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Category Archives: Privacy

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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

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