Tag Archives: Social Media

FFIEC Proposes Social Media Guidance

On January 22, 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council proposed guidance on the applicability of consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by depository institutions.  The proposed guidance would not impose additional compliance obligations on institutions.  Instead, the guidance is intended to help financial institutions understand potential … Continue Reading

New Jersey Restricts Colleges’ Access to Students’ Personal Accounts, Considers Similar Protections for Employees

New Jersey earlier this month became the latest state to bar college and university officials from demanding access to students’ or applicants’ personal online accounts.  Gov. Chris Christie signed the law, which takes effect immediately, on Dec. 3. Under the new law, which applies to public and private higher-education institutions, schools cannot require a student or … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds DISH Network Social Media Policy Unlawful

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to be active in considering whether companies’ social media policies run afoul of U.S. labor laws.  In the latest decision implementing the approach reflected in a series of NLRB reports analyzing employer social media policies under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), an administrative law judge found that it is impermissible … Continue Reading

New California Laws Restrict Employer, College Access to Personal Social-Media Content

California is the latest state to enact legislation restricting the circumstances under which employers or schools can demand access to employees’ or students’ personal social media accounts. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills into law on Sept. 27.  The first, A.B. 1844, bars employers from requiring or requesting that employees or job applicants disclose … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Costco Social Media Policy Unlawful

A three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that it is impermissible for Costco’s social media policy to ban employees from making electronic postings that damage the reputation of the company or anyone else.  The NLRB held that policy was not permissible because Costco employees could reasonably assume that it prohibited communications … Continue Reading

Facebook, ACLU Argue that “Like” Button is Protected Speech

This week, Facebook and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have filed amicus curiae briefs in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that using Facebook’s “Like” button is speech protected by the First Amendment.  The court of appeals is considering whether to overturn a decision by Eastern District of Virginia Judge Raymond A. … Continue Reading

What Happened at the FTC Advertising and Privacy Workshop? (Part 1 of 2)

Yesterday, the FTC held a public workshop titled “In Short: Advertising & Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World.”  The workshop explored whether and how the FTC should revise its 2000 guidance concerning advertising and privacy disclosures in the new era of online and mobile technology.   This post will highlight the morning workshop sessions on … Continue Reading

FTC Publishes Preliminary Agenda for Digital Advertising Disclosures Workshop

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a preliminary agenda for its upcoming public workshop called Advertising and Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World.  The goal of the workshop is to discuss revisions to the Dot Com Disclosures, the FTC’s current guidance document on online advertising disclosures, which was published in 2000. The Dot Com Disclosures discusses … Continue Reading

Rep. Engel Introduces Federal Bill to Limit Access to Social Networking Accounts

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) recently introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit employers from requiring current and prospective employees to disclose website usernames, passwords, and other online content.  The Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA), H.R. 5050, also would apply to students at colleges, universities, and K-12 schools, and impose a … Continue Reading

Maryland and Illinois Introduce Bills to Limit Employer Access to Employees’ Social Networking Accounts

Lawmakers in Maryland and Illinois have introduced bills that would prohibit employers from requiring job applicants or employees to grant access to their social networking accounts.  The bills arose from reports that employers have impliedly or explicitly required access to social networking accounts as a condition of hiring or employment. A few bills have been … Continue Reading

Personal Injury Defendant Denied Access to Plaintiff’s Private Facebook Content

An Eastern District of Michigan judge held that a personal injury defendant could not discover the plaintiff’s private Facebook content under Rule 26(b) governing the discoverability of evidence.  Tompkins v. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, No. 2:10-cv-10413-BAF-RSW (E.D. Mich, Jan. 18, 2012).  Although—as the court noted—the private portions of a user’s Facebook account are not generally privileged … Continue Reading

Facebook’s FTC Agreement: What Does It Mean For Me?

Last week, the FTC announced that it has agreed to end its 18-month investigation of Facebook’s privacy practices, with a settlement that involved a twenty-year compliance plan and specific steps to formalize privacy within Facebook’s organization.  Though the proposed settlement, which will now be open for public comment, has met with a range of reactions, … Continue Reading

Right of Publicity Suit Against Facebook Dismissed

Last week, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed a putative class action against Facebook alleging that the company violated users’ rights of publicity by using their names and pictures for its Friend Finder service.  The Judge concluded that the class failed to demonstrate that they suffered any injury as a result of the service.  The Judge … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules Implementing the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules implementing the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act. Like the Act, the FCC’s rules require elementary and secondary schools that have applied for discounted Internet access services through the FCC’s E-rate program to certify that the school’s Internet safety policy provides for the education of minors about appropriate online behavior, including … Continue Reading

SocialGuide Releases Social Media-Based Television Ratings

New York start-up SocialGuide has launched from beta and released its first television ratings report this week, based on information mined and filtered from more than 10.5 million social media comments by more than 2.6 million unique users.  This report, the Social100, gets most of its information from Facebook and Twitter, using application programming interface (“API”) streams to capture … Continue Reading

Social Media: Legal Risks and Rewards

Your company has just launched an innovative new social media service, and you’ve received fanfare from the press, increased website traffic, and a spike in advertising revenues.  In short, the service is a complete success — until you’re served with a class action complaint seeking millions of dollars in damages and a civil investigative demand … Continue Reading

Regulators Take Aim at Social Networking Privacy

Over the past few weeks, online publishers have seen regulators’ focus on privacy in the social media context reach the boiling point.  Just this week, Politico reported that FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz confirmed in a letter to Sen. Mark Pryor that “FTC staff are carefully monitoring the privacy and security issues associated with social networking … Continue Reading

California Senate Again Rejects “Social Networking Privacy Act”

For the second time in a week, the California Senate has voted down “The Social Networking Privacy Act” (S.B. 242), a bill that would have required social networking services to, among other things, restrict the sharing of information by default, establish a process for new users to configure privacy settings during registration, and remove all … Continue Reading

Google, FTC Reach “Buzz” Settlement

Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has accepted, subject to final approval, a consent agreement from Google that would resolve the Commission’s allegations that Google engaged in deceptive trade practices when it launched its “Buzz” social networking service in February 2010. The FTC’s complaint alleges, among other things, that the launch violated Google’s  privacy policy in … Continue Reading

Facebook Makes Good on Data Portability

Rob Pegoraro at The Washington Post reported today on Facebook’s announcement that it will offer users a way to download all of the information they’ve uploaded to the service.  The move is an implicit response to critics who complain about social media services that lock users in by preventing them from recovering their data. Based on … Continue Reading
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