Information Intersection > Troutman Sanders LLP

Are You Ready for a World in Which More People Own a Mobile Device than a Toothbrush? You Better Be – It’s Already Here

In January 2014, we published a post on Why Social Media Matters.  If you didn’t read that post, you should. Regardless, at the end of that article, we included a link to a YouTube video produced by a guy named Erik Qualman.  He leads an increasingly influential organization, which started as a blog, called “Socialnomics.”  Qualman founded Socialnomics to provide “social & mobile statistics, studies & surprises.”  His passion and analysis regarding social media has led to a top-selling book and high-paying gigs as a keynote speaker.  But Qualman’s thoughts on social media have been most widely distributed through social media itself — the popular YouTube video linked at the end of our post.  Its various versions have been viewed millions and millions of times.  It’s full of mind-boggling statistics.  It’s entertaining.  But, most of all, it’s thoroughly thought provoking.

This week, Qualman published the latest version –  #Socialnomics 2014.  If this video doesn’t give you and your business something to think about, we don’t know what will.

And, yes, the claim that More People Own a Mobile Device Than a Toothbrush is apparently true.  So, the question really isn’t whether you are ready for such a world, because it’s already here.  The question is — if you’re not ready, when are you going to start?

For more information, contact John Hutchins.

April 18, 2014   No Comments

Discovering Cloud Data in Litigation


Your litigation in 2014 will involve requests for production of electronically stored information (“ESI”), and there is a good chance that some of that information is stored somewhere in “the cloud.”  ESI stored in the cloud has unique challenges and opportunities.  Determining what relevant, discoverable ESI resides in the cloud; assessing whether it is, or should be, within the scope of your discovery plan; and executing a process for preserving, collecting, and producing it all require an understanding of the legal and practical issues impacting cloud storage.  Here are a few key considerations to help you navigate the process.

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April 17, 2014   No Comments

Obtaining Verifiable Parental Consent Under COPPA

In January, we posted about the FTC’s announcement that it denied the first application seeking approval of a new verifiable parental consent method under the agency’s revised COPPA rules.  Since this initial denial, the FTC has addressed two other applications seeking approval of verifiable parental consent mechanisms under COPPA that we’d like to bring to your attention.



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April 4, 2014   No Comments

California’s Do-Not-Track Law: Are you in Compliance?


It has now been a few months since AB 370, California’s new “Do-Not-Track” law, went into effect on January 1, 2014.  So, now seems like a good time to ask: are you in compliance with AB 370’s mandates?  AB 370 requires that operators of websites and other online services and mobile applications, to the extent they collect personally identifiable information through the Internet, must either: (1) disclose how they respond to do-not- track signals from Internet browsers; or (2) provide a clear and conspicuous hyperlink to an online location containing a description of a consumer choice privacy program the operator follows and explain the effects of that program.  The law also requires these operators to disclose the type and nature of any third-party tracking occurring on their sites, services, or applications.  Technically, AB 370 is limited to online services directed to California, but if your online service is NOT directed at more than 12% of the country’s population, you may need to revisit your online marketing strategy.  Regardless, it’s the first do-not-track law in the country and, as such, merits attention. [Read more →]

April 1, 2014   No Comments

The Persistent Paper Check: Why Are Businesses Resisting E-Payments?

The paper check could disappear from the lives of everyday Americans within 12 years, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia.  In a recent poll, 38 percent of respondents indicated that they “never” write personal checks.  In fact, the new trend in personal banking is the checkless checking account.

However, American businesses large and small are still pulling out their check ledger and making more 50 percent of their payments the old fashioned way—by paper check.  That rate is down from 81 percent of business-to-business payments by paper check in 2004, 74 percent in 2007, and 57 percent in 2010.  But even though B2B check payments have decreased in the past decade, the rate of decrease has started slowing—suggesting that it may be difficult for businesses to completely convert to a system of electronic payments.


