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ProfNet Experts Available on Google Privacy Policy, Background Checks, More Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

NEW YORK, April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing. To receive these updates by email, send a note to [email protected] with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

If you are in need of additional experts, you can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network. You can filter your request by institution type and geographic location to get the most targeted responses. The best part? It's free! Just fill out the query form to get started.

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  • Heartbleed Bug
  • Identifying Anonymous Online Commenters
  • Checking on Background Checks
  • Oil by Rail Raises Liability, Safety Issues
  • Seeking DOJ Advice Can Avoid Prosecution
  • New Google Privacy Policies Raise Troubling Questions
  • Developing Online Marketing Campaigns
  • How Software Design Can Ignite Business Solutions
  • Protecting the Rights of School Children With Diabetes


  • Sports Reporter - The Wall Street Journal (NY)
  • Senior Writer - The Fiscal Times (DC)
  • General Assignment Reporter - Killeen Daily Herald (TX)


  • Media 411: Copy Editors: Human vs. Automated
  • Blog Profiles: Food Blogs
  • Disclosure 101: NIRI's President and CEO Shares His Insight


Heartbleed Bug
Ed Hill
College of Engineering & Information Sciences at DeVry University
Here are some tips for consumers to protect themselves from the Heartbleed bug: 1) Users can check sites that may have sensitive information, such as their bank, brokerage, or other site. After putting in the domain name they want to check, they will get an easy to read A, B, C or F rating. 2) If issues are found with the web site, do not use it until the issue has been resolved. Major sites are working now to fix the issue. You can call the company and ask if your password can be changed via phone. 3) Monitor your transaction statements carefully to note any suspicious activity. Contact the company right away if you see any unknown transactions. You can also watch for any unknown new accounts on your credit report. 4) Change the password on all accounts where sensitive information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers might be stored."
Hill is a professor in the College of Engineering & Information Sciences at DeVry University. He teaches computer information systems, database management and web development and administration. He has been a professor at DeVry University for over a decade and has more than 25 years of experience in information systems management and software development, as well as a background in accounting and finance. Hill has spent the majority of his professional career as a consultant, providing services for research facilities, health care clinics and a startup industrial manufacturing company. Previously, he was group leader for the Miramar chapter of the users group, an International .NET Association (INEA) group.
Media Contact: Collin Hurrell, [email protected]

Identifying Anonymous Online Commenters
Rich Phillips
Thompson & Knight in Dallas
"Anonymous comments are a continuing source of controversy for websites and news organizations. Now a federal appellate court has ordered The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans to produce information about two individuals who anonymously posted negative comments about a former city official on the newspaper's website. There is evidence that the commenters may actually be law enforcement officials, as one former prosecutor already has admitted to posting anonymous comments on news stories about the official and other targets of federal investigations. This case shows how courts are struggling with the scope of First Amendment rights in the digital age. The 5th Circuit's opinion notes that there is little guidance in the case law about how to balance constitutional protections and criminal defendants' rights to information. If the court ultimately issues a more lengthy opinion in the appeal, it could be the first guidance of its kind."
Media Contact: Barry Pound, [email protected]

Checking on Background Checks
Micah Prude
Thompson & Knight in Dallas
"The number of lawsuits involving the use of background checks of current and potential employees continues to rise, in part because of increased scrutiny and enforcement by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Both agencies are actively looking to go after employers they believe obtain or use background reports in violation of the law. Employers need to understand their litigation exposure and follow the law when it comes to background checks. If you use background checks, consider using them for all employees and applicants, make certain that your selection criteria don't negatively affect certain protected groups more than others, and be sure to give advance written notices and receive signed consents."
Media Contact: Barry Pound, [email protected]

Oil by Rail Raises Liability, Safety Issues
Daniel Johnson
Energy Litigator
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP in Houston
"The U.S. shale boom has produced more oil than existing pipelines can carry, so trains are rushing to carry crude to refineries, which brings its own set of challenges. Safety shortcomings can become horrific disasters, such as last year's deadly accident in Quebec where an entire village was devastated by a runaway oil train. Now, tougher standards are coming. In Canada, railroad operators want oil companies to be on the hook for insurance that would cover the railroad's liability shortfall in bad accidents. Similar discussions are taking place in the U.S., and oil companies likely will face pressure to focus on their potential liability exposure, as well as to evaluate their insurance programs. Liabilities in a worst-case scenario can create existential risk for some companies. And there probably isn't enough insurance capacity in the market to cover them, which is why everyone will monitor closely how the liability issues play out."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden, [email protected]

Seeking DOJ Advice Can Avoid Prosecution
Tom Fox
FCPA and Compliance Ethics Lawyer and Blogger
Tom Fox Law in Houston
"There's a little-used but smart step a company can take when internal concerns arise over a possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Ask the Justice Department for its opinion early on and you might avoid prosecution. In one case, the DOJ approved a company's hiring of a member of a royal family to work in the U.S. and lobby the embassy of the royal family's country. To say I was surprised at this result is putting it mildly. Key to this approval and others is that a company have a strong, consistent compliance and ethics program with convincing procedural protections. Clearly, several companies have saved themselves much trouble by petitioning the Justice Department for an opinion ruling rather than allowing borderline practices to continue."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden, [email protected] 

