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Category Archives: Privacy

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

Posted in DMCA, FDA Regulations, Litigation, Privacy, Statistics, Supreme Court, 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 examine the use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to combat web scraping; we explore the launch of Google Glass in the UK… Continue Reading

Picture This: Online Photos and Big Data

Posted in Privacy

As the quality of visual recognition software continues to improve, privacy concerns have grown concomitantly. Because we now document our lives with so many pictures posted to social media—Facebook hosts over 250 billion photos, with 350 million new photos added every day—photographs are becoming hugely important to the big data movement. Indeed, some say Facebook… Continue Reading

Data for the Taking: Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Combat Web Scraping

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

“Web scraping” or “web harvesting”—the practice of extracting large amounts of data from publicly available websites using automated “bots” or “spiders”—accounted for 18% of site visitors and 23% of all Internet traffic in 2013. Websites targeted by scrapers may incur damages resulting from, among other things, increased bandwidth usage, network crashes, the need to employ… Continue Reading

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

Posted in FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Terms of Use, UK High Court

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. Welcome to a special privacy issue of Socially Aware, focusing on recent privacy law developments relating to social media and the Internet. In this issue, we analyze a controversial European ruling that strengthens the right to be forgotten; we examine a recent California… Continue Reading

“Do You Want to Know a Secret?” The Risks Posed by Anonymous Social Apps

Posted in Privacy

First we had social media platforms, but recently a variety of “anti-social” media platforms have emerged—well, anti-social in a sense. For years, social media platforms have encouraged (or even, in some cases, required) us to use our real identities, with the aim of building friendships and networks in the online world. But these new social… Continue Reading

California AG Offers Best Practices for Do Not Track Disclosures; Crucial Compliance Questions Left Unanswered

Posted in Privacy

California Attorney General Kamala Harris released a long-awaited report entitled Making Your Privacy Practices Public (Report) on May 21, 2014. The Report recommends “best practices” for compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA). It was originally intended to answer critical questions about exactly what website, online service, and mobile application operators (collectively, “site… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Copyright, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Litigation, Privacy, SEC, Supreme Court, 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 analyze a groundbreaking FTC complaint alleging deceptive practices online that could turn website Terms of Use into federal law; we summarize a U.S. Supreme… Continue Reading

French Consumer Association Takes on Internet Giants

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

Earlier this year, the French consumer association UFC-Que Choisir initiated proceedings before the Paris District Court against Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., accusing these companies of using confusing and unlawful online privacy policies and terms of use agreements in the French versions of their social media platforms; in particular, the consumer association argued… Continue Reading

European Court of Justice Strengthens Right to Be Forgotten

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a quite surprising decision against Google which has significant implications for global companies. On May 13, 2014 the ECJ issued a ruling which did not follow the rationale or the conclusions of its Advocate General, but instead sided with the Spanish data protection authority (DPA) and found that:… Continue Reading

Snap Judgment: FTC Alleges Snapchat Did Not Keep Its Privacy and Security Promises, But Suggests Broad New Duty in the Process

Posted in FTC, Privacy

Snapchat’s recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) generally provides a comprehensive but not groundbreaking roadmap to the FTC’s privacy and data security expectations in the mobile environment under Section 5 of the FTC Act, with two very notable exceptions: It now appears that companies are required to follow researchers’ blogs and other writings… Continue Reading

If You Host Videos on Your Website, Read This Blog Post Regarding the Video Privacy Protection Act

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

In a much anticipated decision in the class action In re Hulu Privacy Litigation, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has shed new light on the meaning of “personally identifiable information” (PII) under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). This has important implications for companies… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Copyright, Discovery, DMCA, E-Discovery, Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Privacy, 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 summarize the current status of various state laws restricting employer access to the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees; we explore how… Continue Reading

Jerked Around? Did the FTC’s “Jerk.com” Complaint Just Turn API Terms Into Federal Law?

Posted in FTC, Litigation, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) announcement that it had filed a complaint against Jerk, LLC and its websites like “jerk.com” (“Jerk”) looks at first glance like a run-of-the-mill FTC Section 5 enforcement action involving allegedly deceptive practices online. But hidden in the facts of Jerk’s alleged misbehavior is a potentially significant expansion of the FTC’s use… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 2: The Old Problem Squared

Posted in Ethics, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Privacy

Cisco estimates that 25 billion devices will be connected in the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020. Analyst firm IDC makes an even bolder prediction: 212 billion connected devices by 2020. This massive increase in connectedness will drive a wave of innovation and could generate up to $19 trillion in… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 1: Brave New World

Posted in FTC, Internet of Things, Privacy

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of everyday physical objects that surround us and are increasingly being embedded with technology to enable those objects to collect and transmit data about their use and surroundings. TVs connected to the Internet and refrigerators connected to online delivery services are just the start of it. In… Continue Reading

Employer Access to Employee Social Media: Applicant Screening, ‘Friend’ Requests and Workplace Investigations

Posted in Employment Law, Privacy

A 2013 CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers and human resource professionals reports that more than two in five companies 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… Continue Reading

A Smart Wallet

Posted in Financial Institutions, FTC, Privacy

Another great post from our sister blog, MoFo Tech: The potential for mobile payments is huge. So are the potential legal and regulatory hurdles. Banks, retailers, and pundits are paying a lot of attention to mobile payments, which typically involve the use of smartphones and tablets to pay for purchases.  But a lack of mobile infrastructure… Continue Reading

German Court Rules Against Facebook’s “Friend Finder”

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

On January 24, 2014, in a case filed against Facebook by German consumer protection association VZBV, the Berlin Court of Appeal (“Court”) upheld a lower court ruling that Facebook’s “Friend Finder” function is unlawful. The Court agreed with the Berlin Regional Court’s 2012 decision that the Friend Finder function violates both German data protection law… Continue Reading

Social Media 2014: Addressing Corporate Risks

Posted in Employment Law, Event, IP, Online Promotions, Privacy

Please join Socially Aware editor John Delaney as he chairs Practising Law Institute’s (PLI) “Social Media 2014: Addressing Corporate Risks.” Issues to be addressed at the conference include: Social media: how it works, and why it is transforming the business world Drafting and updating social media policies User-generated content and related IP concerns Ensuring protection… Continue Reading

New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter Available

Posted in Employment Law, Financial Institutions, First Amendment, FTC, Privacy

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 summarize the FFIEC’s recently-issued final guidance on social media use by financial institutions; we report on a new NLRB decision holding that particularly egregious… Continue Reading

Keeping Privates Private: The Legal Landscape of Revenge Porn

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, First Amendment, Privacy

Mark Zuckerberg famously stated that the purpose of Facebook is “to make the world more open and connected,” and indeed Facebook, other social media outlets and the Internet in general have brought worldwide openness and connection-through-sharing to levels unparalleled at any point in history. With this new universe of limitless dissemination often comes the stripping… Continue Reading

Website Operators Await Final Guidance Regarding Compliance With California’s “Do-Not-Track” Disclosure Requirements

Posted in Privacy

Even with the publication of draft “best practices” by the California Attorney General (AG), website operators remain uncertain as to their obligations under the new do-not-track disclosure requirements of the state’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”), which took effect on January 1, 2014. The new provisions require privacy policy disclosures with respect to:  (1) a… Continue Reading