Tag archives: LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s Updated Terms of Service Aim to Increase Profile Visibility and Sharing

In 2017, LinkedIn made several updates to its Terms of Service – comprised of its Privacy Policy and User Agreement – to provide for new LinkedIn features and give users some choices over how their information is used.

In general, the changes revolve around new features that are intended to increase profile visibility and make it easier for users to share and connect with each other. LinkedIn permits users to opt in or out of these features to accommodate individual privacy preferences.… Continue Reading

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Considerations for Employers

Although the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (18 U.S.C. § 1030) is a federal statute that primarily protects against unauthorized computer access such as hacking, it can also impact employers in the realm of social media.  Originally enacted in 1984, CFAA makes it illegal to access knowingly or intentionally a “protected computer” without authorization or in excess of authorized access. Protected computers are defined broadly to include all computers that are used in or affect interstate commerce, and thus include most employer-owned computer systems.  Violations of CFAA may result in criminal penalties, and CFAA also permits individuals (and employers) … Continue Reading

Court orders ex-employee to update LinkedIn profile

A South African High Court  on March 8, 2017 reportedly gave a former estate agent five days to correct the employment information on his LinkedIn profile.

Three years after Mr. van der Schyff resigned from his position at Danie Crous Auctioneers, his profile still reflected that he was employed there. Despite two years’ worth of requests from the company to correct the information, eventually followed by a demand from its lawyer, van der Schyff refused to do so.  The company then approached the court for an order to compel the profile correction.… Continue Reading

Are your social media followers/fans/members authentic?

We have previously written on social media account verification for businesses, in order to help customers deal only with the authentic brand.  But what about authenticating your social media followers/users/fans/members?

Unfortunately, there are currently “no methodologies available that would provide us with an exact number of non-actual member types of accounts,” according to LinkedIn’s 10-K filing for 2015.  (10-K at 18.)  LinkedIn goes on to state that some of its “non-actual member types of accounts” are:  … Continue Reading

Social media: What happens to your account when you die?

Will you instruct your executor to memorialise or close your Facebook account or will you sign up to DeadSocial to post goodbye messages posthumously? The US government has created guidelines for dealing with your digital afterlife. It also provides a template social media will. The US government’s first guideline is to read the terms and privacy policies of the various social media websites. Let us break it down for you…

Twitter:

  • Will deactivate a deceased’s account on request by a person authorised to act on behalf of the estate or by a verified immediate family member.
  • Requires the following information
Continue Reading

A two pronged prescription: The FDA releases new social media guidelines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) released two new sets of guidance regarding the use of social media to disseminate information about prescription drugs and medical devices.  This guidance supplements years of FDA warning letters and untitled letters sent to manufacturers, packers or distributors in regulated industries (each a “Regulated Entity”).  We have previously discussed the FDA letters on this blog.

In the first prong of its social media guidance, the FDA provided new “Twitter Rules.” For Internet and social media platforms with character space limitations (e.g., Twitter, Google AdWords and the paid search results links on Yahoo! and … Continue Reading

Social media: what happens when you delete your account?

When you delete your Twitter account:

  • You need to deactivate your account using your account settings.
  • Your account should be deactivated within a few minutes, but some content may be viewable for a few days.
  • Data is only retained for 30 days from date of deactivation after which it is deleted. Twitter retains its licence to use any content you post (see discussion on the licence in this post).
  • If you want to use the same username or email address on another Twitter account later, you must remember to change both before deactivation.
  • Your profile may still show up
Continue Reading

A picture can be worth a thousand links

From giant billboards on the highway to tiny pictures that can go viral within seconds, the use of social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr has revolutionized the advertising industry.

Companies can now reach their target audiences more quickly and more effectively by taking advantage of instantaneous posting of pictures and blogs. The use of social media apps that allow the quick exchange of photos to other users is rapidly growing.

Apps like Instagram are some of the top social media apps, bringing in more than 200 million active users around the world. See Twitter active users pass Continue Reading

Do you “like” it?

