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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Category Archives: Privacy

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Consumer Privacy Survey Results

Posted in Data Security, E-Commerce, Privacy, Statistics

As Socially Aware readers know, privacy presents real business risks that have the potential to negatively impact a company’s bottom line, from the legal fees associated with a data breach to revenue declines stemming from a loss of consumer trust. Late last year, Socially Aware contributor Andrew Serwin conducted an online survey of more than… Continue Reading

Now Available: The January Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter

Posted in Advertising, Cyberbullying, Data Security, Endorsement Guides, FTC, Marketing, Online Endorsements, Privacy, Terms of Use

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we offer practical tips to help ensure the enforceability of website terms of use; we discuss the FTC’s ongoing efforts to enforce disclosure obligations in social media advertising; we examine… Continue Reading

Big Data, Big Challenges: FTC Report Warns of Potential Discriminatory Effects of Big Data

Posted in Big Data, Compliance, Data Security, FTC, Privacy

In a new report, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) declines to call for new laws but makes clear that it will continue to use its existing tools it to aggressively police unfair, deceptive—or otherwise illegal—uses of big data. Businesses that conduct big data analytics, or that use the results of such analysis, should familiarize themselves with… Continue Reading

Our List of Lists

Posted in Compliance, Disappearing Content, E-Commerce, Livestreaming, Marketing, Privacy, Wearable Computers

January is the month when lists—lists of predictions, lists of trends, lists of feats and lists of failures—pervade social media newsfeeds and publications’ headlines. Here at Socially Aware we’re making an annual tradition of curating a “List of Lists”—an inventory of the roundups that we think will be of most interest to our readership. We’ll update… Continue Reading

Cross-Device Tracking Attracts Interest From Regulators, Prompts Guidance From Industry Group

Posted in Compliance, FTC, Marketing, Privacy

Cross-device tracking is a hot new issue for regulators. Companies engaged in the practice should take note of two recent developments. On November 16, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a workshop on the issue and, perhaps not coincidentally, on the same day the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) addressed the applicability of its interest-based… Continue Reading

California Passes Four Bills Protecting Privacy Rights

Posted in Data Security, Privacy

Last week was a big one for California’s privacy regime. In a landmark move, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law four bills further protecting Californians’ privacy rights: Three strengthen the state’s data breach notification statute and impose restrictions on operators of automated license plate recognition systems (ALPRs), and one requires law enforcement to obtain a… Continue Reading

ECJ Safe Harbor Opinion Has Implications for All Data Transfers Out of Europe

Posted in Privacy

Yesterday the European Court of Justice (ECJ) followed the core of the Opinion of the Advocate General (AG) in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner (Case No. C-362/14). In sum, the ECJ held that: 1. Member State Data Protection Authorities (DPA) must be allowed to: examine complaints from individuals regarding the treatment of their personal information… Continue Reading

Status Updates: Court nixes VPPA claim; lawyer suspended over blog posts; Facebook ‘unfriending’ cited in bullying decision

Posted in Cyberbullying, Ethics, Litigation, Privacy

Tale of the tape. The Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), which requires video service providers to destroy personally identifiable information after a specified time, doesn’t provide a private right of action for plaintiffs whose information was retained beyond that period. So held the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Rodriguez v. Sony,… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The July/August Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Bankruptcy, Cloud Computing, Copyright, First Amendment, FTC, Infographic, Internet of Things, IP, Livestreaming, Online Reviews, Privacy, Trademark, Wearable Computers

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we present a “grand unifying theory” of today’s leading technologies and the legal challenges these technologies raise; we discuss whether hashtags can be protected under trademark law; we explore the… Continue Reading

Employer Access to Employee Social Media: Applicant Screening, “Friend” Requests and Workplace Investigations

Posted in Compliance, Employment Law, Privacy

A recent survey of hiring managers and human resource professionals reports that more than 43 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. This interest in social networking does not end when the candidate is hired: To the contrary, companies are seeking to leverage the personal social media networks of their existing employees,… Continue Reading

“Never Say Never”: Lessons From RadioShack’s Sale of Customer Information

Posted in Bankruptcy, Privacy

When a bankrupt company’s most valuable assets include consumer information, a tension arises between bankruptcy policy aimed at maximizing asset value, on the one hand, and privacy laws designed to protect consumers’ personal information, on the other. Such tension played out recently in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of RadioShack, where the bankrupt retailer’s attempt… Continue Reading

Toward a Grand Unifying Theory of Today’s Tech Trends

Posted in Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Marketing, Privacy, Wearable Computers

As a technology law blogger and co-editor of Socially Aware, I monitor emerging developments in information technology. What’s hot in IT today? Any shortlist would have to include social media, mobile, wearable technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and big data. That list is all over the map, right? Or is it? On… Continue Reading

