News Roundup: Creative Contracts and Vehicle Innovation

From mountain goat designs to legal comic strips, here’s what’s happening in the news this week.

Toward defining privacy expectations in an age of oversharing

Most people are familiar with the role privacy has played in the news last year, from Cambridge Analytica’s data mining to GDPR regulations. For many years, “third-party doctrine” was at the center of privacy law at least in the United States, essentially setting a precedence for little to no privacy at all when information is shared with a third-party. Tools that we use every day have features that lure us into a sometimes false sense of security and trust, even if their privacy policies clearly outline how our information will be used.

However, things are changing. The EU has the GDPR in place, and new laws in the United States are beginning to catch up, albeit more slowly. As awareness around the topic continues to move into the spotlight, it appears that legal regulations for privacy will also continue to rise.

Legal contracts drawn up as comic strips are being used in South Africa

Reading legal contracts can be challenging for those of us who didn’t go to law school. This is even more true for people with lower literacy skills. That’s what led to the formation of Comic Contracts, an organization that uses well-designed pictures along with text to explain the contents of a contract.

Are these contracts legal? The short answer is yes—if clear to a court, signed, and the object of said contract is possible. While there are currently no cases on record for comic contracts, there is an Australian judge stated that as long as they are clear, there’s no reason for them not to be binding. In agreements where one or both party doesn’t have the same literacy levels, this type of innovation is critical for moving forward in business.

DARPA’s New Cars Are Mechanical Mountain Goats

In another creative concept, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on a vehicle where each wheel has its own motor. Because each wheel is independently attached to the vehicle itself, it can travel over all different kinds of landscapes, including uneven terrain. While it still remains to be seen if the designs will be seen through to their use in real-life situations, this innovation proves that whether it’s motor vehicles or signing contracts, the future of business is moving forward by working creatively to solve issues.