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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Category Archives: Privacy

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Friday Links

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

Friday Links

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

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

Lest we forget. Established a year ago this month by a European Court of Justice decision, the right to be forgotten requires search engines like Google to comply with an individual’s request to remove “inadequate, irrelevant,” or “excessive” links that appear in search results when someone conducts an Internet search of the individual’s name. The ruling gives… 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