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Category Archives: Privacy

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The Hague District Court’s WhatsApp Decision Creates Concerns for Mobile App Developers

Posted in European Union, Privacy

Can the mere offering of a mobile app subject the provider of such app to the privacy laws of countries in the European Union (EU)—even if the provider does not have any establishments or presence in the EU? The answer from the District Court of The Hague to that question is yes. The court confirmed… Continue Reading

Social Links: NJ court allows police to read suspects’ private messages; tech companies’ increased control over users’ devices; an app that blocks political posts

Posted in Advertising, Litigation, Privacy

A New Jersey court rules that state police can examine a suspect’s private social media messages without having to apply for an order under the state’s wiretapping laws. Technology companies are exercising a lot of control ever over users’ devices remotely, and it’s implicating privacy issues. Social media companies are reportedly considering putting up on their… Continue Reading

Now Available: The February Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter

Posted in Compliance, Data Security, Litigation, Section 230 Safe Harbor, UK

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this edition,we examine a spate of court decisions that appear to rein in the historically broad scope of the Communications Decency Act’s Section 230 safe harbor for website operators; we outline ten steps companies can take to be better prepared for a security breach incident;… Continue Reading

Social Links: Will a fan-made Star Trek prequel live long and prosper?; California bans driving while Snapchatting; apps that facilitate infidelity

Posted in European Union, Litigation, Marketing, Online Reviews, Privacy

A federal district court judge refused to grant summary judgment to the copyright owners of the Star Trek franchise in the infringement suit they brought against the team behind a fan-made, crowdfunded prequel to the original Star Trek television series. Strict new European Union privacy rules will restrict Internet companies’ access to consumers’ data. Brands might… Continue Reading

2017: Predictions From Socially Aware’s Editors and Contributors

Posted in Blockchain, Compliance, Free Speech, Marketing, Patent, Privacy

The beginning of a new year is a time for resolutions and predictions. We won’t bother Socially Aware readers with our resolutions for 2017, but we thought that we would share some predictions for the new year from our editors and contributors. As our predictions below indicate, 2017 promises to be an eventful year for… Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Email Stored Outside the U.S. Might Be Beyond Government’s Reach

Posted in Litigation, Privacy, Stored Communications Act

As a result of the Second Circuit’s recent opinion in Microsoft v. United States, the U.S. government likely can no longer use warrants issued pursuant to the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) to compel U.S.-based companies to produce communications, such as emails, that are stored in a physical location outside of the United States—at least for… Continue Reading

Social Links: Facebook at Work; Google’s Allo messaging app; Snapchat’s Spectacles

Posted in Cyberbullying, Free Speech, Privacy, Wearable Computers

Facebook at Work, the on-the-job version of the web’s most popular social media platform, will launch in London on October 10th. Add iHeartRadio to the list of Internet radio platforms that will be offering an on demand music streaming service. California law will be updated to explicitly prohibit drivers from browsing social media or taking… Continue Reading

Social Links: Yelp’s Communications Decency Act claim; Twitter loosens its character limit; building a Snapchat audience

Posted in Cyberbullying, Data Security, Internet of Things, Litigation, Marketing, Online Reviews, Privacy

The California Supreme Court agreed to hear Yelp’s case arguing that requiring the company to remove a one-star review of a law firm “creates a gaping hole” in the immunity that shields internet service providers from suits related to user-generated content. Images, videos and quoted tweets no longer count toward Twitter’s 140-charter limit. Google is… Continue Reading

Cybercrime and Victim Shaming

Posted in Data Security, Hacking, Litigation, Privacy

Our Morrison & Foerster colleague and Socially Aware contributor Miriam Wugmeister has published a thought provoking and insightful op-ed piece in The Hill on how companies that are the targets of cyberattacks are too often treated as suspects, rather than victims, by regulators. In her op-ed, titled Stop Victim Shaming in Cyberattacks, Miriam points out that defending… Continue Reading

Social Links: Instagram’s “offensive comment” filter; Twitter’s TV app; YouTube’s “Community” feature

Posted in Advertising, Cyberbullying, European Union, First Amendment, Litigation, Livestreaming, Marketing, Privacy

Instagram now allows users to hide offensive comments posted to their feeds. Take that trolls! Soon you’ll be able to watch Twitter content like NFL Thursday Night Football on a Twitter app on Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon Fire TV. “Ballot selfie” laws—laws that prohibit posting online photos of completed election ballots—are being challenged… Continue Reading

Social Links: Snapchat ad revenue grows; the UK’s revenge porn problem; laws that enable control of digital assets after death

Posted in Advertising, Cyberbullying, Free Speech, Marketing, Privacy

Snapchat is on track to rake in an enormous amount of ad revenue by 2017. Also, there’s mounting evidence that the company is working toward developing a Google Glass-like product. We have written previously about the scourge of revenge porn; it turns out the UK has a serious revenge porn problem, too. A new law… Continue Reading

Social Links: Google penalizes sites with pop-up ads; proposed Federal legislation to criminalize revenge porn; ad industry group questions Kardashians’ social media posts

