A New York state court judge recently held that it was more appropriate for a wife to send a divorce summons to her hard-to-reach husband using Facebook than through the longstanding method of service through a newspaper posting.
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A New York state court judge recently held that it was more appropriate for a wife to send a divorce summons to her hard-to-reach husband using Facebook than through the longstanding method of service through a newspaper posting.
Facebook Inc. updated its Community Standards in March with details on what content the company will remove, including nudity or hate speech, which at times has been a source of controversy.
Legislators in Montana gave final approval in March to a bill (H.B. 88) that would in part require all registered sexual offenders to turn over their social media screen names to law enforcement.
The Obama administration’s draft “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights,” which would impact social media companies such as Facebook Inc., faced criticism from many sides after it was released Feb. 27.
Consumer complaints about social networking services filed with the Federal Trade Commission and other consumer protection agencies dropped markedly in the past two years, according to a commission report released Feb. 27.
Reddit, a social media site that lets users vote on featured content, said in its first transparency report covering 2014 that it hadn’t received any national security requests for user information from the U.S. government.
Managing a Facebook account may be added to the list of some executors’ duties after Facebook Inc. said Feb. 12 that users could name a “Legacy Contact.”
Laws limiting employer access to the login credentials for employees’ personal social media accounts have spread across the nation since Maryland’s first-in-the-nation law was enacted in 2012.
A report from Deloitte that was commissioned by Facebook says the social networking giant's 2014 global economic impact resulted in 4.5 million jobs across the world, Facebook said in a Jan. 20 statement.
New York’s attorney general said in a Jan. 13 statement that Facebook Inc. is helping in the search for abducted children by placing AMBER Alerts on users’ news feeds if they are in a targeted search area.
The SEC and FINRA have been paying more and more attention to the use of social media by the financial services industry.
Connecticut consumers would be protected from social media sites that use “deceptive and aggressive practices” to send e-mail marketing without users’ permission under a bill introduced recently by a state lawmaker.
The Kansas Supreme Court in December suspended an attorney for six months for sending to an unrepresented party a Facebook message that the attorney later admitted was "hastily drafted" and "a little overzealous."
A recently proposed settlement with the Federal Trade Commission makes clear that even a short tweet must abide by its standards on endorsements in advertising.
Facebook is the social login of choice for 46 percent of users accessing sites, according to a quarterly trends report from Janrain, a social media user management software and service company.
Facebook plays an increasingly important role in how companies, particularly small businesses, connect with customers, founder Mark Zuckerberg said Nov. 6.
An 18-year-old college student is the latest person to find what you say on social media can sometimes lead to bad results.
Social media platforms-such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn -are sharing aggregate statistical data on the number of U.S. national security requests they are required to comply with, but they are barred from revealing exactly how many government requests they received. Two lawsuits may affect the breadth of disclosure, or they may reaffirm a current approach that limits companies to reporting those requests within ranges.
A San Francisco Bay Area Italian restaurant is applauding Yelp Inc. users for helping its hand-made pizza and pasta achieve unlikely celebrity status with a low one-star ranking.
Some imitation Twitter accounts are relatively harmless, such as the @FakeUnitedJeff and @notzuckerberg accounts that roast the heads of United Continental Holdings Inc. and Facebook Inc. But for one New York man, a Twitter account with his unique name led to criminal charges because it tweeted a sexual abuse victim's photograph.
A lawsuit raised and answered the question of whether the manager of an unofficial Facebook fan page for a TV show owned the over six million likes the page received. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida said no and dismissed the manager's case against Black Entertainment Television LLC.
An attorney in Virginia sought to have a $200,000 default judgment against Yelp Inc. enforced. Instead, the court threw out his case.
A study finds that few jurors are sharing selfies in the jury box to their Facebook friends or live tweeting a cross-examination of a key witness.
Search engines operating in the European Union are dealing with a recent landmark privacy ruling that requires them to remove search results linking to websites containing personal information about individuals. An August meeting between Facebook Inc. and a regional German data protection office may be the first signal as to whether that ruling will be expanded to social media companies.
Google Inc. will no longer require its Google+ users to have a real name attached to their account, the company said in a July 15 post.
A group of high-profile attorneys that joined the Bloomberg BNA Social Media Law & Policy Report Editorial Advisory Board in July will bring their expertise and insights to the publication.
