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Privacy & Public Policy

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When Online Behavior Crosses the Line – The Law on Threats, Libel and Just Being Rude

A frequent question we get is what can we do about the online posting about me?  Often times, the answer is not much.  Lawyers can only help when the online conduct crosses the line into a cognizable cause of action.  Figuring that out is the hard part.
The Threatening or Harassing Post
Is there an ex spewing … Continue Reading

Back from the Land of Trial Mode: January Quicklinks

There has not been much activity on the blog because we have been engaged in a long copyright and misappropriation of trade secrets trial.  So, we share with you some of the articles we have been reading, but just haven’t had time to write about:
Bloggers entitled to same protections as journalists under the First Amendment. … Continue Reading

New Years Resolution Idea: Update Your Privacy Policy

There is a new California privacy law that goes into effect January 1, 2014, that you need to know about.  It requires you to disclose how you respond, if at all, to do not track requests.  Because it applies to any website used by California consumers, you should make sure you are in compliance.
Earlier this … Continue Reading

Depository of International Online Privacy Resources

One of our more popular posts of the year was the recent Online Marketers’ Guide to Online Privacy.  It focuses mostly on U.S. law with some mention of of the E.U. Safe Harbor issues.   The purpose of this post is to host information regarding international online privacy issues.  If you know a good resource … Continue Reading

The Online Marketer’s Guide to Privacy

I’ve hesitated to write this post because the law is always changing and you can’t cover it all in one blog post (thank goodness for linking).  I did a presentation to the Houston Interactive Marketing Association this week which forced me to boil it down to digestable bites.  If I had to give you three … Continue Reading

Regulating revenge porn and explicit online communications with children – easier said than done

Everyone supports the prevention of sexual predators texting illicit material to people under 17.  Everyone knows that revenge porn is a scourge on public decency.  But, can the law do anything about it?  Should it?
Texas Throws Out Law Banning Explicit Online Communications With Minors.
Yesterday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (our highest court that hears … Continue Reading

Does California’s Amended Online Privacy Law Mean We All Have to Change Our Privacy Policies?

When it comes to privacy policies, I usually tell clients they need to comply with California law.  Beginning January 1, 2014, California is adding a new wrinkle we all need to consider.
If you comply with California’s law, you can be confident you have satisfied most of the requirements for other states.  Plus, California’s laws apply … Continue Reading

Facebook “Like” is Protected First Amendment Speech

I don’t often make predictions on legal outcomes, so when I do and I get it right, it’s worth sharing.  In May, we talked about whether “liking” a candidate would constitute protected speech under the First Amendment.  A district judge in Virginia ruled it was not.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed in … Continue Reading

Can I use the social media picture for my story? – Part One

The answer is one that frustrates people the most — it depends.  In most circumstances, you run the risk of violating the copyright of the person who took the picture, so the best practice is to seek permission first (more on that in part 3).  But, let’s assume you can’t get permission — after all, … Continue Reading

Quick Links – August 2013

Rocky Mountain National Park
Because of an extended working vacation away from Houston’s heat in Colorado, I’ve been away from the blog.  Like my kids gearing up to go back to school, I’m getting back to the normal work mode back in the office while recovering from a separated shoulder from a mountain biking incident (riding … Continue Reading