Last week, Michigan joined the growing number of states to enforce a social media privacy law. Like similar legislation in California and Maryland, it will now be a lot harder for employers and educators to gain access to employees’ or students’ social media accounts. Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation, which prohibits educators or employers from asking for usernames or passwords, into law on Friday. Sarah Wolfe’s article “Michigan Social Media Privacy Law Signed By Governor” has more details.
California District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled Monday that Facebook might owe you as much as $10. The ruling is the latest development in the class action suit against Facebook over Sponsored Stories. The case also marks continuing efforts to limit Facebook’s access to users’ personal information. Jessica Dye’s article “Judge Gives Initial OK to Revised Facebook Privacy Settlement” appeared on Reuters.
It seems it’s already time for the 2012 end of year lists to start appearing. Here is one from Alex Fitzpatrick on the “7 Landmark Tech Laws Passed in 2012.” It will be interesting to see how some of these spread to other states and countries in the coming months.
by Michael Kernan
It’s easier than ever to make sure that your new Mobile App is compliant with Federal Trade Commission regulations on truth-in-advertising and privacy. The FTC has published a guide, Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right From the Start, to help developers. You can find the guide at the FTC website and the Bureau of Consumer Protection also provides a breakdown of the guide on their website.
Pinterest is one of the hottest new social media sites and has introduced another slew of questions about its legality. Copyright in particular has been a contentious issue with the picture dependent site. Andrew Mirsky provides a thorough look at the legal issues involved, including images of famous people, copyright – fair use – and trademark. In addition his article “Pinterest: Fair Use of Images, Building Communities, Fan Pages, Copyright” also provides some guidelines in going ahead with a Pinterest account.
Everything old is new again on social media. Human resources departments need to take a close look at their harassment and discrimination policies in relation to the use of social media. Tom Starner provides an in-depth look at these issues here.
While states are busy passing legislation to protect your passwords from employers and schools, Americans still have little in the way of guaranteed privacy on social media sites. The police can rely on a 1986 law that was extended to the internet by the Patriot Act to conduct surveillance on social media sites without a warrant. Declan McCullagh provides more details in his article “Feds Snoop on Social-Network Accounts Without Warrants.”
Governor Jerry Brown very appropriately tweeted that he had signed the social media privacy bills. He later followed up with a press release. The Los Angeles Times online version carried the story “Gov. Jerry Brown Tweets That He Signed Social Media Privacy Bills.”
California’s new social media privacy law, which passed last month but is still pending signing into effect, may be a boon for employers and employees alike unless you look at the financial industry. The new law would help to protect individuals’ privacy and protect employers from liability. Matt Williams provides some insight into the benefits in his article “California Ramps Up Social Media Policy.”
Dan Jameson provides insight into the potential pitfalls that the law could pose in the securities industry and other financial industries: “Privacy Laws Threaten Compliance.”