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Category Archives: Privacy

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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

Social Links—Instagram’s logo change causes a stir; stats on social media use at work; lessons from a YouTube star.

Posted in First Amendment, Livestreaming, Marketing, Privacy, Protected Speech, Statistics

The Great Instagram Logo Freakout of 2016. A UK council policy reportedly grants its members power to spy on residents by setting up fake Facebook profiles. Guess who spends more of their workday on social media, women or men? Lessons from one of YouTube’s first (and most successful) stars. Should sharing tragic images on social… Continue Reading

Social Links—The most disliked movie trailer ever; using social media to plan trips and land job interviews; and more.

Posted in Digital Content, Privacy, Wearable Computers

Facebook users spend more time on the platform than they spend pursuing any other leisure activity, except TV. Indeed, 1/16th of the average user’s waking time is spent on the platform. The most disliked movie trailer in history, according to YouTube. New California law would determine what happens to your Facebook and email when you die…. Continue Reading

Social Links—Fines for social-media-posting jurors; Microinfluencers; Snapchat’s and Tinder’s sketchy new features

Posted in Advertising, Disappearing Content, Litigation, Privacy

A lawsuit alleges this Snapchat feature is making driving even more dangerous, and it’s not texting or instant messaging. This state is considering imposing hefty fines on jurors who post information to social media about the lawsuits they’re hearing. Facebook pulls back the veil (ever so slightly) on political ads. The exposure of the personal… Continue Reading

Now Available: The April Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter

Posted in Advertising, Digital Content, E-Commerce, Employment Law, European Union, Internet of Things, IP, Labor Law, 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. In this edition, we discuss what a company can do to help protect the likes, followers, views, tweets and shares that constitute its social media “currency”; we… Continue Reading

Social Links—Facebook-spying litigators; employees’ social media posts; Europe’s Right To Be Forgotten

Posted in Employment Law, Ethics, European Union, FTC, Litigation, Online Endorsements, Privacy, Protected Speech

Defense lawyers who checked out the Facebook page of a plaintiff suing their client can be prosecuted for attorney misconduct, New Jersey judge rules. Norwegian band changes its name to avoid “social media censorship.” Can public agencies control their employees’ social media posts? Google has complete discretion over whether or not to grant “right to… Continue Reading

Digital Single Market Strategy Update: Europe Proposes Further Harmonisation of Consumer Protection Laws

Posted in Data Security, Digital Content, E-Commerce, Privacy

The European Commission has published two draft directives on the supply of digital content and the online sale of goods that aim to help harmonise consumer law across Europe. In proposing these new laws, the European Union is making progress towards one of the main goals in its Digital Single Market Strategy (announced in May… Continue Reading

HIPAA and Health Care Apps: Is Your App Covered?

Posted in Data Security, Privacy, Product Liability

Health care apps are one of the most important and growing segments in the ecosystem known as the Internet of Things (IoT). After the recent amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that—among other things—broadened the definition of a “Business Associate,” many technology companies found themselves wondering whether they were, or were… Continue Reading

Privacy Shield vs. Safe Harbor: A Different Name for an Improved Agreement?

Posted in Big Data, Data Security, European Union, Privacy

The European Commission (the “Commission”) and the U.S. Department of Commerce issued the draft legal texts for the much anticipated EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (the “Shield”), set to replace the currently inoperative Safe Harbor program (“Safe Harbor”). The new agreement is aimed at restoring the trust of individuals in the transatlantic partnership and the digital economy,… Continue Reading

Employer Surveillance of Internet and Email Use in the Workplace in Germany

Posted in Data Security, Employment Law, Privacy

Is an employer allowed to access an employee’s email account when the employee is on sick leave? To what extent is control permissible when an employee is suspected of illegal activities, e.g., of leaking trade secrets? In Germany, these questions are at the crossroads of data privacy and telecommunications law with their respective administrative and even… Continue Reading

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