Last week, Arkansas enacted H.B. 1901, joining California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, and Utah in restricting employer access to social media or personal accounts. A total of seven states now have such laws. New Jersey’s harsh bill, which we have covered, has cleared the Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. The Arkansas law… Continue Reading
People v. Fulmer, — N.E.2d —, 2013 IL App (4th) 120747, 2013 WL 662250 (Ill.App. 4 Dist. February 25, 2013) A criminal defense attorney believed that video the state’s attorney gave him prior to a preliminary hearing showed police engaged in improper conduct toward his client during an undercover drug operation. After the defense attorney… Continue Reading
Brompton Bldg., LLC v. Yelp!, Inc., 2013 WL 416185 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. January 31, 2013) The Appellate Court of Illinois has affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of the petition that an aggrieved real estate owner filed to discover the identity of a tenant who was badmouthing the petitioner’s rent-collection practices. The decision is a win… Continue Reading
Keller v. National Farmers Union Property & Cas. Co., 2013 WL 27731 (D. Mont. January 2, 2013) A federal court in Montana has held that a plaintiff in an insurance dispute was protected from having to turn over all of her social media content to her litigation opponent. The court’s decision helps define the contours… Continue Reading
On December 10, 2012, the FTC released a follow-up to its February 2012 report on mobile apps for kids. The February 2012 report found that little or no information was available to parents about the privacy practices of the mobile apps the FTC surveyed on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market. The FTC’s follow-up report finds… Continue Reading
It should be no surprise that the use of social media creates risks – legal and financial risks related to privacy and data security issues are among the most examined concerns. But the use of social media also may create risks that can’t be valued by a dollar sign – risks to human life and… Continue Reading
The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently issued another report analyzing provisions of six different employer social media polices. As we have previously discussed, these periodic NLRB reports provide guidance for how to draft and apply policy provisions that attempt to restrict or guide employees’ use of social media. Specifically, in the latest report, among… Continue Reading
This is significant because in the past, platforms have utilized federal laws such as CAN-SPAM, which prohibits sending misleading electronic communications, to punish the most egregious spammers. If Twitter prevails in this lawsuit, it puts all users on notice that there is monetary liability for breaching a platform’s TOS, which significantly expands the ability of a social media company to reign in prohibited activity by users.
On January 25, 2012 the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Office of the General Counsel released a report summarizing fourteen cases that were before the NLRB concerning the “protected and/or concerted nature of employees’ social media postings and the lawfulness of employers’ social media policies and rules” (“Report”). The Report followed up on an earlier report… Continue Reading
In 2011, InfoLawGroup began its “Legal Implications” series for social media by posting Part One (The Basics) and Part Two (Privacy). In this post (Part Three), we explore how security concerns and legal risk arise and interact in the social media environment.
There are three main security-related issues that pose potential security-related legal risk. First, to the extent that employees are accessing and using social media sites from company computers (or increasingly from personal computers connected to company networks or storing sensitive company data), malware, phishing and social engineering attacks could result in security breaches and legal liability. Second, spoofing and impersonation attacks on social networks could pose legal risks. In this case, the risk includes fake fan pages or fraudulent social media personas that appear to be legitimately operated. Third, information leakage is a risk in the social media context that could result in an adverse business and legal impact when confidential information is compromised.
Phonedog v. Kravitz, currently pending in the Northern District of California, raises unprecedented issues regarding social media. Is a list of Twitter followers protected as trade secret under California law? What is the value of a Twitter follower? $2.50 per month? I discussed these questions today with Fox News.
InfoLawGroup attorneys recently joined risk management professionals from the ACE USA, the U.S.-based retail operating division of the ACE Group, to record a companion podcast to our whitepaper “Social Media: The Business Benefits May be Enormous, But Can the Risks – Reputational, Legal, Operational – be Mitigated?” The free podcast is available for download at http://infolawgroup.com/files/ACESocialMediaRisks.mp3… Continue Reading
As we have discussed on our blog, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has continued a campaign of enforcement actions against employers who, according to the NLRB, have unlawfully terminated employees for discussing working conditions on social media. As we reported, in the first of such “Facebook” enforcement actions to come before an NLRB administrative judge, the employer was ordered to reinstate five employees and to pay back their wages.
On September 28, 2011, in the second “Facebook” case to reach an NLRB administrative judge, an employer was found to have been justified in terminating an employee car salesman for Facebook postings that mocked the employer and did not concern working conditions
As social media and networking continue to revolutionize modern-day marketing and become the norm for organizations of all types, shapes and sizes, it is even more important to adequately address the legal risks associated with social media use. In Part One of our Legal Implications series, we laid out some background and identified key areas of legal risk. In the next few posts InfoLawGroup is going to look deeper at some of these risks. In this post we explore some of the privacy legal issues that companies should address if they want to leverage social media.
