The Social Media Law Blog is a forum for lawyers, compliance
personnel, human resources managers, and other professionals who
are struggling with the legal implications of social media across a
broad variety of topics. Working professionals and Bloomberg BNA
editors may share ideas, raise issues, and network with colleagues
to build a community of knowledge on this rapidly evolving topic.
The ideas presented here are those of individuals, and Bloomberg
BNA bears no responsibility for the appropriateness or accuracy of
the communications between group members.
May 17, 2013
by Michael Loatman
Michael Loatman's write-up regarding a court's dismissal of a fraud lawsuit against a fired
employee over an alleged failure to update his LinkedIn profile, which
in BNA's Social Media Law & Policy Report, is available online to both subscribers and
May 16, 2013
by Meg McEvoy
New Mexico recently became the latest state to enact legislation barring post-secondary education institutions from demanding that current and prospective students turn over their passwords and other social media account information.
May 15, 2013
A Bloomberg BNA correspondent's write-up regarding a request by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) that the Legislature narrow
a social media privacy bill that would regulate employers in the state, which
appeared in BNA's Social Media Law & Policy
Report, is available online to both subscribers and nonsubscribers.
May 10, 2013
by Katie Johnson
Websites and online services that will be affected by the
amended Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule need to prepare
for the rule's July 1 implementation date after the Federal Trade
Commission rejected calls by industry to push back the date.
May 9, 2013
Katie Johnson’s write-up
regarding LivingSocial Inc.’s response to a recent cyber-attack, which appeared
in both BNA's Social Media Law & Policy Report and Privacy & Data
Security Law Resource Center, is available online to both subscribers and
May 3, 2013
A federal lawmaker failed to convince his colleagues to adopt a
social media privacy amendment to a federal cybersecurity bill, but
legislators in several states have had better luck, as a number of
bills recently became law.
April 10, 2013
A cybersecurity bill (H.R. 624) that the House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to
mark up April 10 has received pledges of support from many
telecommunications and information technology companies, but no
prominent social media companies have publicly expressed their
support for the measure so far.
March 18, 2013
Courts and one state (so far) have considered allowing social media websites like Facebook to be used for substituted service of process, though the authenticity of user accounts remains a key issue.
March 15, 2013
Netflix March 13 announced it will take advantage of recent amendments to
the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) by launching Netflix
Social, which it said will permit users to share their favorite
movies and shows with friends.
March 1, 2013
Social networking companies Facebook
Inc. and Twitter Inc. are among several major companies that have
admitted recently to being the victims of cyber-attacks.
February 22, 2013
Should the executor or administrator
of an estate have access to the digital accounts of the deceased?
Or should those accounts, which often include social media, be off
February 1, 2013
The English High Court of Justice,
Chancery Division, Jan. 17 granted an injunction barring British tabloid The
Sun from publishing seminude photos of Academy Award-winning
actress Kate Winslet's new...
January 28, 2013
Facebook Inc.'s recent introduction
of "Graph Search" has raised questions among privacy advocates
about the new search tool's ability to find information about
January 18, 2013
Facebook is not doing enough to ensure that ads for counterfeit goods and scamming schemes stay off its site, the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman stated in a follow-up letter to a meeting with the social media giant.
January 15, 2013
BNA's Social Media Law & Policy Report launched in
2012, which was a busy year for social media law. This blog post examines three
major trends from last year.
December 14, 2012
month, California Assembly Member Nora Campos (D) introduced a bill apply the state's new password protection
provisions to public employees.
December 7, 2012
Pinterest, the social networking
site on which users post and share pictures on virtual "pin
boards," has updated its terms of service to allow business
accounts and commercial activity.
November 26, 2012
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers Nov. 8 said that how data
brokers collect and use consumer information remains a mystery
despite receiving details from
nine companies, including several that collect information from
social media websites.
November 23, 2012
Twitter suspended but now has reactivated @NYTOnIt, a parody account dedicated to poking fun at some of the New York Times’ lifestyle stories, after a trademark infringement complaint from the media giant.
November 16, 2012
The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Dec. 13 is set to consider a proposed regulation that would require campaigns to disclose payments to bloggers and those who post campaign content on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
November 8, 2012
An agency of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security likely was monitoring social media communications
when determining the impact of Hurricane Sandy, but a Nov. 8 DHS report promised that it was not collecting personally
identifiable information (PII) from everyone who tweeted about
November 2, 2012
Is social media so pervasive in
modern society that banning its use by a disfavored group is
unconstitutional, even when there is a significant governmental
interest in favor of the restriction?
October 22, 2012
Add New Hampshire to the list of states considering limiting
employer access to the social media accounts of employees and job
October 5, 2012
Use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,
and other social media outlets is up at hospitals and health
systems surveyed in a study released Oct. 4 by the CSC Global
Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices.
But hospitals are using social media mainly to help build their
brands rather than impact
treatment or patient outcomes, the study found.