From clicking “like” on Facebook to the +1 button on Google+ to the “Follow” or “Retweet” buttons on Twitter, the use of endorsements in social media has exploded since 2009. “Like” buttons and retweeting are growing trends in social media.  While the use of third-party endorsement type functionality in social media has obvious benefits in marketing and advertising, the increasing use of a “like” option in social media outlets may have legal implications for businesses.

A “like” button or similar type of “like” option is a feature in social media outlets such as social networking services, Internet forums and blogs … Continue Reading

Social media: did you know?

How many of us actually read social media terms of use? Be wary: you allow public information to be accessible over public search engines.

When you tweet you:

  • grant Twitter a licence to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute content in any manner or method. Twitter may sublicense these rights to third parties without restriction.
  • allow Twitter and any third party to share your content with the rest of the world.
  • agree that Twitter and third party sites can use your content (including information about you shared by other users) to provide you with targeted
Continue Reading

Canada’s new anti-spam legislation casts a wide net

From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube to LinkedIn, sending electronic communications to others through the use of social media is becoming a central tenet of doing business. At the same time, the increasing use of social media has also contributed to the ongoing problem of “spam.”

Spam has become the vehicle for a wide range of commercial online threats that affect individuals and businesses. In an attempt to address the problem, new anti-spam legislation will take effect in Canada on July 1, 2014, introducing one of the most onerous pieces of legislation surrounding the regulation of commercial electronic messaging. In … Continue Reading

A Retrospective of Social Media Law Blog

It’s been a full year since we launched the Social Media Law blog, and we thought it was a good time to take a moment to review:

  • General Counsel use of social media continues to grow at an impressive rate
  • Our Social Media Law blog has had visitors from 15 countries around the world
  • The two most popular topics during 2013 for our postings?  Facebook and defamation

Thanks to Ian Mattingly, we have an infograph to show you a review of 2013 from the point of view of our Social Media Law blog:… Continue Reading

LinkedIn office locations not enough for personal jurisdiction

Since 1961, plaintiff MetroMedia Company has used the Metromedia name in connection with a number of ventures, and owns several valid federal trademark registrations incorporating the name and mark METROMEDIA.

In 1992, defendant Ronald Cowan formed a company with Susan Conway, which was later converted to Metromedia, Inc. in 2010 and to a partnership named Metromedia Company in 2011.

Cowan purchased Conway’s share in the company in 2011 in return for a promissory note due in 2015 for $50,000. In 2012, Cowan formed Metromedia Broadcasting Corporation. The plaintiff had previously operated a radio broadcasting station through an entity with the … Continue Reading

Fictitious social media profiles under the Lanham Act

On November 7, 2013, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia issued its opinion in AvePoint Inc. v. Power Tools, Inc., a case that, at least in part, has fortified the ability of a competitor injured by a fictitious social media profile to bring a claim under the Lanham Act.

In AvePoint, SharePoint software platform developer AvePoint, Inc. brought several federal and state law claims against its marketplace competitor Axceler. In its complaint, which included allegations that Axceler had defamed AvePoint by falsely “tweeting” that AvePoint’s products were manufactured in China, AvePoint alleged that … Continue Reading

Social media part 3: leveraging social media data analytics to improve M&A

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+,Tumblr, Slideshare…

The catalogue of popular social networking sites continues to grow as more and more consumers – both individual and corporate – sign-up by the millions.

But how can social media be used to bolster M&A?

In addition to the fairly obvious answer that social media can be used as an effective promotional and marketing tool, as noted in Part 2 of our series on social media, technology-driven analytics are quickly becoming a hallmark of companies’ M&A deal-making processes insofar as they facilitate pattern recognition and trend analysis. While this benefit is not … Continue Reading

Social media part 2: the proof is in the data analytics

Part 1 of our series on social media looked at how new technologies have started infiltrating the M&A landscape. But the question we aim to answer here is: to what end?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal considered just that, noting that new technologies – and specifically data analytic technologies – can be used at various stages throughout the M&A lifecycle as a means of bolstering deal analysis and business forecasting.

