Frustrated by privacy lapses by US companies, Democrat Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has introduced proposed federal legislation referred to as the Mind Your Own Business Act (the Act). If enacted, this law could put serious teeth into efforts to protect consumer data.
Serious Penalties for Noncompliance
Indeed, the Act could cause certain executives to find themselves in prison for as many as twenty years if their companies are found to have lied to legal authorities about improper use of consumers’ personal information. On top of that, the Act could lead to such companies incurring special tax penalties corresponding to executives’ salaries.
If this were not enough, the Act would empower the Federal Trade Commission with the ability to fine companies for violating this law up to four percent of corporate annual revenues. For some companies, this could amount to fines in the billions of dollars. Continue reading Oregon Senator Proposes Robust Federal Privacy Legislation
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) became law long ago when it comes to internet time, way back in the 1990s. The main thrust of the CDA was an effort by Congress to regulate indecent content posted online. Section 230 was included within the CDA to provide general immunity to Internet service providers with respect to third-party content posted on their sites. While the indecency regulatory aspect of the CDA was struck down by the United States Supreme Court as violating the First Amendment, Section 230 survives to this day and has been the critical legal backbone that has allowed a good part of the Internet to flourish, especially social media. Continue reading What To Do About CDA Section 230 And ISP Immunity?
Long ago in internet time, way back in the 1990s, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act (CDA). A key feature of the CDA is Section 230 of the statute. In essence, Section 230 generally creates immunity for internet service providers (ISPs) with respect to third-party content posted on their sites. Congress desired a strong and robust commercial internet that would be good for the economy. Congress did not believe that the commercial internet would thrive if ISPs were saddled with the incredible cost and burden of monitoring the content on their sites and having the tremendous task of deciding content that could remain and content that should be removed from their sites. Continue reading Social Media Companies Seek Government Content Regulation?
We tend to think of censorship happening in other countries, and not so much in the United States. Just like the government can’t violate the First Amendment, we like to think that private companies would be equally generous in allowing freedom of expression, unless something is truly troublesome in nature. Well …
As it turns out, Facebook recently censored a post that displayed a very small 30,000-year-old statuette carved in the image of a naked woman and referred to as the “Venus of Willendorf,” according to USAToday.com.
Continue reading Censoring a Facebook Post Showing a Naked Statuette?
Social media outlets now connect billions of people around the globe on a constant basis. Facebook, by headcount, has become the largest nation on the planet, with approximately two billion users. A tremendous number of these users communicate with others via their social media accounts many times a day. Of course, there are many positive aspects of social media communications; but, regrettably, there are palpable negatives as well. Continue reading What to Do About Social Media Bullying and Hate
Since the internet expanded beyond the narrow confines of the military and a few educational institutions and became a more general phenomenon, there has been concern about the internet haves and have-nots. There has been talk about the digital divide — meaning those who already have greater resources will get further ahead by virtue of internet access, leaving those without resources and access even more behind and in the dust. Well, is that about to change? Continue reading Global Internet Access for Everyone?
The internet is a relatively new phenomenon. But the following fascinating facts, provided by Inc.com, demonstrate that the internet has gained rapid and ubiquitous traction.
For example, while it took 75 years until telephones were used by 50 million users, Pokemon Go was adopted by 50 million users in only 19 days!
Continue reading Fascinating Facts About Tremendous Internet Growth
A Magistrate Judge in a New York federal court recently had words of caution for social media-loving litigants and the lawyers who want to read their posts. In a decision refusing to penalize a plaintiff for supposedly deleting posts on her Facebook account, the Magistrate Judge in Thurmond v. Bowman, pending in the Western District of New York, discussed the relevance of social media accounts to claims for emotional distress and cautioned the plaintiff not to change her privacy settings.
Continue reading Magistrate Judge Says There are Limits to Relevance of Social Media Accounts But Warns Plaintiff About Privacy Settings
An appellate court in Paris has ruled recently that Facebook can be sued in France and a case thus can proceed against the social media giant in France with respect to Facebook’s decision to remove the account of a user in France who posted a well-known 19th century nude painting, according to Reuters.
This legal decision could be of concern to Facebook, as it has more than 30 million users in France, and because the French appellate court rejected the clause contained in Facebook’s terms and conditions, that requires worldwide lawsuits to be heard in Santa Clara, California, as “unfair.” Facebook still has the option to seek review by the highest appellate court in France.
Continue reading Facebook Potentially Liable in French Nude Painting Case