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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Category Archives: Privacy

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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

Information wants to be (not quite) free. In its early years, the Internet was often seen as a vehicle for democratizing data, taking information that was previously accessible only to a select few and making it available to the masses. Many Internet entrepreneurs still espouse those ideals, developing business models that cut out the middle… 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

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

Posted in FTC, Internet of Things, Litigation, Privacy, Statistics, 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 an important Ninth Circuit decision refusing to enforce an arbitration clause in a website “terms of use” agreement; we examine “Operation Full Disclosure,”… Continue Reading

New California Privacy Law Revisions Will Impact Website and Mobile App Operators With Users Under Age 18

Posted in Privacy

Last year, California made child-related revisions to its Online Privacy Protection Act that have ramifications even for websites and other online services that are not directed to children.  The revision, “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World,” imposes obligations on any website, application, or other online service that (1) is directed to minors—that… Continue Reading

Privacy in the Cloud: A Legal Framework for Moving Personal Data to the Cloud

Posted in Cloud Computing, Privacy

For many companies, the main question about cloud computing is no longer whether to move their data to the “cloud,” but how they can accomplish this transition. Cloud (or Internet-based on-demand) computing involves a shift away from reliance on a company’s own local computing resources, in favor of greater reliance on shared servers and data… Continue Reading

Entangled in the Web of Things. By Finding New Uses for Data, the Internet of Things Heralds a Host of Challenges.

Posted in Privacy

From our sister blog, MoFo Tech: Within a decade, analysts say, the “Internet of Things” will have transformed our lives. Billions of Internet-connected devices will monitor our homes, businesses, cars, and even our bodies, using the data to manage everything from appliances to heart monitors. Companies like Google— which recently paid $3.2 billion for smart-thermostat company… Continue Reading

Breaking Old Ground: California Again Amends Data Security Breach Law

Posted in Privacy

Not to be outdone by Florida, California has yet again amended its data security breach law and again in groundbreaking (yet confusing) fashion. On September 30, 2014, California Governor Brown signed into law a bill (“AB 1710”) that appears to impose the country’s first requirement to provide free identity theft protection services to consumers in… Continue Reading

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