Technology, privacy and fond farewells

Opening Statement

Marc Karlinsky

Editor

April 2016

Whenever I see my iPhone’s low battery alert, I feel a rush of panic and begin an almost frantic search for my charger. I can’t risk the phone powering down midway through the evening. What if I miss a text? How will I see what friends are posting? Who won the latest game? Where’s my Uber? A dead smartphone means I’ll be completely cut off from the world.

Or at least it feels that way — until I remember that we as a society were doing just fine before we had constant access to the world from an expensive device in our pockets.

For better or worse, our gadgets contain so much of our lives that they’re practically an extension of our hands, maybe even a part of our identities.

I was fairly late to the smartphone game when I purchased my first one in 2011 — not even a full five years ago — but it’s almost unimaginable today to do some activities without it.

We certainly take advantage of all the information we can access in an instant when it makes our lives easier. But other people take advantage of that access, too. Sometimes it’s to sell to us something. Sometimes it’s to steal from us.

This month, Chicago Lawyer presents its technology issue. Inside, we take a look at the efforts spearheaded by a local firm to ensure the companies collecting, using and selling our personal data follow the rules — even when those consumer privacy rules evolve at a much slower pace than the technology they regulate.

It’s an issue that will make me think twice before hastily clicking through the permissions settings in an app, casually skipping through a website’s terms of service or forking over personal details without much thought to my personal privacy.

And in our cover story, Roy Strom explores “spoofing” — a financial trading tactic that both commodities exchanges and government authorities are trying to stop. Instead of the old manner of people shouting across a trading room floor, picture computer algorithms selling to other computer algorithms at a lightning-fast pace. Spoofers, as these traders are called, exploit the modern speed of trading and manipulate prices by teasing buyers with offers they never intended to fill — and lining their pockets with illegal profits in the process.

Sadly, this in-depth story by Roy, an ace reporter who has been a valued member of the Chicago Lawyer team for four years, is his last for this publication before he begins his next adventure at another legal news outlet.

Roy joined Chicago Lawyer and our sister publication, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, in November 2011, fresh out of an internship at Reuters and a recent University of Missouri School of Journalism graduate. In just a short time, he established himself as a distinctive voice in the magazine by asking tough questions of powerful partners at the city’s biggest firms, identifying trends that affect the industry locally and telling compelling stories of lawyers and their clients in the legal system.

Roy has made inspired and award-winning contributions to this magazine and set a high standard for the legal journalists that will follow him. We’re going to miss him here at 415 N. State St., and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

Correction

In the March edition of Chicago Lawyer, we featured Loevy & Loevy in our “Spaces” section. The piece, “No frills, tough skills,” should have stated that Jon Loevy founded the firm with his wife, Danielle Loevy — not Jon’s sister, Debra Loevy, who joined the firm later. We regret the error.