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Category Archives: Privacy

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New York’s Highest Court Rebuffs Facebook’s Efforts to Protect the Rights of Its Users in Search Warrant Fight

Posted in Litigation, Privacy, Stored Communications Act

Facebook’s four-year battle on behalf of its users, seeking to quash 381 warrants obtained by the New York County District Attorney’s Office, has come to a close. The decision of the New York Court of Appeals—which is New York’s highest court—leaves Facebook users exposed to wide-ranging and largely unchecked inquiries by New York criminal prosecutors… Continue Reading

8 Steps to Avoid Being the Victim of the Next Ransomware Attack

Posted in Data Security, Privacy

The global WannaCry ransomware attack should be a wake up call for all companies about the threat ransomware poses.  While WannaCry was one of the first highly publicized attacks in which ransomware was weaponized and used against numerous companies at once, there will undoubtedly be future attacks.  Companies can take proactive steps to reduce their… Continue Reading

Data Protection Masterclass: GDPR Is Less Than a Year Away: Are You on Track?

Posted in Data Security, Event, Privacy, Right To Be Forgotten

Live Webinar: June 6, 2017 at 12:00 PM (ET) / 9:00 AM (PT) The May 2018 compliance deadline for the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is fast approaching and—with non-compliance penalties of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover at stake—you cannot afford to miss the deadline. Please join Socially… Continue Reading

Court Orders Google to Turn Over Foreign-Stored Data

Posted in Litigation, Privacy, Stored Communications Act

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently secured a notable victory against Google in a dispute over the enforceability of a U.S. search warrant seeking access to foreign-stored account data. The April 19 ruling—from Magistrate Judge Beeler in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California—is the latest sign that DOJ is continuing… Continue Reading

Now Available: The April Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, European Union, Litigation, Marketing, Mobile, Privacy, Section 230 Safe Harbor

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this edition, we explore the threat to U.S. jobs posed by rapid advances in emerging technologies; we examine a Federal Trade Commission report on how companies engaging in cross-device tracking can stay on the right side of the law; we take a look at a… Continue Reading

Social Links: Twitter sues U.S. government to protect account holder’s ID; Minn. court orders Google to disclose users who searched crime victim’s name; Facebook targets revenge porn

Posted in Cyberbullying, First Amendment, Free Speech, Privacy

Twitter is suing the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to void a summons demanding records that would identify the creator of an anti-Trump Twitter account. Facebook has joined the fight against the nonconsensual dissemination of sexually explicit photos online—content known as “revenge porn”—by having specially trained employees review images flagged by users and… Continue Reading

Watch Out: The Federal Trade Commission Continues to Watch the (Alleged) Watchers

Posted in Data Security, Internet of Things, Privacy

If your company collects information regarding consumers though Internet-connected devices, you will want to take note of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent privacy-related settlement (brought in conjunction with the New Jersey Attorney General) with smart TV manufacturer Vizio, Inc. The settlement is significant for four reasons: The FTC reinforces the position it has taken… Continue Reading

Google Ordered to Comply with Warrant for Foreign-Stored User Data

Posted in Data Security, Privacy, Stored Communications Act

In a major development for cloud and other data storage providers, and further complicating the legal landscape for the cross-border handling of data, a Federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled for the Department of Justice and ordered Google, Inc., to comply with two search warrants for foreign-stored user data. The order… Continue Reading

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