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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Tag Archives: Google

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

Since launching its Google+ social network three years ago, Google has insisted that Google+ users use only their real names on the network — no pseudonyms.  Perhaps in an effort to attract more users to Google+, the company has now abandoned its real-name policy — but has this change arrived too late to have an impact? Airbnb,… Continue Reading

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

A St. Louis juror’s use of Google to learn something about punitive damages during a trial, while qualifying as “knucklehead misconduct,” was not a sufficient basis for overturning the jury’s verdict, a judge has held. A new report on the “sharing economy” indicates that peer-to-peer sites such as Airbnb that facilitate private accommodation rentals are… Continue Reading

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

Posted in FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Terms of Use, UK High Court

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. Welcome to a special privacy issue of Socially Aware, focusing on recent privacy law developments relating to social media and the Internet. In this issue, we analyze a controversial European ruling that strengthens the right to be forgotten; we examine a recent California… Continue Reading

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

A Gallup survey found that a majority of Americans do not turn to social media when making purchasing decisions — but the survey appears to be flawed in several respects, especially because the information was gathered 18 months ago, which, let’s face it, is a virtual lifetime in social media marketing. Google has begun to implement… Continue Reading

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

Debt collectors are using social media more and more frequently to try to track down people who owe money, but they are bound by restrictions in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when they do so, just as if they used traditional means. The controversial “right to be forgotten” recently received another boost when a… Continue Reading

French Consumer Association Takes on Internet Giants

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

Earlier this year, the French consumer association UFC-Que Choisir initiated proceedings before the Paris District Court against Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., accusing these companies of using confusing and unlawful online privacy policies and terms of use agreements in the French versions of their social media platforms; in particular, the consumer association argued… Continue Reading

European Court of Justice Strengthens Right to Be Forgotten

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a quite surprising decision against Google which has significant implications for global companies. On May 13, 2014 the ECJ issued a ruling which did not follow the rationale or the conclusions of its Advocate General, but instead sided with the Spanish data protection authority (DPA) and found that:… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Copyright, Discovery, DMCA, E-Discovery, Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Privacy, 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 summarize the current status of various state laws restricting employer access to the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees; we explore how… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 1: Brave New World

Posted in FTC, Internet of Things, Privacy

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of everyday physical objects that surround us and are increasingly being embedded with technology to enable those objects to collect and transmit data about their use and surroundings. TVs connected to the Internet and refrigerators connected to online delivery services are just the start of it. In… Continue Reading

Google Ordered to Remove All Copies of Anti-Islamic Film From YouTube After Actress With Bit Part Threatened by Outraged Muslims; Decision Puzzles Copyright Attorneys

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation

An aspiring actress moves to California and finds her life threatened. While standard fare for pulp fiction, the case of Garcia v. Google involves a twist on this well-worn plot line that not even the most imaginative Hollywood scriptwriter could invent. Cindy Lee Garcia answered a casting call for a low-budget amateur movie with the… Continue Reading

Driving Under the Influence (of Google Glass)

Posted in Wearable Computers

In September 2013, Socially Aware took a close look at the potential legal issues confronting users of Google Glass, the now instantly recognizable, compact head-mounted display mounted on a pair of specially designed eyeglass frames, which lets wearers access a variety of customized smartphone features. In the meantime, Google’s Glass Explorer Program has expanded steadily. … Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press – New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter

Posted in FTC, Litigation, Online Promotions, Privacy, Wearable Computers

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue, we explore legal concerns raised by Google Glass; we provide an overview of the growing body of case law addressing ownership of business-related social media accounts; we take a look at two circuit court decisions addressing the interplay between social media… Continue Reading

Peering Into the Future: Google Glass and the Law

Posted in Privacy, Wearable Computers

Sign offered by Stop the Cyborgs to indicate a ‘no-Glass’ zone. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. What Is Google Glass? As most Socially Aware readers know, Google Glass (“Glass”) is a form of wearable technology that gives its users hands-free access to a variety of smartphone features by… Continue Reading

German Court Holds Google Responsible for Its Search Suggestions

Posted in Litigation

On May 15, 2013, in a case filed against Google by an entrepreneur selling dietary supplements and cosmetics (the “Plaintiff”), the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe (Bundesgerichtshof, the “Federal Court”) ruled that Google must remove any defamatory suggestions generated by its autocomplete search function. The Federal Court overturned an earlier ruling by the… Continue Reading

UK: The Latest Social Media Legal Updates

Posted in E-Commerce, Litigation

In our May 30, 2012 post on the Socially Aware blog—“Should We All Be Getting the Twitter “Jitters”? Be Careful What You Say Online (Particularly in the United Kingdom)”—we considered a variety of UK laws being used to regulate the content of tweets and other online messages. Since that post, there has been a series… Continue Reading

Jailbreak: U.S. Google Executives’ Italian Convictions Overturned

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

On December 21, 2012, the third Milan appeals court acquitted three U.S.-based Google executives who had previously been convicted for breaches of Italian data protection law after Google failed to remove an abusive video from its Google Video site. The video, which showed schoolboys bullying a child with Down syndrome, remained on the Google Video… Continue Reading

Google AdWords Decision Highlights Contours of the CDA Section 230 Safe Harbor

Posted in IP, Litigation, Section 230 Safe Harbor, Trademark

In a string of cases against Google, approximately 20 separate plaintiffs have claimed that, through advertisements on its AdWords service, Google engaged in trademark infringement. These claims have been based on Google allowing its advertisers to use their competitors’ trademarks in Google-generated online advertisements. In a recent decision emerging from these cases, CYBERsitter v. Google,… Continue Reading

Judge Posner Kicks that Flava in Ya Ear: New Guidance on Contributory Infringement from the Seventh Circuit

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, Litigation

Over the past year, a number of courts across the country have decided cases involving contributory infringement and the application of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s § 512(c) safe harbor in the social media context. Unfortunately for those who favor a uniform approach to the law, the precedent being developed is in many ways inconsistent. On… Continue Reading

Running Contests and Sweepstakes on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter: How the Rules Stack Up

Posted in Online Promotions, Terms of Use

Over the past two years, Socially Aware has revisited Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines from time to time — even as recently as August 2011 — to help keep our readers up-to-date on how popular social media platforms seek to regulate contests, sweepstakes and other promotions. Online promotions are as popular as ever, and given that two-thirds… Continue Reading

Proposed Facebook Settlement Underscores the FTC’s Privacy Priorities

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On November 29, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a proposed order against Facebook that builds upon both the FTC’s recommendations from its 2010 draft privacy report and precedents set in the order that it recently imposed on Google.  Any business that collects personal information from consumers should pay close attention to this action… Continue Reading

Tracking the Trackers: Social Media Companies Face Pressure for Tracking Users’ Browsing Habits

Posted in Privacy

Facebook is facing renewed scrutiny following efforts to explain its data collection practices, which include tracking where and when members and nonmembers are browsing after they visit a Facebook page. At the end of 2011, USA Today reported on how Facebook tracks user browsing habits, following in-depth interviews with senior Facebook engineers and spokespersons. According… Continue Reading

Updated FINRA Guidance on Social Media Websites and the Use of Personal Devices

Posted in Securities Law

On August 18, 2011, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) issued Regulatory Notice 11-39 providing guidance to broker-dealer members on social networking websites and business communications.  The notice represents FINRA’s first update to its guidance on social media since the release of Regulatory Notice 10-06 in January 2010. Regulatory Notice 11-39 merely clarifies existing… Continue Reading