A relative dies and in her will leaves you with $50,000, shares of valuable stocks, a car, furniture and her collection of family photos and videos on sites such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. In many states, the ability of her executor to provide you with ownership of those photos and videos may be more difficult than dealing with any of the other items, because of the absence of laws dealing with digital assets.
Plaintiffs are finding that going after the deep corporate pockets of Facebook Inc., Yelp Inc. or other social media companies because of the actions taken by their users is tough, maybe impossible, because of immunity granted by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Were Snapchat users aware that their friends could capture, save and distribute their photos and weren't always limited to a mere 10 seconds?
Most new users of Facebook had their privacy setting set at "public," which the company said in a recent blog post may have resulted in some users accidentally sharing information with too many people. Facebook said the privacy setting for new users would now be "friends only."
A New Jersey court can punish a mother who violated a condition of her parole when she blogged about her children and ex-husband, according to a May 13 ruling from the New Jersey Superior Court,...
At least 14 states since 2012 have limited the ability of companies to request that employees or job applicants provide access to their personal social media accounts. In many cases, legislatures approved the bills unanimously and without extensive debate. However, some state legislatures addressing the issue in 2014 have killed or scuttled the bills, often citing concerns over the breadth of exceptions for employers.
Should your child and her teacher be communicating by tweets? A new law in New Jersey requires school districts to grapple with that issue
The Securities and Exchange Commission has ramped up its guidance to the financial services industry on how some securities law rules will be enforced in the social media context.
Should a jury be permitted to evaluate the credibility of a plaintiff claiming his employer aggravated his workplace wrist injury by requiring that he immediately return to work when the employer found photos on social media of him weightlifting? One court said yes.
The Internal Revenue Service may not have the tens of millions of Twitter followers that Katy Perry and Justin Bieber have, but it is actively engaging with taxpayers through the platform as well as other forms of social media.
Do some social media users need the occasional reminder to check their privacy settings? Facebook is testing out a "privacy checkup" box with selected users that may reveal the answer.
Is WhatsApp Inc.'s stance as a privacy-friendly mobile application in jeopardy if Facebook Inc. acquires the company? Two advocacy groups, in a request for investigation sent to the Federal Trade Commission, argued yes.
A priority for internal auditors is managing the risks related to the use of social media within companies, a study released March 19 from Protiviti Inc. said. Protiviti is a consulting firm that serves major corporations with finance, technology, operations and internal audit problems.
Pharmaceutical companies have been wary of dipping their toes into social media marketing. That may change once the Food and Drug Administration carries through on its pledge to give the pharmaceutical industry four draft guidance documents addressing social media drug marketing.
Is the increasing use of social media in the workplace affecting the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will address the issue at a March 12 public meeting at agency headquarters in Washington.
The privacy preferences that Facebook users made during their lifetimes will remain constant after they die, the company said Feb. 21, announcing a switch from its policy of restricting all memorial accounts to a friends-only setting.
Did a federal district court err in approving Facebook Inc.'s Sponsored Stories class action settlement in August 2013? At least two groups of objectors believe so.
Most state legislatures have focused in recent years on restricting the ability of employers and educational institutions to demand access to the personal social media accounts of current and prospective employees and students. The Wisconsin Legislature, which in late January sent a similar social media bill to the governor, added landlords to the list of those facing limitations.
State legislatures in 2014 will continue to address whether employers and educational institutions should be permitted to request the user names and passwords of employees and students.
When the head police officer in Dallas decides to fire an employee, he tells the world.
After uploading photos you took at a party, you see that Facebook's technology somehow identified your friends and suggested tags for each person in the photos. Is that facial recognition technology a helpful tool, or does it violate the privacy rights of those in the photos?
Was proof needed that a Twitter event can go awry? Really awry? Or that social media should not be trifled with?
Iran's minister of culture and Islamic guidance Nov. 4 said the government should lift its filtering of Facebook and other social networking platforms, according to Iran's government-controlled news agency.
Journalists covering trials used to dash outside the courthouse and run to a TV camera or their computer during breaks to report on prominent cases. Today, however, reporters can provide live updates to readers by tweeting during a trial or uploading a new blog post, so long as they are armed with a laptop or smartphone inside the courtroom.
Facebook Oct. 22 said it was strengthening enforcement of its graphic content policy, which attracted attention after critics-including U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron-alleged the company was permitting impressionable users to see overly disturbing content.
Recent policy changes could have the effect of increasing the online presence of teenagers who post on Facebook and adult users of Google+.
