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Tag Archives: Facebook

Jerked Around? Did the FTC’s “Jerk.com” Complaint Just Turn API Terms Into Federal Law?

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) announcement earlier this week that it had filed a complaint against Jerk, LLC and its websites like “jerk.com” (“Jerk”) looks at first glance like a run-of-the-mill FTC Section 5 enforcement action involving allegedly deceptive practices online. But hidden in the facts of Jerk’s alleged misbehavior is a potentially significant expansion… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 2: The Old Problem Squared

Posted in Ethics, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Privacy

Cisco estimates that 25 billion devices will be connected in the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020. Analyst firm IDC makes an even bolder prediction: 212 billion connected devices by 2020. This massive increase in connectedness will drive a wave of innovation and could generate up to $19 trillion in… Continue Reading

U.S. Courts’ Evolving Approaches to Social Media E-Discovery

Posted in Discovery, E-Discovery, Litigation

Courts across the United States have now made clear that discovery of social media is fair game. At the same time, courts have consistently found that litigants will not be permitted to engage in social media fishing expeditions; rather, litigants will be required to show that the sites likely contain relevant material. We explore below… Continue Reading

German Court Rules Against Facebook’s “Friend Finder”

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

On January 24, 2014, in a case filed against Facebook by German consumer protection association VZBV, the Berlin Court of Appeal (“Court”) upheld a lower court ruling that Facebook’s “Friend Finder” function is unlawful. The Court agreed with the Berlin Regional Court’s 2012 decision that the Friend Finder function violates both German data protection law… Continue Reading

Uncovering a Line in the Sand: Employee Social Media Use and the NLRA

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation

If an employee calls his supervisor a “nasty motherf[**]ker” on Facebook, would the employee lose the protection that he would otherwise enjoy under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?  Probably not, according to National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) decisions like Pier Sixty LLC. In Pier Sixty, an employee reacted to a labor dispute by posting… Continue Reading

Refining the First Amendment Status of Social Media Activity by Government Employees

Posted in Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in Pickering v. Board of Education allows governmental employers, including law enforcement agencies, to fire or discipline employees for disrupting operations with excessive complaining, but it prohibits governmental employers from firing or disciplining an employee for speaking out on matters of public concern as a private citizen if the employee’s… Continue Reading

FFIEC Issues Final Guidance on Social Media Usage by Financial Institutions

Posted in Financial Institutions

On December 11, 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) issued final guidance for financial institutions relating to their use of social media (the “Guidance”).  With its release, the FFIEC adopts its January 2013 proposed guidance in substantially the same form.  (Socially Aware’s overview of the proposed guidance is available here.) Financial institutions should… Continue Reading

Two Circuits Address the First Amendment Status of Facebook Activity

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy, Supreme Court

Two recent U.S. appellate court decisions have clarified the extent to which the First Amendment protects the social media activities of government employees.  In Gresham v. City of Atlanta, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit found that an individual’s First Amendment interest in posting to Facebook is reduced when he or she configures… Continue Reading

Potential Limitations Placed on Unilateral Right to Modify Terms of Use

Posted in Litigation, Terms of Use

Contractual provisions giving a website operator the unilateral right to change its end user terms of service are ubiquitous and appear in the online terms of many major social media sites and other websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google. Although amendments to terms of service quite often cause consumers to complain, litigation regarding such… Continue Reading

Is Your Account Tweeting Without You Knowing It? Twitter Upgrades to Two-Factor Authentication

Posted in Privacy

On April 15, 2013, the Associated Press’s Twitter account reported that President Obama had been injured in an explosion at the White House. Within seconds of the announcement, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 150 points. Fortunately, the President’s Press Secretary quickly confirmed that the President was unharmed and, soon after, the Associated… Continue Reading

The Diet Has Spoken: Japanese Lawmakers Approve Internet-Enabled Campaigning

Posted in Asia

In February 2013, we reported on legislative momentum in the Japanese Diet to bring Japan’s sixty-year-old election laws into the brave new world of Web 2.0. On April 19, 2013, that reform effort came to fruition, when a bill permitting the use of the Internet during election campaign periods passed both Houses of the legislature—just… Continue Reading