New Google Privacy Policies Raise Troubling Questions
Mark Thibodeaux
Litigator in Privacy, Data Security; Past IT Professional
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP in Houston
"New privacy policy updates from Google this week raise difficult questions for Internet users and the legal community. The new policies say that when you send or receive content through Google services, such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Plus, you give Google a worldwide license to store and use such content. A key issue will be email sent to Gmail users, and Google's access to non-Gmail messages. People who send email to Gmail users have not explicitly agreed to Google's terms of service. There is a difference between a human being sitting in a back room reading your personal email and a computer bot scanning for keywords and aggregating anonymous information. On the other hand, the question of how far companies can go in collecting and using your personal data is still an open legal question. The courts will be addressing this."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden, [email protected]

Developing Online Marketing Campaigns
Kimberly Burghart
Client CMO
Miles Technologies
"Businesses must develop online marketing campaigns, robust with cross-platform initiatives including search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) strategies to effectively cultivate and convert new leads."
Burghart is the total CMO package. She is certified in both Google AdWords and Google Analytics, is astute at public and media relations, understands the importance of brand development and brand expansion, plus she is a dynamic strategist at social media and content marketing. She works with clients to develop expansive online marketing campaigns, robust with cross-platform initiatives including SEO and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategies. Her ability to fully immerse herself in the markets and industries of greatest impact to client lead generation makes her an absolute online marketing rockstar. She conceives and implements tactical and creative campaigns for a wide variety of clients, as well as researches the best online marketing methods for inbound marketing success. She has expertise in public and media relations, as well as product marketing and product launches, making her a powerhouse marketing force. All of this, and she is never too busy to send an email to a client wishing them a fabulous vacation. Courteous, professional and meticulously efficient, she is everything a client CMO should be -- knowledgeable, accomplished and caring.
Media Contact: Marie Alonso, [email protected]

How Software Design Can Ignite Business Solutions
Dennis Tiu
Vice President, Software Services
Miles Technologies
"Exploring design recommendations that ignite efficient and productive business solutions is a proactive mission for companies looking to boost efficiency, automation and productivity."
Tiu can discuss trends and issues impacting business software development today. He is an expert in software development, with a focus on identifying optimization opportunities. He is in charge of resource management for software developers, QA and software support services at Miles Technologies, managing all day-to-day operations and ensuring clients receive the highest quality in business and systems analysis for solution design and development. He guides best practices and operations for the software development initiatives of the company, translating customer business goals into logical workflows to be implemented into custom applications. Acting as a technical design guide and resource, his knowledge of database structure architecture and project management are off the charts. He identifies optimization opportunities -- making design recommendations that ignite efficient and productive business solutions for clients. He provides a wealth of knowledge in solution development for accounting transaction management, business intelligence solutions, business process automation, collaboration tools, content management systems, customer relationship management and distribution and logistics management.
Media Contact: Marie Alonso, [email protected]

Protecting the Rights of School Children With Diabetes
Sarah Blenner
Director of the Center for Diabetes Research and Policy
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
"Apps serve as a platform for structured communication between parties such as a caregiver and an elderly parent or a child and the school nurse. Apps provide a repository for data, including compliance with medication regimens, activity notes, and food logs that can be shared with a doctor to identify trends and troubleshoot health issues. But what happens to private health information entered into Web searches or health care apps? That information may be used against you by credit card agencies, employers, or life insurers. Unlike health care information in the hands of doctors or hospitals, medical information from Web searches, medical apps, and health-related digital games is not protected by the federal health privacy law."
Blenner of the Institute for Science, Law and Technology and the Center for Diabetes Research and Policy, both at IIT Chicago-Kent is co-author (with Melanie Koellmer) of a study that analyzed 275 diabetes-specific apps available in the Google Play Store to determine their functions, privacy policies, and whether the apps claimed to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They also reviewed the law and policies that govern the design and use of health and fitness apps. Among the findings were that the vast majority of diabetes apps available in the Google Play Store did not have privacy policies readily available prior to downloading the app. The apps that did have a privacy policy available often did not provide helpful or easily understandable tools to control privacy. She is available for interviews related to law and policy related to diabetes.
Media Contact: Gwendolyn E. Osborne, [email protected]



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See more listings here.



Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at [email protected]

  • THE EVOLUTION OF MEDIA: THE CHANGING ROLE OF THE JOURNALIST. With vast amounts of information being produced every day, it's a journalist's responsibility to sort, verify, and add context so audiences have the resources to think critically. Because of this, a good journalist will explore every tool out there. Read on to see the ways newsrooms and their journalists are adapting to today's digital media environment:
  • THE Q&A TEAM: YOUR NEXT SOCIAL MEDIA OBSESSION. When discussing well-known social media platforms that are used by many, most people think of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. But, what will be the next social media platform that will get everyone talking and signing up for? We asked our knowledgeable network of experts to share their opinion on this subject, and this is what they had to say:
  • THE RECIPE FOR A CAREER IN FOOD BLOGGING. On April 1 we hosted a #ConnectChat with Stephanie Wise, a baker and blogger for Girl Versus Dough. During the chat she explained how she turned her passion for baking into a blogging career. Check out a recap of the chat here:

PROFNET is an exclusive service of PR Newswire. To submit a request for experts:  To search the ProfNet Connect experts database:  To contact ProfNet by phone: +1-800-PROFNET, ext. 1  To share a thought on Expert Alerts: [email protected]



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