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Wearable Tech: Where Data Privacy Collides with Employment Law

As wearable devices like FitBit, Garmin, and Jawbone and a culture of wellness in the workplace proliferate, employers who adopt such technology should be mindful of federal and state privacy laws, as well as the myriad of employment laws that are implicated by the use of these devices. The aggressive stance taken by federal employment … Continue Reading

Congressional Inquiries Into Facebook’s “Trending” Topics – In Context

There have been anonymous allegations, published by Gizmodo, that former Facebook “curators” had allegedly ignored Facebook’s algorithms and guidelines for its Trending topics section and suppressed links to conservative news stories. This prompted a letter to Mark Zuckerberg from Senator John Thune (R.-S.D.) seeking information about the algorithm, guidelines, enforcement of the guidelines, auditing of … Continue Reading

Smile – I’m Recording You: The First Amendment and Right (or not) to Record

In science, the term “observer effect” refers to changes that the act of observation will make on a phenomenon being observed. Pennsylvania district court has just ruled that there is no First Amendment right to video police officers while in the line of duty because merely observing is not expressive activity. Fields v. City of … Continue Reading

Sponsored Social Media Posts Riskier than Ever

Five months after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued updated guidance regarding paid endorsements, it is clearer than ever that it plans to take increasing action against retailers for soliciting reviews on social media. The FTC’s plans were reinforced on October 15, 2015, when FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, in a keynote address at the Better … Continue Reading

Denial of Hulu’s Motion for Summary Judgment Paves Way for More Lawsuits Under the Video Privacy Protection Act

A lawsuit filed in 2011 against Hulu, an on-line video content provider, claims the company violated the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) by wrongfully disclosing users’ video viewing selections and personally identifiable information (PII) to third parties, comScore and Facebook.  On April 24, 2014, a federal court in the Northern District of California ruled that … Continue Reading

LinkedIn Sues Unknown Defendants Operating BOTS for Stealing Members’ Data

LinkedIn sued unknown defendants for employing automated software programs known as bots to copy members’ data and to register thousands of fake member profiles on the social network’s site.  In addition to its free networking benefits, LinkedIn also provides a subscription Recruiter service which permits headhunters to search for potential candidates.  LinkedIn filed a complaint … Continue Reading

Facebook Hit With New Lawsuit Over User Information Privacy

Perennial issues with Facebook’s data use policies have spawned another class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs in Campbell et al v. Facebook Inc., No. 13-CV-05996 make two distinct claims in their December 30, 2013 complaint, one of which might surprise even longtime Facebook users. The first and less controversial claim is … Continue Reading

Twitter Takes A Stand Against DMCA “Takedown Notice”

Recently, a copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against Twitter by Christopher Boffoli regarding Twitter’s failure to take down links to his photographic art work that have been posted by Twitter users and hosted on Twitter’s servers. Boffoli is the creator of the “Disparity Series” of art photographs, which feature miniature figures in poses on fruit. … Continue Reading

FTC Disclosures Must Accompany Consumer Testimonials on Pinterest

Businesses are flocking to the social media website Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board that allows businesses and consumers to “pin” online content (images of products and consumer comments) to a board (webpage) which links to the source of the image (company website) and ultimately drives traffic to the company’s website. Pinterest has obvious appeal to … Continue Reading Reversed; But Communications Decency Act Analysis Stands

The Ninth Circuit has reversed itself on the result in one of the few cases holding for liability under the Communications Decency Act – the case. The CDA provides immunity to an “interactive computer service” that does not provide content to the site. The Ninth Circuit, en banc, had previously reversed a trial court … Continue Reading

Looking forward to speaking at Bridge Conference in D.C. this week

It seems that I will not be able to escape the heat as 100 degree temps are forecast for both Chicago and D.C. this week.  Regardless, am looking forward to presenting at the 2011 Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference.  My co-presenter (and friend) Cyndi Greenglass and I will be speaking about privacy issues … Continue Reading