When Cars Talk to Each Other, Will Driver Privacy Suffer?

Your privacy interest in the data collected by your car may seem like an abstract issue. After all, we typically think of such data being stored, if at all, within the vehicle itself. But what about when cars begin shouting their identifying information to the world? That’s exactly what’s about to start happening. In December […]

Congress Moves to Protect Critical Social Media Reviews

CNN Money
September 13, 2016

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act, which is intended to prohibit businesses from suing individuals for posting honest, but negative, online reviews. This bill makes a provision of a form contract void from the inception if it is used in the course of selling or leasing goods or services to: (1) prohibit or restrict an individual who is a party to such a contract from engaging in written, oral, or pictorial reviews, or other similar performance assessments or analyses of, including by electronic means, the goods, services, or conduct of a person that is also a party to the contract; (2) impose penalties or fees against individuals who engage in such communications; or (3) transfer or require the individual to transfer intellectual property rights in review or feedback content (with the exception of a nonexclusive license to use the content) in any otherwise lawful communications about such person or the goods or services provided by such person.

The legislation goes on to make clear that it does not apply to employment contracts, nor is it meant to prohibit other common terms of use provisions, such as those against harassment or defamatory speech.

The intent of this law is laudable. It will be interesting to see how the final language comes together and, if signed into law, how it is applied.

Tweet This to Win … a #Nastygram From the NAD

As I’ve blogged about previously, the Federal Trade Commission takes a dim view of contests that encourage consumers to post a message in social media as a means of entering a contest. Its reasoning is that consumers aren’t necessarily endorsing a product or service because the genuinely like it, but rather just as a means to […]

The Internet of Things That Eavesdrop and Invade Privacy

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit shed light on theories plaintiffs will use in privacy litigation against owners of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices. Already known in the legal blogosphere as “the butt dialing case,” the court’s July 21, 2015 opinion in Huff v. Spaw considered federal […]

FTC Responds to Questions on Social Media Endorsements

|In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission put the social media world on edge when it released updated Endorsement Guidelines that made it clear that they were watching social media for deceptive and misleading endorsements. Companies doing social media marketing set about experimenting (some successfully, some not) with various ways to convey the required disclosures in as few […]

Top 5 Legal Issues in the Internet of Things, Part 5: Physical Safety

In this series of articles on the Internet of Things, we’ve examined two ways in which IoT devices can be intentionally abused (data security, invasion of privacy), and two systemic limitations that could impede the IoT’s growth (bandwidth overload and lack of interoperability between copyrighted software).  The final topic I will address in this series–physical […]

Top 5 Legal Issues in the Internet of Things, Part 4: Copyright

Imagine a world in which each box of Lego® bricks you buy is a standalone toy–unable to combine with the bricks from any other set. That, of course, is the opposite of the real world. As was brilliantly depicted in 2014’s Lego Movie, actual kids exercise their creativity by combining the bricks from every set […]

Top 5 Legal Issues in the Internet of Things, Part 3: Bandwidth

Over the past two weeks. I’ve written about the privacy implications of the Internet of Things (IoT), with respect to both data security and surreptitious collection of information. Today we consider a more mundane, but no less practical, aspect of the IoT explosion: bandwidth. Consider this: Cisco IBSG predicts there will be 25 billion devices connected to the […]

Rampolla Calls Out AR Companies for Alleged Astroturfing

Last week, AR blogger and Augmented Legality friend Joseph Rampolla published the results of his investigation into a group of individuals affiliated with the companies AugmentedRealityTrends.com (a collection of blog posts and nes articles about the AR industry) and SeeMore Interactive, which has a handful of AR-related apps in the iTunes app store. He documented the fact that […]

App Developers Get More Guidance for Complying With COPPA

After giving the mobile app industry a few years of heartburn over the breadth and ambiguity of its expanded Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, the Federal Trade Commission has gradually begun to provide some much-needed clarity. Earlier this month, the FTC revised three portions of “Part H” in its online FAQs, which deal with how entities […]