him.

The prosecution was able to sway the jury, which caused Mr. Avery to go to jail for SIX years. His image was severely damaged; he lost touch with his children and grandchildren due to being wrongfully convicted.

New DNA evidence surfaced proving that Avery was not the murderer of Maryetta Griffin.  Instead, the DNA testing was linked to Walter Ellis, a serial killer.  Avery was unjustly incriminated by the Milwaukee Police and Avery’s accusations of him not confessing, or confessing unwillingly were proved correct.

The police in this case, therefore, destroyed a man’s life by making up incriminating statements.  Avery lost touch with loved ones; his image was attacked; and he was ONLY awarded $1M.

John Stainthorp with Peoples Law Office in Chicago said, “If you think about it, six years while you’re in prison, you can’t get up when you want, you can’t see the people you want, go to bed when you want, read what you want.”  His life was ruined due to the fact that the police did not do the correct investigation to make sure that they had accused the correct man.

Mr. Avery was released after six years, but his life will never be the same AGAIN!  The Milwaukee Police should be questioned for the accusations they made in court against the plaintiff.

Peyton is a marketing major with minors in business law and nonprofit studies at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Martinez v. Denver Police

Posted by Peyton Adams.

The Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment have been overlooked by authorities many times in the past.  The Martinez vs Denver Police case is yet another time this has occurred.

The Denver police forcefully entered the Martinez house on January 27, 2009.  Instead of allowing Mr. Martinez to fully open the door to determine why the District 1 Special Crime Attack Team (SCAT) was at his door, SCAT forced their way into the house, without a warrant, after receiving information about this home being that of a drug dealer.  This Crime Team failed to realize that a new family had taken over the home since the tip was received.

The Denver police were apparently working on “stale information about the former tenants presumably being into drugs and prostitution and some bad stuff.”  The police failed to do their background checks; failed to do some investigation; failed to show any respect; and, failed to handle the situation in a proper manner.  Instead, the police asserted their power, entered the house, abused their power, and assaulted a family of a mariachi band.

The Martinez family were wrongly accused, but does the Denver police care? The Denver police instead ignored it and didn’t punish anyone on this raid.  They merely overlooked the fact that their team did not do their job.

The jury, however, came to a conclusion.  The Martinez family sued on two accounts: one, for excessive force, and two, for wrongful prosecution.  The jury did not see enough information to determine if the officers entered the house and abused their power, although there were broken windows and injuries sustained by the family.  Nonetheless, the jury found that the Martinez family was wrongfully prosecuted and awarded the Martinez family a monetary value of $1.8 million.

The officers planned on appealing the case.

Peyton is a marketing major with a minor in nonprofit studies and business law at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.