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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Tag Archives: Personal Information

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

Employer Access to Employee Social Media: Applicant Screening, ‘Friend’ Requests and Workplace Investigations

Posted in Employment Law, Privacy

A 2013 CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers and human resource professionals reports that more than two in five companies 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… Continue Reading

Data Protection Masterclass Webinar: Spotlight on Social Media Marketing and Policies

Posted in Employment Law, Event, Online Promotions, Privacy

Our global privacy + data security group’s Data Protection Masterclass Webinar series is turning the spotlight on social media marketing and policies in January. Please join Socially Aware contributors Christine Lyon and Karin Retzer, along with Ann Bevitt in our London office for a webinar that will examine the laws and regulations in the United… Continue Reading

New Guidance From UK Privacy Regulator on Social Networking and Online Forums

Posted in Privacy

Businesses are increasingly using social networks and online forums for marketing, recruiting, customer service, branding and PR purposes. The UK privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner (ICO), has recently published new guidance on the use of social networking and online forums. This replaces its 2007 guidance on the subject and is a helpful reminder to companies… Continue Reading

Youthful Indiscretions: California Bills Poised to Regulate Use of Minors’ Data on Social Networks

Posted in Privacy

Two bills designed to facilitate the removal of minors’ personal information from social networking sites are currently under consideration in the California State Assembly, after being approved in the upper house of the state’s legislature, the Senate, in early 2013. The first of the two bills, S.B. 501, would require a “social networking Internet Web… 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

Mobile Apps Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives

Posted in FTC, Privacy

Article courtesy of Morrison & Foerster’s Mobile Payments Practice Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., continue to show interest in understanding and developing regulatory proposals relating to mobile apps. The interest appears to be driven, at least in part, by policymakers’ concerns about consumer privacy when using mobile phones and other smart hand-held devices. The issue of… Continue Reading

European Privacy Regulator Issues Important Opinion on the Use of Apps

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On February 27, 2013, the European Article 29 Working Party (a group comprising representatives from all of the data protection authorities of the EU Member States, referred to in this articles as “WP29”) issued an Opinion on the privacy and data protection implications of the use of apps on mobile devices (“the Opinion”). The Opinion… Continue Reading

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again: Massachusetts Allows Actions for Violation of Privacy Rights Based on Collection of ZIP Codes

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

Massachusetts appears to have followed California’s lead in opening a litigation floodgate over ZIP code collection at the point of sale. In 2011, the California Supreme Court held in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., 246 P.3d 612 (Cal. 2011), that a retailer illegally collects personal identification information (PII) when it requests and records ZIP codes… 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

FTC Announces Important Settlement With Social Networking App and Releases New Mobile App Report

Posted in FTC, Litigation, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a potentially groundbreaking settlement with the social networking app Path and released an important new staff report on Mobile Privacy Disclosures late last week. The FTC’s Settlement with Path suggests a new standard may be on the near-term horizon: out-of-policy, just-in-time notice and express consent for the collection of… Continue Reading

You Can’t Make a Square Peg Fit in a Round Hole: California Supreme Court Holds Online Purchases of Electronically Downloadable Products Outside Scope of Song-Beverly Act

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

Handing a victory to online retailers, on February 4, 2013, the California Supreme Court held in a split decision that online transactions involving electronically downloadable products fall outside the scope of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (Apple v. Superior Court (Krescent), S199384). Despite acknowledging the unique fraud issues present in online transactions, the Court refused… 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

FTC Issues Substantially Revised COPPA Rule, Effective July 1, 2013: Review of Changes and Compliance Tips

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On December 19, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) announced long-awaited amendments to its rule implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“Rule”). The changes—which take effect on July 1, 2013—are significant. They alter the scope and obligations of the Rule in a number of ways. We discuss the revisions in greater detail below. The… Continue Reading

FTC Snuffs Out Online “History Sniffing”

Posted in FTC, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cracked down on a company that was engaged in “history sniffing,” a means of online tracking that digs up information embedded in web browsers to reveal the websites that users have visited. In a proposed settlement with Epic Marketplace, Inc. and Epic Media Group (together, “EMG”) announced on December… Continue Reading

California A.G. Makes Good on Promise to Pursue Apps That Don’t Comply With the State’s Privacy Policy Law

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On October 30, 2012, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that her office would begin notifying the developers of as many as 100 mobile apps that their apps do not comply with the state’s Online Privacy Protection Act (OPPA) and that they have 30 days to bring them into compliance. The announcement does not come… Continue Reading

More Change Coming: The FTC Proposes Further Significant Changes to Its COPPA Rule

Posted in FTC, Privacy

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (“COPPA”), which became effective in April 2000, has long served as the primary regulatory tool of the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) to police online privacy issues concerning children under 13.  The COPPA Rule (the “Rule”), promulgated by the FTC pursuant to COPPA, in general requires the… Continue Reading

“You Have One New Lawsuit”: Can You Serve Legal Notice Through Social Media?

Posted in Litigation

As reported by Law360 and several other  sources, on June 7, 2012, in Fortunato v. Chase Bank, a federal district court ruled that defendant Chase Bank could not use Facebook to serve a third-party defendant with the complaint that Chase had filed against her. In Fortunato, plaintiff Lorri Fortunato sued Chase Bank, alleging that the… Continue Reading

Tracking the Trolls: A “Twitter Jitters” Update

Posted in E-Personation, Litigation

We reported this past May in our Socially Aware blog about efforts of law enforcement authorities in the United Kingdom to adapt existing laws to police potential offenses committed via social media.  The UK government has just announced proposals that will make it easier to identify people who abuse social media. The UK government’s somewhat surprising… Continue Reading

Maryland Enacts First Law Prohibiting Employers From Requesting Passwords to Employees’ Online Personal Accounts

Posted in Employment Law, Privacy

In our recent Socially Aware blog post, we noted that a number of pending state bills are seeking to ban employers from requesting confidential login information, including social media login information, as a condition of employment.  In fact, on April 9, 2012, Maryland passed Senate Bill 433/HB 964, prohibiting employers from requesting current and prospective… Continue Reading

FTC’s Privacy Report Suggests Tightening of Privacy Regime, Provides Guidance to Business

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On March 26, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (the “Commission” or “FTC”) released its much-anticipated final privacy report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change.  The report builds upon the Commission’s December 2010 preliminary report, and provides recommendations for businesses and policymakers with respect to online and offline privacy practices.  The report will… Continue Reading

Do Consumers Have Property Rights in Their Personal Information Collected by Website Operators?

Posted in Privacy

When consumers sue online service providers for data breaches involving such consumers’ personally identifiable information (“PII”), courts routinely dismiss such suits based on the failure to allege an “injury in fact” as required to establish constitutional standing — see, for example, the decisions in Bell v. Acxiom Corporation and Amburgy v. Express Scripts, Inc.  In… Continue Reading