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March 29, 2014   No Comments

Revenge Porn:Why it Matters to Your Business

From the Internet’s first commercial availability, porn reined supreme when it came to Internet usage, and, if we’re honest, innovation. In fact, much of the early Internet innovation we now all take for granted happened first through the Internet porn industry, including such things as credit card payment systems, streaming content and live chat. But for a couple of years now, it’s been widely reported that social media has overtaken porn as the most popular activity on the Internet. Social media’s Internet dominance has even changed the Internet porn industry, with YouTube-like copycat sites devoted to porn.

But in an ironic twist, the two most popular Internet past-times have come together in a peculiarly sinister way that neither the social media gurus nor the porn pros ever intended – the unfortunate, disturbing and growing Internet phenomenon known as of “Revenge Porn.” You’ve probably heard or read something about it by now. But in case the phrase is completely new to you, Wiktionary defines Revenge Porn as “sexually explicit media of a person, such as a former partner, that is distributed online in order to humiliate them as revenge.” So, in perhaps its most “innocent” form, two young love birds caught up in the bliss of a new, mobile-technology-age romance share some nude selfies of each other via text. All is well until the romance fades and ends. Then the guy posts the nude photos of the former apple of his eye online, out of spite. Seriously . . . this actually happens. Don’t people have anything better to do? Clearly, some folks don’t have much of a life.

As distorted as this behavior probably seems to you, however, you most likely read this blog because you have some business or legal interest that involves “the intersection” of the topics we cover here. You’re not likely to take nude selfies, much less share them with anyone. And absent the sickening possibility that some day one of your children might be victimized by this unsavory conduct, why should you even care about Revenge Porn?


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March 28, 2014   No Comments

RIP PDFs: The Not-So Slow Death of a Document Giant

Gone are the days of bankers boxes full of reams of paper, passed from one firm to the next as the sole method of producing documents in litigation; it’s long since been established that eDiscovery is here to stay. But, as discovery technology develops at a torrid pace, so too does the format of document productions in discovery. This may come as a surprise to some who have only recently grown accustomed to discovery exchanges of CDs chock full of PDFs, but PDF technology, like the bankers boxes of paper, is going the way of the fax machine.


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March 24, 2014   1 Comment

Bitcoin Under Pressure

Since its creation in 2009, Bitcoin has seen many ups and downs. However, 2014 already seems to be a year that will put the much-scrutinized digital currency to the test.

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March 19, 2014   1 Comment

Are Disappearing Messaging Services a Benefit or Burden?

In the old days, we called it “a paper trail.”  Today, nearly all litigation involves an “email trail.”  There is hardly ever a case anymore that is won or lost based solely on “he said-she said” testimony.  Lawyers and clients often spend countless hours and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars looking or that so-called “smoking gun” electronic message, or trying to make sure that there isn’t one.  As a result, some vendors are now marketing electronic messaging systems that promise that the messages sent through them won’t leave any trail at all, but instead will “disappear” without a trace.


While such solutions may sound like they represent a long-awaited silver bullet that will eliminate potential liability arising from litigation or government investigations, in fact, there are numerous technical and regulatory reasons why these services may be less of a blessing and more of a curse.

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March 11, 2014   No Comments

Native Advertising: Your Ad Here?

One of the longstanding principles of advertising law is that a consumer should always know when he or she is seeing an advertisement.  For most of the digital age, applying this principle has not been much more complicated than it was during the age of print.

“Native Advertising,” a powerful new trend in the way advertising is presented online, is complicating the regulatory picture, and regulators are starting to pay attention.  In December 2013, the FTC conducted a day-long workshop on native advertising.  Despite this recent focus, however, no specific guidelines for native advertising are likely forthcoming from the FTC, consistent with the agency/s recent practice of flexing its enforcement muscle without establishing clear boundaries for those it claims to regulate.  As a result, notwithstanding the FTC’s “guidance,” many questions remain about this form of advertising.


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March 7, 2014   No Comments