This past July the New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) released Ethics Opinion 745: “Advising a Client Regarding Posts on Social Media Sites.” This opinion represents some of the first tangible guidelines for attorneys advising clients on social media usage. Encouraging attorneys to be aware of both preemptive and retroactive steps they can take with their clients regarding social media, the NYCLA Opinion further emphasizes what many attorneys have already come to realize: not just some passing fad, the implications of social media can be more far reaching than its users realize. [Read more →]
October 18, 2013 No Comments
In our first post on the Bitcoin in June, we described the “Wild West” of the Bitcoin, a digital currency. As we noted, for the first few years of its existence, Bitcoin was unregulated, unlike “real” government-issued currency.
But we predicted that the age of unregulated Bitcoins was drawing to a close. And, in our next post, in July, we noted that our prediction proved true–both federal and state government agencies were moving decisively to regulate the Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
The “regulatory train,” mentioned in our last Bitcoin post, appears to show no signs of slowing down. In fact, it seems to be speeding up.
October 15, 2013 No Comments
Most of the headlines concerning the ongoing battle over immigration reform have focused on the path to citizenship and border security. Behind the scenes, though, the technology industry has been a key driver of immigration reform, and it has helped shape much of the current immigration reform bill’s substance. The growing need for employees in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math – combined with a dearth of such employees among United States citizens, has put the tech sector into the role of lobbyist for immigration reform. The technology industry’s goals are straightforward, and are very likely to soon be the law: more visas for STEM workers, the creation of an entrepreneur visa to lure talent to the U.S., and an overhaul of the green card system to make it easier to retain that talent.
September 5, 2013 No Comments
Along with revolutionizing personal (and political) relationships, the sharing of content on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram — itself now a Facebook property — is also steadily increasing pressures on legacy copyright law regimes worldwide. The passage and forthcoming implementation in the UK of what has become known colloquially as The Instagram Act, boringly titled the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, promises only to accelerate the conflict between new social media services and copyright.
September 3, 2013 No Comments
Several months ago, we wrote about an ongoing case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that considered whether an employee’s LinkedIn profile, which was used for business purposes, belonged to her or to her former employer.
In that case, the plaintiff, Linda Eagle, was the former president of a banking education company that was purchased by another company in 2011. Shortly after the acquisition, the company terminated her. Upon her termination, the company had her LinkedIn account password, which it used to wipe her information from her LinkedIn profile and then to substitute information about the company’s new president. This resulted in significant confusion among the plaintiff’s thousands of contacts.
August 7, 2013 No Comments
Last month we wrote about the beginnings of regulation of the Bitcoin. Since then, the regulation train has kept on rolling.
Bitcoin, and other virtual currencies, enable individuals and businesses to conduct commerce outside the traditional banking system because they are not recognized by any country as legal tender, such as the dollar or euro. Such alternative currencies have been growing in popularity among individuals and businesses.
July 25, 2013 No Comments
Last month, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that it may be permissible for the state to use GPS to monitor state employees during working hours without obtaining a warrant. While the court found that the degree of the state’s monitoring was excessive in the case it examined, the decision may pave the way for more warrantless GPS tracking of public employees in certain circumstances, and it raises questions about the expectation of privacy for all employees. [Read more →]
July 19, 2013 No Comments
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that prosecutors in the recent George Zimmerman trial decided to present the testimony of Scott Pleasants, Zimmerman’s former college professor, via Skype. You also know that, after the prosecutor had finished questioning the witness, and it was time for Zimmerman’s lawyer to cross-examine, users of the social media platform who were watching the trial on television bombarded (“Skype-bombed”) the professor’s Skype account with “calls,” disrupting the trial and making national headlines. Some media outlets wondered aloud about the prospect of Skype-like technology being used in future trials.
July 17, 2013 No Comments
We posted a couple of times last year about proposed changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and also about how those proposed changes might impact developers of mobile apps. That rule-making process is now complete, the new COPPA regulations have been issued, and they became effective July 1, 2013. In this new landscape, many of our clients have questions, so we thought it might be a good idea to bring everyone up to date.
July 12, 2013 No Comments
Businesses can no longer hide from the advent of “wearable computing,” one of the most prominent current examples being Google Glass. By appending a computer to the human body, devices like Glass and Apple’s yet-to-be-released iWatch take technology a step or two beyond portable devices like smartphones and tablets with respect to integration between the user and the device. Along with a host of benefits with the potential to streamline employee productivity and efficiency, these devices carry with them privacy risks inherent in the introduction of any new information technology into the workplace. Those risks are apparent in Google’s own recent decision to prohibit recording devices from the company’s annual shareholder meeting. To be clear, Google did not actually confiscate anyone’s pair of Google Glasses, but Google’s action, which impacts the use of its own technology, raises the interesting question of how far businesses should go in restricting individual control over how wearable computing devices are integrated into the workplace.
July 11, 2013 No Comments