Digital Advertising Alliance Focuses on Mobile Ads

Posted in Marketing, Online Promotions, Privacy

As more users spend more time on their mobile devices, advertising dollars are following. And the compliance regime that governs interest-based advertising (IBA) (formerly referred to as online behavioral advertising or OBA) is expanding as well. (IBA is the collection of information about users’ online activities across different websites or mobile applications, over time, for… Continue Reading

Status Updates: Errand Apps for Everyone?; A Right to Be Forgotten Update; Your Entire Google Search History

Posted in First Amendment, Privacy, Status Updates

Lest we forget. Established a year ago this month by a European Court of Justice decision, the right to be forgotten requires search engines like Google to comply with an individual’s request to remove “inadequate, irrelevant,” or “excessive” links that appear in search results when someone conducts an Internet search of the individual’s name. The ruling gives… Continue Reading

The FTC Weighs in on In-Store Tracking. Or Does It?

Posted in FTC, Privacy

In law school, everybody learns the adage that hard cases make bad law. When it comes to the Federal Trade Commission, a better aphorism might be, “easy cases make new law.” The FTC’s recent settlement with Nomi Technologies Inc. is, as the FTC’s press release notes, the “FTC’s first against a retail tracking company.” On… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The May Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, First Amendment, FTC, Infographic, Internet of Things, IP, Privacy, Terms of Use

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we discuss a recent decision in Virginia protecting the anonymity of Yelp users; we examine the FTC’s much anticipated report, “Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World;”… Continue Reading

Court Protects Anonymity of Yelp Users

Posted in Defamation, First Amendment, Litigation, Privacy

  Virginia’s highest court recently held that Yelp could not be forced to turn over the identities of anonymous online reviewers that a Virginia carpet-cleaning owner claimed tarnished his business. In the summer of 2012, Joseph Hadeed, owner of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, sued seven anonymous Yelp reviewers after receiving a series of critical reviews. Hadeed alleged that… Continue Reading

The New Frontier in Interest Based Advertising: FTC Shifts Focus to Cross-Device Tracking

Posted in FTC, Internet of Things, Privacy

As consumers increasingly connect to the Internet using multiple devices—such as mobile phones, tablets, computers, TVs and wearable devices—advertising technology companies have rapidly developed capabilities to reach the same consumers across their various devices. Such “cross-device” tracking enables companies to target ads to the same consumer regardless of the platform, device, or application being used…. Continue Reading

Five Vital Questions on the Implications of UK Law on Social Media

Posted in Employment Law, Online Promotions, Privacy

Chevy Kelly, a partner in the UK-based Social Media Leadership Forum, recently sat down with Socially Aware’s own Sue McLean, a Social Media Leadership Forum member, to discuss the legal implications of UK companies’ use of social media as part of their marketing strategies. Chevy Kelly: In your opinion, what are the top three legal risks… Continue Reading

Data for the Taking: Using Website Terms and Conditions to Combat Web Scraping

Posted in Privacy, Terms of Use

Is it stealing to take data without permission from a public website, or is it simply making use of resources that are made available to you? “Web scraping” or “screen scraping” is the practice of extracting large amounts of data from public websites using bots. A recent case in the European Court of Justice has… Continue Reading

Social Media 2015: Addressing Corporate Risks

Posted in Event, FTC, Privacy, Terms of Use

Social media is transforming the way companies interact with consumers. Learn how to make the most of these online opportunities while minimizing your company’s risk at Practicing Law Institute’s (PLI) 2015 Social Media conference, chaired by Socially Aware editor John Delaney. This year’s program features speakers from American Express, BuzzFeed, Dell, and Foursquare. There will also be a “Meet the Regulators”… Continue Reading

Social Media 2015: Addressing Corporate Risks

Posted in Employment Law, Event, Online Promotions, Privacy

Please join Socially Aware editor John Delaney as he chairs Practising Law Institute’s (PLI) “Social Media 2015: Addressing Corporate Risks.” Issues to be addressed at the conference include: Friending, Tagging and Tweeting: Social Media Overview User-Generated Content: Liability Concerns and Safe Harbors Social Media in the Workplace: Emerging Issues Social Media, Mobile Apps and the Emerging Regulatory Landscape Hot… Continue Reading

Looking Ahead in 2015: Obama Announces Push for Privacy Legislation in Final Term

Posted in Privacy

President Obama provided a preview of his State of the Union address next week which will propose comprehensive data privacy legislation, including a nationwide data-breach notification law, a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and limitations on the use of student data. The announcement comes at a pivotal time for privacy in the wake of the… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The December Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, Infographic, Internet of Things, Litigation, Privacy, Terms of Use

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we look at several topics surrounding the proverbial online thumbs up, including the emerging legal status of Facebook likes and similar social media constructs; Facebook’s recent prohibition of the popular… Continue Reading