Posted in Advertising, Employment Law, Endorsement Guides, Free Speech, FTC, Labor Law, Litigation, Marketing, Mobile, Privacy

Google is cracking down on mobile pop-up ads by knocking down the search-result position of websites that use them. The National Labor Relations Board decided a social media policy that Chipotle had in place for its employees violates federal labor law. A group of lawmakers plans to introduce legislation that would criminalize revenge porn—explicit images… Continue Reading

Now Available: The August Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter

Posted in Cyberbullying, E-Commerce, Infographic, Marketing, Mobile, Privacy, Protected Speech, Right To Be Forgotten, 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 the impact online trolls are having on social media marketing; we revisit whether hashtags should be afforded trademark protection; we explain how an unusual New… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Case Demonstrates That the Social Media Platform, Not the User, Is in Control

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

We have written before about website operators’ use of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to combat data scraping. We have also noted a number of recent cases in which courts held that social media platforms, rather than the users of those platforms, have the right to control content on and access to… Continue Reading

First Circuit Issues Potentially Significant Ruling on Federal Video Privacy Statute’s Application to Mobile Apps

Posted in Litigation, Mobile, Privacy

The First Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. may carry important implications for mobile app providers seeking to navigate federal privacy laws—in particular, the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (“VPPA”). Although Yershov is not the first case to consider how the VPPA applies to mobile apps, the opinion contains… Continue Reading

Social Links: Twitter’s troll problem; Snapchat fat-shamer risks prosecution; a federal anti-revenge-porn law?

Posted in Cyberbullying, Disappearing Content, First Amendment, Free Speech, Litigation, Livestreaming, Mobile, Privacy, Protected Speech

Facebook Messenger joins the elite “one billion monthly users” club just four years after its release as a standalone app. A Canadian judge ordered a couple convicted of child neglect to post to all their social media accounts his decision describing their crime. Leslie Jones of Ghostbusters highlights Twitter’s trolling problem. One tech columnist says… Continue Reading

Augmenting Reality: A Pokémon Go Business and Legal Primer

Posted in Litigation, Mobile, Privacy

We have become inured to the sight of people staring at their phones rather than engaging with one another or enjoying their real-life surroundings. But, over the past two weeks, enslavement to mobile devices rose to new levels, with smartphones and tablets actually propelling users’ movements in the real world as opposed to merely distracting… Continue Reading

Social Links: Appeals court opinions show reach of anti-hacking law; a virtual reality sickness cure; intrigue at Vine

Posted in IP, Litigation, Livestreaming, Patent, Privacy, UK

The UK wants to use the blockchain to track the spending of welfare recipients. Some believe that a recent Ninth Circuit holding could turn sharing passwords into a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. And another Ninth Circuit opinion sided with Facebook in a closely-watched case interpreting the same federal law, this… Continue Reading

Social Links: Kids roll eyes as parents embrace Snapchat; teen sues Snapchat over sexual content; Snapchat to become less ephemeral with new “Memories” feature (plus some other news not involving Snapchat)

Posted in Asia, Disappearing Content, E-Commerce, Litigation, Livestreaming, Marketing, Privacy

Snapchat has caught on with “oldies” (that’s people 35 and older, FYI). Facebook Messenger is testing “Secret” mode, a feature that allows some messages to be read only by the recipient. A South Korean copy of Snapchat has taken off in Asia. Using social media to help promote your brand? Here’s a list of top… Continue Reading

Europe’s Right to Be Forgotten Spreads to Asia

Posted in Free Speech, Privacy

In May 2014, in a decision attracting worldwide attention, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that a European individual’s privacy rights include the “right to be forgotten,” requiring Internet search engine providers to honor an individual’s request to remove certain search results relating to him or her. Specifically, individuals may request deletion of links… Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Rules That State Attorney General’s Privacy Suit Over Fly Delta Mobile App Is Preempted

Posted in Compliance, Litigation, Privacy

In the recently decided People ex rel. Harris v. Delta Air Lines, California’s Court of Appeal unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the State of California’s complaint against Delta Air Lines, Inc., which alleged that the company’s Fly Delta mobile application violated California’s privacy laws. The Court of Appeal held that the lawsuit was expressly preempted… Continue Reading

Will Ad Blockers Kill Online Publishing?

Posted in Advertising, Litigation, Privacy

The Internet contains over 4.6 billion Web pages, most of which are accessible for free, making content that we used to have to pay for—news, videos, games—available without having to hand over a credit card number. What makes all of this possible is online advertising. As Internet industry commentator Larry Downes has noted, “If no… Continue Reading

Social Links—Twitter loosens up; case against Google stands; should millennials be in charge of big social media campaigns?

Posted in Litigation, Livestreaming, Marketing, Privacy, Section 230 Safe Harbor

Here’s how Twitter is loosening up its 140-character limit. The federal government will now check the social media history of prospective employees before granting them security clearance. One expert says C-level executives shouldn’t entrust millennials with their companies’ social media feeds. Federal court refuses to dismiss a lawsuit against Google for allegedly removing sites from… Continue Reading