Stop Insider Tweeting!—Feds Eye Social Media for Securities Shenanigans

Posted in Financial Institutions, SEC, Securities Law

Article courtesy of Morrison & Foerster’s MoFo Tech As financial institutions and investors turn to social media to instantly share snippets of news and potential clues about market trends, the FBI and SEC are monitoring such postings for evidence of insider trading and improper investment information. Companies must comply with pre-Internet federal securities laws covering… Continue Reading

SEC Offers Guidance on Use of Social Media for Public Disclosure

Posted in SEC, Securities Law

On April 2, 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued guidance in the form of the Report of Investigation under Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 which indicates that social media channels—such as Twitter and Facebook—could be used by public companies to disseminate material information, without running afoul of Regulation… Continue Reading

More Trouble With Work-Related Social Media Accounts

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

We have written before about cases involving disputes between employers and employees over work-related social media accounts, but a new case out of Arizona federal court raises issues that appear to be unlike those we have addressed previously. In Castle Megastore Group, Inc. v. Wilson, plaintiff Castle Megastore Group (CMG), a retailer of novelty and… Continue Reading

Can Touting Your New Job on Social Media Sites Violate a Non-Solicitation Agreement?

Posted in Litigation

According to a federal judge in Oklahoma in Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. v. Cahill, simply sharing information about a new job over social media does not mean that you are inviting former co-workers to come join you in violation of a non-solicitation agreement. On February 12, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge James Payne of the… Continue Reading

A Fistful of Data: Facebook and Profile Technology, Inc. Showdown Over the Right to Use Outdated User Information

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

As social media matures and users become more concerned about the privacy of the information they publish online, New Zealand-based search engine app company Profile Technology, Inc. and Facebook are engaged in a legal battle stemming from a dispute over the right to use certain user data. The story first came to light in October… Continue Reading

German Court Says Facebook Not Subject to German Law

Posted in Litigation

Facebook may be gaining ground in its struggle against German authorities. In a preliminary ruling, the state of Schleswig-Holstein’s Administrative Court has rejected penalties against Facebook Inc. and Facebook Ireland, stating that the social network is not subject to German law. The Schleswig-Holstein state data protection authority (the ULD) started enforcement proceedings against the social… Continue Reading

Decades-Old Japanese Electioneering Law May Get a Web 2.0 Refresh

Posted in Asia

Here at Socially Aware, we report regularly on the difficulties inherent in applying long-established laws to new technologies like social media. An interesting example of this is unfolding in Japan: it concerns a decades-old law that has been interpreted to prohibit candidates, parties, and even the voting public from engaging in most campaign-related activities on… Continue Reading

Watch What You Tweet: Proposed Social Media Guidance for Financial Institutions

Posted in Financial Institutions, Privacy

With the explosive growth of social media, consumers increasingly expect to be able to interact online with the companies from which they buy goods and services. As a result, financial institutions have begun to explore the use of social media, both to strengthen relationships with existing customers and to attract new ones. Financial institutions, however,… Continue Reading

Socially Aware Looks Back: The Social Media Law Year in Review

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy

2012 was a momentous year for social media law. We’ve combed through the court decisions, the legislative initiatives, the regulatory actions and the corporate trends to identify what we believe to be the ten most significant social media law developments of the past year–here they are, in no particular order: Bland v. Roberts – A… Continue Reading

New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter Now Available

Posted in Employment Law, FCC, FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Section 230 Safe Harbor, Statistics, Terms of Use, Trademark

In the latest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we look at recent First Amendment, intellectual property, labor and privacy law developments affecting corporate users of social media and the Internet. We also recap major events from 2012 that have had a substantial impact on… Continue Reading

Facebook ’em, Danno: Federal Court May Decide Whether Citizens Have First Amendment Right to Use Social Media to Publicly Criticize the Hawaii 5-0

Posted in Litigation

On top of a presidential election, protests over Instagram’s terms of use, and the invention of gloves that can translate sign language, 2012 also brought to light interesting constitutional issues involving public entities’ use of social media when a citizens’ group filed suit against the City and County of Honolulu for “violations of [the group’s]… Continue Reading