In the U.S. Supreme Court’s first opinion involving social media, the majority held that posting a threat is not a federal crime without proof of the defendant’s mental state. Anthony Douglas Elonis posted rap lyrics on Facebook that contained violent statements about his wife, co-workers, a kindergarten class, and law enforcement. He was charged with… Continue Reading
A Florida state appellate court required a plaintiff in a slip-and-fall lawsuit to provide the defendant with photos that she had posted on Facebook, reasoning that individuals have little or no privacy rights to information that they have posted on social media.
When you encounter a website or mobile app that requires you to log in or register, do you use your social media account to do so? If you answered “yes,” you are part of a growing majority according to a Gigya survey, which found that social login use is on the rise as a result… Continue Reading
Making good on its warnings that mobile apps will be an enforcement priority under the revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule, the FTC has announced two settlements with mobile app developers: TinyCo., the developer of several child-directed mobile apps, will pay $300,000 to settle charges that it violated COPPA by collecting children’s email addresses through its mobile app… Continue Reading
Last Thursday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of claims for violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”), holding that the plaintiffs had failed to allege Facebook and Zynga disclosed the “contents” of a communication, a necessary element under the Act. The court’s ruling applies to the consolidated… Continue Reading
On Thursday, mobile messaging application Snapchat agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charges that it made false or misleading representations about the ephemeral nature of its messages, the collection of user information, and the nature of its security practices. The FTC Complaint alleges six counts, many of which demonstrate the Commission’s aggressive enforcement of… Continue Reading
In a closing letter declining to bring enforcement action against shoemaker Cole Haan, FTC staff stated that it believes “Pins” on Pinterest featuring a company’s products can constitute an endorsement of those products, and that if the pins are incentivized by the opportunity to win a significant prize in a contest, contestants should be instructed to label… Continue Reading
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FDA has previously included claims made on Facebook or other social media platforms along with broader allegations of misbranding using a variety of sources in its enforcement letters . . . [b]y contrast, the present untitled letter focuses solely on a single statement on a Facebook page, and does not take issue with any statements outside the Facebook page.
On January 13, 2014, FDA issued a draft guidance document entitled “Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media for Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics.” This draft guidance addresses the procedural topic of submitting Forms FDA 2253 and 2301 when firms use social media such as blogs, microblogs, social networking sites,… Continue Reading
By Katharine Goodloe and Morgan Kennedy Last week, the FTC hosted a public workshop on native advertising to examine how best to address occasions in which certain media outlets blur the traditional line between advertisements and editorial content. The workshop brought together a collection of brand-name companies that use native advertising, content-placement companies that help… Continue Reading
The FTC has denied AssertID’s request to recognize a new method for obtaining verifiable parental consent for the online collection, use, and disclosure of personal information from children under 13. The application was the first of its kind to be filed since the FTC added a voluntary parental consent approval process to its revised rule implementing… Continue Reading
Earlier this month, we blogged about the California Senate’s passage of the bill titled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World”, which prohibits certain targeted advertising to California minors and requires that minors be allowed to delete materials they have posted online. Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation, and it will… Continue Reading
A federal appellate court on Wednesday ruled that the First Amendment protects the act of “liking” on Facebook or other social media. In Bland v. Roberts, a sheriff’s deputy “liked” the Facebook page of the candidate who was challenging the incumbent sheriff in the upcoming elections. After the incumbent won re-election, the deputy was fired…. Continue Reading
A North Carolina appellate court recently held that a statewide ban on sex offenders’ access to social media violates the First Amendment. The opinion is the latest in a string of recent federal and state court decisions to recognize a First Amendment right to access social media. In 2008, North Carolina’s General Assembly enacted the… Continue Reading
New Jersey has enacted restrictions on the ability of employers to access employees’ social media accounts, becoming the twelfth state to enact such legislation. More than 30 state legislatures have considered bills on the topic in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Restrictions in New Jersey New Jersey’s new law, signed… Continue Reading
Last Friday the California Senate unanimously passed legislation titled, “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World,” which prohibits certain types of marketing to minors (defined as a natural person under the age of 18 residing in California) and allows minors to delete materials they have posted online. The bill, which already cleared the… Continue Reading
A New Jersey federal court recently held that an employee’s Facebook wall posts were protected by the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq., in one of the first cases to analyze the SCA’s application to the Facebook wall. Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp.., No. 2:11-cv-3305 (WMJ) (D.N.J. Aug. 20, 2013). An… Continue Reading
Many employers have been surprised by recent rulings that two common employment policies run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) even if their employees are not union members. Based on a legitimate interest in preserving confidentiality and privacy, many employers have adopted social media policies limiting what employees may post on Facebook or… Continue Reading
Twitter recently released its bi-annual transparency report, detailing the number of requests that the company has received from governments for user information or to take down content. According to the report, the company received 1,157 requests for user information in the first six months of 2013, the highest amount since Twitter began releasing its report. … Continue Reading
Recently, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and Facebook launched a guide intended to assist individuals who have been victims of domestic violence. The guide offers tips to individuals who have suffered abuse on “how to use Facebook in a way that ensures that they stay connected with friends and family, but control… Continue Reading
Personalization of the shopping experience is a hot topic in the travel industry. It has also prompted privacy regulators to consider the implications for the consumer. For example, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party in April issued a letter to the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) on this topic and a Department of Transportation committee recently… Continue Reading
On Thursday, the district court granted Delta’s motion to dismiss the complaint, concluding that the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) pre-empts the state’s claims. The ADA provides that “a State….may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier.” Courts have construed the scope of preemption by the ADA broadly, and the majority of courts which have considered the issue have held that the ADA preempts the application of state consumer protection laws to airlines. See Morales v. Trans World Airlines, 504 U.S. 374 (1992). The judge decided that the operation of a mobile app for air travel services is “related to price, route or service of an air carrier” and thus agreed with Delta’s argument that the California AG’s claim is pre-empted.