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Are you a criminal because you share your Netflix password?

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit continues to decide high profile cases that interpret the key provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This post summarizes two July decisions from the court—one that sent the internet into a frenzy, and one that somewhat assuaged those fears. Overview of the … Continue Reading

Court considers the role of social media in class action cases

Our colleagues at the Employer Law Report blog report that Gawker Media LLC has asked a district court to limit plaintiff’s use of social media for providing notice of a class action lawsuit to potential class members. With concerns about maintaining objectivity and the possibility that plaintiff’s complaints could go viral,  the case presents a … Continue Reading

Ad agencies: If you want to say something nice, don’t not say anything at all (about your relationship with the company or product you are praising)

As we discussed previously, the Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsement Guides apply not only to bloggers who receive promotional merchandise, but also to contest promotions and corporate social media advertising. A recent FTC action confirms that advertising agency staffers cannot casually tweet nice things about their clients without disclosing their relationship. The FTC finalized a consent … Continue Reading

Privacy law in the U.S. and Europe: University of Amsterdam Summer Course explores current issues

On July 7-11, 2014, a group of 25 privacy lawyers met in a historic building overlooking the Keizersgracht, one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals, and spent five days learning about U.S. privacy law, European data protection law, and the complex interactions between them. The setting was the Summer Course on Privacy Law and Policy, presented … Continue Reading

Hashtag promotions could spell #trouble with FTC Endorsement Guides

The Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Advertising Practices has recently finalized its investigation into Cole Haan’s “Wandering Shoe” contest wherein contestants could enter the contest by creating Pinterest boards titled “Wandering Sole” and including five shoe images from Cole Haan’s Wander Sole Pinterest Board as well as five images of contestants’ “favorite places to wander.” … Continue Reading

Facebook updates policy regarding remembering loved ones, which begs the question: Is legislation over digital assets necessary or inevitable?

A few days after we posted “Facebook’s ‘Look Back’ videos send reminder: Get digital accounts in order before death,” which provided guidance to digital account users on how to make plans for their digital accounts before death, Facebook announced a policy change regarding how it would maintain the profiles of its users who have passed away … Continue Reading

A Trans-Atlantic exploration of emerging privacy law and policy issues

This past summer, the University of Amsterdam launched a new, week-long Privacy Law and Policy Summer Course related to the Internet, electronic communications, and online and social media. Course faculty included European and U.S. academics, European regulators and the head of the global privacy law practice at an international law firm, among others. Course participants … Continue Reading

Key e-discovery cases in September

Here are my thoughts on key e-discovery cases decided in September, including a decision showing how a company can defensibly delete data that it no longer needs, the recent case “trend” of courts requiring the disclosure of the sources and search terms used to find discoverable ESI, and a couple of cases addressing the issue … Continue Reading

Key e-discovery cases in August

In addition to the posting of the proposed discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for public comment, August was packed with a number of interesting e-discovery decisions. Here are my thoughts on key e-discovery cases decided last month, including another spoliation blockbuster from Judge Shira Scheindlin and rulings on e-discovery costs, search … Continue Reading

Facebook eases requirements for sweeps and contest promotions

For many years, we have been advising our clients that, in addition to the laws addressing sweepstakes and contest promotions, they must also be aware of the Facebook’s promotion guidelines if they wished to link their sweepstakes promotion to the company Facebook presence. While that remains true, Facebook has now made it much easier for … Continue Reading

Subpoenas seeking identifying information and login data associated with email addresses did not violate First Amendment or privacy rights

A federal court in California has held that subpoenas served on Google and Yahoo! seeking the subscriber and usage information associated with 68 email addresses did not infringe on the subscribers’ First Amendment rights or their right to privacy. Chevron Corp v. Donziger, No. 12-mc-80237 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 22, 2013). The subpoenas also did not … Continue Reading

Court finds non-public facebook posts are covered by the stored communications act — but not posts produced by a user’s frenemy

As long as there has been Facebook, attorneys have been scratching their heads asking whether Facebook posts fall under the purview of the Federal Stored Communications Act (“SCA”).  In Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., No. 2:11-cv-03305 (WJM) (D.N.J. Aug 20, 2013) the District Court for the State of New Jersey gave us its opinion … Continue Reading

Court denies employer’s access to social media posts in FLSA collective action and sends warning: If you want access to social media, come with both barrels loaded … leave the water gun at home

A federal court has denied a defendant-employer’s request that plaintiffs sift through and turn over all their social media posts made during their work hours in an FLSA collective action in which the plaintiffs claim their employer failed to give them meal breaks. How did that happen? I thought you’d never ask. By way of … Continue Reading

Ohio federal court permits case alleging employer’s accessing of former employee’s personal emails to proceed

When we think about the issues that employers have been struggling with relating to employee use of personal mobile devices for work, thoughts of data security, trade secret protection, record retention, and even FLSA compliance immediately come to mind — or at least my mind. But, I bet you wouldn’t anticipate what allegedly happened in Lazette … Continue Reading

SEC updates: Staying ahead of the regulatory curve

Our colleagues on the Federal Securities Law Blog have been tracking new and updated SEC regulations that are likely to have an impact on your business now and in the near future. The compilation of articles in their most recent eBook — SEC Updates: Staying Ahead of the Regulatory Curve — discuss three important SEC … Continue Reading

Facebook introduces Instagram video that promises new social media headaches for corporations

Recently our sister blog The Employer Law Report told you about Vine, a mobile video application owned by Twitter that allows users to capture and share short looping six-second videos on Twitter. The app will no doubt cause corporations more social media headaches as employees start recording Vine workplace videos — especially with 13 million users … Continue Reading

Court uses “Traditional Relevance Analysis” to order production of plaintiff-employee’s social media postings on emotional distress and alternative potential stressors

In an ADA employment discrimination case, a federal court recently denied a defendant’s request to compel the plaintiff to provide authorizations for all of her social media accounts, but still ordered the production of any social media postings relevant to the plaintiff’s claimed emotional distress damages. See Giacchetto-v-Patchogue-MedfordUnion, No. CV 11-6323 (E.D.N.Y. May 6, 2013). … Continue Reading

Porter Wright announces four-part seminar series on trending technology, privacy and security issues

On June 19, Porter Wright launches its four-part seminar series covering technology topics at the forefront of today’s businesses. Technology Law Source will continue to cover these topics in future blog posts, including navigating through U.S. and international laws, regulations and standards. The seminar series comprises: Social Media in the Law: Learn It and Use … Continue Reading

Benchbook for U.S. District Court judges adds new section on e-discovery and jury instructions for jurors’ use of social media and electronic devices

The Federal Judicial Center recently published the Sixth Edition of the Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges. For the first time, the Benchbook includes a section on civil case management, including how to address e-discovery issues. The Benchbook also adds new jury instructions regarding the use of social media and electronic devices by jurors during … Continue Reading

Facebook Posts Not “Solicitation” Under Former Employee’s Restrictive Covenant Agreement

Describing it as a “rather novel issue,” a federal court recently held that a former employee’s public posts on his personal Facebook page did not constitute solicitation of his former co-workers under the terms of his non-solicitation agreement with his former employer. [See Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. v. Cahill, No. 12-CV-346, Doc. 31 (Jan. 22, … Continue Reading