While their processes can take many forms, data analytics effectively afford companies an advanced means of aggregating, synthesizing and modeling complex information with a view to revealing … Continue Reading

Social media part 1: how technology is changing M&A

Earlier this year, the MIT Sloan Management Review published a research report summarizing the findings of its global executive study on social business. The study canvassed 2,545 respondents from 25 industries and 99 countries, all of whom were involved in corporate development decisions at their respective organizations. The aim of the study was to determine how new technologies have taken hold, where such technologies are going, and how such technologies may impact M&A in the coming years.

In an interview for the report, Gerald Kane, professor at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, had the following to say … Continue Reading

Corporate Governance: Cyber Security Issues (Part II)

There are three distinct aspects of cyber-security that should be addressed by directors: prevention, detection and, if a company is publicly traded, disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Part I of our posting addressed prevention and detection matters. This Part II addresses disclosures and some questions to consider.

Disclosure

Public disclosure of a security breach is not mandated by securities laws, although it may be required by other state or federal laws. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the following in 2011:

 Although no existing disclosure requirement explicitly refers to cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents, a number of disclosure … Continue Reading

Corporate Governance: Cyber Security Issues (Part I)

The use of cloud computing, mobile devices and social media add significant corporate risks beyond the traditional security risks arising from networks, databases and e-mail.  A cyber security breach can cause serious operational disruptions, create financial costs and damage a company’s brand and reputation.  As part of risk management, a company’s board of directors should proactively identify, delegate and monitor the security risks presented by networked businesses.  Numerous studies have concluded that directors are lagging in anticipating and preparing for cyber security risks. Boards Are Still Clueless About Cybersecurity, Jody Westby, Forbes.com, dated May 16, 2012.

While directors are … Continue Reading

Social media companies adopt alternative patent models

Social media companies are increasingly involved in patent lawsuits and frustration is setting in. Hoping to inspire change within the industry, a number of companies have adopted alternative patent policies. While these alternative models are based on the social good of sharing innovation with a promise to use patents only as a defensive shield and not as an offensive weapon, they may raise a host of unanswered questions.

Many social media and computer technology companies, as well as so called “patent trolls” or non-practicing entities, have large patent portfolios covering core aspects of social media and online user interactions. Companies … Continue Reading

Shared Social Media Accounts

A court in the Eastern District of Texas recently held that two companies were “integrated employers” under the Family Medical Leave Act, in part, because the two companies shared a Facebook page. Dooling v. Bank of the West, No. 4:11-cv-00576 (E.D. Tex. July 17, 2013) (Bush, Mag. J.).

This conclusion allowed the plaintiff to establish her status as an eligible employee under the FMLA because both companies combined had more than 50 employees.

Our readers may be aware that the concepts of joint employer, integrated employer, co-employer or dual employer can arise in other areas. In the workers’ compensation … Continue Reading

The Rise of the #Hashtag

Every day, hundreds of millions of people use social media to share their thoughts about everything that is happening around them. The most popular social media sites do not have simple ways to search for and organize content, so users turned to the hashtag to solve the problem. Hashtags are words or phrases prefixed with the hash sign (#) and provide a means of grouping messages together. When you click on a hashtag (e.g. #socialmedia), you can see what other people are saying about that particular topic. When a hashtag becomes extremely popular, it can “trend” and attract more individual … Continue Reading

Copyright Safe Harbor for Third-Party Content

Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor for online service providers that allow users to self-post content. For companies with Web 2.0 enabled sites, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c) limits liability “for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user.”  But this safe harbor provision only applies where the provider acts to remove copyrighted material from its site upon being informed of it. This post discusses the DMCA and its implementation.

The DMCA limits liability to service providers even if they have actual knowledge of infringing activity.  But copyright … Continue Reading

Social Media Service, Minors, and Photos

On July 10, 2013, U.S. Representative John Duncan (R-Tenn.) and co-sponsor Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced H.R. 2645, the “Forbidding Advertisement Through Child Exploitation Act of 2013.”

The stated purpose of this short bill is to “prohibit providers of social media services from using self-images uploaded by minors for commercial purposes.”

Under the bill, a “social media service” is defined as “any online service that allows an individual to upload, store, and manage personal content in order to share the content with other individuals.”

Section 5 of the bill also defines the key term “self-image” as:  “with respect to … Continue Reading

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