In the first decision of its kind, a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) Administrative Law Judge recently ruled on September 2, 2011 that a nonprofit organization unlawfully discharged employees for complaining about their jobs on Facebook. As we have previously discussed on our blog, the NLRB has been very aggressive in enforcing employees’… Continue Reading
On August 18, 2011, the Associate General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) issued a report analyzing the Board’s recent social media enforcement actions. The report seeks to provide guidance to employers that want to ensure that their social media policies appropriately balance employee rights and company interests.
Banks and other financial institutions face unique issues when it comes to the use of social media. Faced with conflicts between social media platform rules, customer expectations, self-regulatory standards, and the strict regulations that govern the industry, guidance has been needed. The industry received some of that guidance recently through a whitepaper issued by BITS, the technology arm of The Financial Services Roundtable whose members are 100 of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.
The report addresses the compliance, legal, operational, and reputational risks – and related mitigation strategies – of using social media in connection with a financial or banking operation. Regarding compliance, the report discusses the myriad of compliance areas relevant to banks, including marketing, privacy and security. For example, because social media web sites and web activities are deemed advertising by regulators, the report warns of the risks of failing to comply with various marketing laws and regulations applicable to the banking industry, including state Unfair and Deceptive Acts or Practices Acts and Prize and Gift Acts, as well as others that require additional steps for financial institutions, such as Truth in Lending, Truth in Savings, and FDIC membership rules. The paper predicts even stronger and more subjective requirements to come under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Risks of non-compliance vary widely – from litigation and reputation risk, regulatory enforcement actions and in some cases civil money penalties.
Much like the “Cloud computing revolution” there is an almost frenzied excitement around social media, and many companies are stampeding to exploit social networking. The promise of increased intimate customer interactions, input and loyalty, and enhanced sales and expanded market share can result in some organizations overlooking the thorny issues arising out of social networking. Many of these issues are legal in nature and could increase the legal risk and liability potential of an organization employing a social media strategy.
In this multi-part series the InfoLawGroup will identify and explore the legal implications of social media. This series will help organizations begin to identify some of the legal risks associated with social media so that they may start addressing and mitigating these risks while maximizing their social media strategy.
In Part One of the series, we will provide a high level overview of the legal risks and issues associated with an organization’s use of social media. In subsequent parts members of the InfoLawGroup team will take a deeper dive into these matters, and provide some practical insight and strategic direction for addressing these issues. As always, we view our series as the beginning of a broader conversation between ourselves and the larger community, and we welcome and strongly encourage comments, concerns, corrections and criticisms.
Yesterday, we reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took enforcement action on May 9, 2011 against against Hispanics United of Buffalo, a nonprofit organization that provides social services to low income clients, for firing employees over Facebook comments. The NLRB announced today that it took yet another "Facebook firing" enforcement action on May… Continue Reading
We previously reported on our blog that a Connecticut ambulance company settled the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) allegations that the company violated an employee’s federal rights by firing her for criticizing a manager on Facebook. The NLRB continues its enforcement blitz with another Facebook firing complaint.
Every now and then I wonder what goes through the mind of some litigation parties and their respective attorneys. Case in point the ongoing case of Wendi J. Lee v. PMSI, Inc., 8:10-cv-2904, out of the U.S. Middle District of Florida within the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Lee filed suit against PMSI, her… Continue Reading
The Google Buzz settlement that the Federal Trade Commission announced on March 30, 2011 is the latest in the line of the Commission’s numerous Section 5 actions related to privacy and data security violations. The Google Buzz settlement, however, is unique in several important ways. The settlement represents (i) the first FTC settlement order has requires a company to implement a comprehensive privacy program to protect the privacy of consumers’ information, and (ii) the Commission’s first substantive U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework enforcement action. Let’s dive in (make sure to read the “Action Item” at the conclusion of the post!).
Yesterday we wrote on our blog about the NLRB’s Facebook firing settlement. I was interviewed on Fox Live this morning about the case, its implications for employees and businesses, and other developments in workplace privacy. You can view the clip at http://video.foxnews.com/v/4531424/facebook-firing-case-settlement/?playlist_id=87937
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced that settlement has been reached in the closely watched Facebook firing suit brought by the agency.
We have previously reported on our blog that the NLRB filed an administrative complaint against a Connecticut ambulance company alleging that the company violated an employee’s federal rights by firing her for criticizing a manager on Facebook. In the complaint, the NLRB took the position that union and non-union employees have a right to criticize their employers, management or working conditions, and cannot be punished for engaging in such protected activity. The NLRB also alleged that the company maintained overly-broad rules in its employee handbook regarding blogging, Internet posting, and communications between employees. The complaint asserted that an employee’s right to criticize the employer and management is an extension of the federal right to discuss unionization and form unions.