September 28, 2012
A New Jersey assemblyman Sept. 27 introduced legislation to
include proper use of social media as a core curriculum topic for
students in sixth to eighth grades.
September 24, 2012
New Jersey lawmakers are closer to becoming the latest to
approve legislation aimed at reining in demands by employers or
educational institutions for social media passwords or
September 21, 2012
Lafe Solomon, acting general counsel
for the National Labor Relations Board, was the subject of an
investigation by the agency's inspector general, and it is possible
he may face further scrutiny by the Department of Justice. The IG
has said that Solomon reviewed Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s social media
policy while holding stock in the company.
September 7, 2012
Florida judges who use Facebook or
similar social networking sites may want to consider re-examining
their online friends.
August 31, 2012
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) must decide by
Sept. 30 whether to sign or veto a pair of bills meant to protect
employee and student social media accounts from the perceived
problem of overly curious employers and colleges.
August 24, 2012
Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of Instagram was notable because it employed only about 13 employees
and did not have any revenue. Did Facebook offer a king's ransom to
prevent a potential rival competitor from emerging?
August 10, 2012
Social media website YouTube appears
to be the video-sharing platform of choice for at least one federal
agency, which is requiring all entrants to an anti-bullying video
contest to use YouTube for submissions in lieu of sending DVDs.
August 6, 2012
The Federal Trade Commission Aug. 1
proposed additional modifications to the Children's Online Privacy
Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, which were formally published Aug. 6, in a move that would clarify that
plug-ins and advertising networks that collect personal information
from children through another's site or service are covered by the
August 3, 2012
Disclosures required by the Federal Trade Commission's Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising are necessary even
when using emerging social networking platforms, according to a
June 29 case report from the National Advertising Division (NAD) of
the Council of Better Business Bureaus that dealt with Nutrisystem
Inc.'s "Real Customers. Real Success" Pinterest board.
August 2, 2012
Illinois is now the second state
after Maryland to limit employer access to the social media
accounts of employees and job applicants after Gov. Pat Quinn (D)
Aug. 1 signed into law H.B. 3782, which amends the Illinois Right to Privacy in the
July 27, 2012
Add a child's use of Facebook to the
list of topics dueling custodial parents might fight about. It also
might be an issue for a court's custodial decree.
July 26, 2012
Taco Bell wanted to argue that a
plaintiff's consumer protection lawsuit was "an utter contrivance
that is the classic example of a lawyer-driven strike suit." To
illustrate, the fast food company asked the court to take judicial
notice of the plaintiff's LinkedIn profile page showing he was a
paid extern at a law firm. The court refused.
July 18, 2012
Section 1121 of the Food and Drug
Administration Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187), signed into law by President Obama on July 9, tasks
the agency with issuing guidance on its policy "regarding the
promotion, using the Internet (including social media), of medical
products that are regulated by such Administration."
July 6, 2012
Schools will be unable to request
user names or passwords from applicants or students if Gov. Jack
Markell (D) signs a bill that unanimously passed both chambers of
the Delaware Legislature.
July 5, 2012
Government requests for Twitter Inc.
user information in the first half of 2012 overwhelmingly have come from the
United States, according to the company's first transparency report, which
it released July 2.
June 21, 2012
Louisiana has garnered national
attention for its new law that
requires registered sex offenders to post the details of their
conviction on their social media profiles.
June 20, 2012
When the Maryland law to protect social network usernames and
passwords was first introduced I wrote it off as typical
front-running by political officials, and did not read it closely.
DLA Piper's lawyers did and so, after I read their article, did I.
What a mess.
June 15, 2012
What information can you really believe when looking over a
Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media profile? That question
appeared to be at the heart of two recent cases that questioned the
accuracy of data on social media services.
June 11, 2012
The FBI recently released a brochure warning of "Internet Social Networking Risks."
June 4, 2012
by Barbara Yuill
"Case finally over. Unanimous verdict! Celebrating
"Another great victory in court today! My client is
delighted. Who wants to be next?"
Are these self-congratulatory raves, posted over a one month
period by an enthused (but hypothetical) attorney to 500 friends
and professional contacts on her personal social media site,
May 21, 2012
Myspace. Google. Twitter. Facebook. In the past two years, each has been the subject of an enforcement action by the Federal Trade Commission. But that's not all.
May 18, 2012
Congress often lags behind more nimble state legislatures when it comes to
the quick passage of new law on up-and-coming issues. Social media law, it turns
out, is no exception.
COPPA Rule Changes: Be Ready for July 1
New Jersey Governor Asks Legislature To Narrow Scope of Social Media Privacy Bill
States Consider Barring Access to Students’ Social Media Accounts
LivingSocial Reveals Cyber-Attack, Notifies 50 Million, Says No Credit Data Breached
Claim Fails Against Employee Who Lagged In Updating LinkedIn Page After Firing