Only nine percent of respondents to a survey conducted by the Australian government said they considered social media trustworthy in protecting privacy.
Bloomberg BNA recently released Corporate Practice Series Portfolio No. 91, Social Media Law , co-authored by David A. Bell, a partner at Haynes & Boone LLP.
Bell recently discussed several aspects of social media use and how to mitigate the legal risks it presents in, among other areas, employment, marketing and M&A due diligence. The following is a shortened version of Bell's interview, which is available in full to BBNA subscribers.
"I'd like to add you to my professional network." Did that LinkedIn invitation come from the executive you traded business cards with at a recent conference? Or did the professional social networking company put you together with a prospective contact after "hacking" into your friend's e-mail account, as was claimed in a recent lawsuit?
Thanks, but no thanks.
That was the response of one of 14 organizations selected to receive assigned percentages of the several million dollars remaining in Facebook Inc.'s $20 million Sponsored Stories litigation settlement.
The Federal Trade Commission recently asked the public to comment on two applications that would allow social media networks and other online services to obtain parental consent for the collection of children's personal information in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule.
Should social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter be permitted to share exactly how many times the U.S. government has made a request for user information because of national security, or is that information too sensitive to be shared with a high level of specificity?
Motivated high school students considering where to attend college are a new target for LinkedIn Corp., which announced in an Aug. 19 blog post that it will lower its minimum age to 14 in the United States next month.
Major U.S. social media companies are seeking approval to release data about government surveillance requests, and legislators in August introduced bills that would increase transparency and oversight in the wake of news reports making public a government surveillance program called PRISM.
The Federal Trade Commission's latest updates to its frequently asked questions on complying with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act may help answer lingering questions social media companies, advertising networks, and others may have following the July 1 effective date of the commission's amended COPPA Rule.
Online daily deal company LivingSocial Inc. said it had a drop in profits in April and May partially because of a cyber-attack that exposed the encrypted passwords and other information of up to 50 million customers, a spokeswoman for the company told BNA July 30.
A mobile application touting the release of rapper Jay-Z's new album has come under fire for the app's requirement that users connect with their social media accounts, among other privacy claims.
A teenager who does not have a Facebook account finds out that another person is impersonating her on Facebook and many of her friends are receiving inappropriate comments from that account. What obligations, if any, should Facebook Inc. have when it is informed about the imposter account?
On June 28, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will hold a hearing on the plaintiffs' motion for final approval of the class action settlement in Fraley v. Facebook Inc. , No. 3:11-cv-01726-RS. Both the plaintiffs and Facebook have expressed their support for the final approval of the $20 million settlement agreement , subject to several caveats.
In two opinions this month - coincidentally both involving the alleged use of excessive force by police - federal district courts came to opposite conclusions regarding whether to permit broad social media discovery.
A company's brand reputation can take decades to build, and in the social media age, seconds to be imperiled. Taco Bell Corp. faced that problem after a man posted a photo June 2 allegedly depicting an employee licking multiple taco shells at a Ridgecrest, Calif., store on the company's Facebook page.
Two companies owned by rapper Eminem May 20 filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against Facebook Inc. and its advertising agency, alleging ads for new mobile software application Facebook Home infringe the copyright of his song Under the Influence .
Under what circumstances can Twitter Inc. take away an account holder's handle, particularly when a company desires the account name? A lawsuit filed earlier this month in an Idaho trial court may help answer that question.
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 appeared in BNA's Social Media Law & Policy Report , is available online to both subscribers and nonsubscribers.
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.
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.
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.
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 nonsubscribers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Social networking companies Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. are among several major companies that have admitted recently to being the victims of cyber-attacks.
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 limits?
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...
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 Facebook users.
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.
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.
Earlier this month, California Assembly Member Nora Campos (D) introduced a bill apply the state's new password protection provisions to public employees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 #Sandy.
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?
Add New Hampshire to the list of states considering limiting employer access to the social media accounts of employees and job applicants.
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.
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.
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 access.
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.
Florida judges who use Facebook or similar social networking sites may want to consider re-examining their online friends.
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.
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?
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.
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 rule.
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.
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 Workplace Act.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The FBI recently released a brochure warning of "Internet Social Networking Risks."
"Case finally over. Unanimous verdict! Celebrating tonight."
"Another great victory in court today! My client is delighted. Who wants to be next?"
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.
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.
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