On February 1, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission issued a new report entitled Mobile Privacy Disclosures: Building Trust Through Transparency. The report makes recommendations “for the major participants in the mobile ecosystem as they work to improve mobile privacy disclosures,” offering specific recommendations for mobile platforms, app developers, advertising networks and other third parties operating in this space. The FTC’s report also makes mention of the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s efforts to engage in a multistakeholder process to develop an industry code of conduct for mobile apps.

Continue Reading FTC Issues Staff Report on Mobile Privacy Disclosures and Announces Settlement with Social Networking Service for Mobile App Privacy Violations

As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog:

Employees use social media extensively in communication for personal and business reasons. Employers are increasingly monitoring this use, and insisting on access to some of the more popular sites. California took notice of this trend and passed legislation to protect employee privacy. On September 27, 2012, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed AB 1844 making California the third state to limit access to employees’ social media account, joining Maryland and Illinois.

Continue Reading California Regulates Employer Access to Employees’ Social Media

On April 5, 2012, social media giant Twitter, Inc. (“Twitter”) filed a civil lawsuit against spammers and makers of spamming software claiming violations of Twitter’s user agreement and various California state and common laws. Borrowing from the popular term for unsolicited email messages, Twitter’s complaint describes “spam” on Twitter as “a variety of abusive behaviors” including “posting a Tweet with a harmful link … and abusing the @reply and @mention functions to post unwanted messages to a user.” The suit alleges that certain defendants violated Twitter’s Terms of Service, which prohibit “spam and abuse,” by distributing software tools “designed to facilitate abuse of the Twitter platform and marketed to dupe customers into violating Twitter’s user agreement.” Other defendants allegedly operated large numbers of automated Twitter accounts through which they attempted to “trick Twitter users into clicking on links to illegitimate websites.”

Continue Reading Twitter Slaps Spammers with Lawsuit

As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog, last week, the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, released a second report containing guidance relating to employee use of social media. This report comes less than six months after the release of the NLRB’s first report on the subject in August 2011. Like the August report, the new release summarizes a number of recent cases decided by the NLRB in which an employee was terminated at least in part because of his or her comments on social media websites.

Read the full post, which discusses key themes that emerge from the cases presented in the report.

On November 16, 2011, the French Data Protection Authority (the “CNIL”) published its Annual Activity Report for 2010 (the “Report”) highlighting its main 2010 accomplishments and outlining some of its priorities for the upcoming year. This year’s Report covers events that occurred since last year’s publication of the Annual Activity Report for 2009.

Continue Reading French Data Protection Authority Unveils 2010 Annual Activity Report

As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog, on August 18, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board’s Acting General Counsel issued a report discussing fourteen social media cases recently decided by the Board.  The cases highlighted in the report offer insight regarding how the NLRB will handle various social media issues in the future.

Read the full post, which provides an overview of several of the cases highlighted in the NLRB’s report.

As reported in Hunton & Williams’ Employment & Labor Perspectives blog, two unfair labor practice complaints recently issued by National Labor Relations Board regional offices in Buffalo and Chicago illustrate how closely the NLRB is scrutinizing employers’ termination decisions that are allegedly related to statements employees made on social media.  Read the full entry.

In a pair of lawsuits filed against Twitter, Inc. and American Express Centurion Bank, plaintiffs in a California federal court are seeking class-action status to assert claims that the defendants violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by sending each plaintiff a single text message to confirm that they had processed the plaintiff’s request to opt-out of receiving further text messages.  This litigation highlights a potential vulnerability in the mobile marketing programs of companies that have not fully considered how telemarketing law should inform their implementation of the Mobile Marketing Association’s U.S. Consumer Best Practices (the “MMA’s Best Practices”), the authoritative compilation of policies enforced by the major wireless carriers.

Continue Reading Twitter and AmEx Lawsuits Highlight Gap Between Text Message Law and Industry Standards