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Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> SEC Permits Certain Uses of Social Media by Investment Advisers and Representatives - Alert - 04/16/2014

The SEC’s guidance is a welcome step forward and adds to the growing body of regulatory guidance for social media usage in the financial services sector. All participants in the financial services industry should develop or carefully review their social media policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the specific requirements set forth in the guidance.


Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> Canada’s Anti-Spam Law, Poised to Take Effect, Requires Action Now - Alert - 04/14/2014

Advertisers that have not yet begun to do so should develop plans and procedures to comply with the CASL for Canadian residents on their email marketing lists.  Those plans must include confirming or re-opting-in users, methods to obtain express consent for receiving future CEMs, systems to remove people who withdraw their consent or do not provide it in the first instance, and ways to adjust to new regulations as they are issued and take effect. The penalties are potentially too severe to delay any longer.


Droid Report // Interview with Gary Kibel - Press Mention - 03/26/2014


Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> FTC’s Proposed Settlement in Data Security CASE Highlights Companies’ Need to Supervise Vendors  - Alert - 03/06/2014

The FTC’s proposed settlement with GMR should highlight the need for all companies that use third-party vendors to process personal information to properly supervise and manage these third-party vendors.  Companies may become liable for the acts
of their vendors.  

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> California Adopts Minors’ Privacy Law - Alert -  10/09/2013

By Gary A. Kibel; Allison Fitzpatrick

California has become the first state in the country to pass a law requiring operators of commercial websites or online services to give minors the ability to remove their online content. The law, which takes effect on January 1, 2015, also imposes restrictions relating to the online marketing of certain products to minors.

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The Huffington Post: HuffPost Tech: We've Been Duped: The Fake Reviews That Caused You To Dine Here And Buy That - Published Article -  09/26/2013

By: Allison Fitzpatrick and Alison Winter

In an increasingly tech-reliant world, most of us do not step foot in a restaurant or buy anything online without doing at least a modicum of Internet research. And who better to look to before making a reservation or adding a gadget to your shopping cart than other consumers who have dined at that restaurant and used that gadget? Sadly, some of the reviews we relied upon were, in fact, totally fake.

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Mobile Marketer: W3C Agreement on Do Not Track Standards Would Make Legal obligations Murky - Published Article -  09/16/2013

By Gary S. Kibel

While the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group takes a summer vacation from its cantankerous and sometimes amusing debate over a Do Not Track (DNT) law, it is worth taking a moment to consider how compliance could be enforced from a legal perspective if final DNT standards did come out of the group.

Unlike Steven Spielberg’s Abraham Lincoln who extolled, "I am the president of the United States of America, clothed in immense power," the W3C is actually powerless.


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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> “Do Not Track” Disclosure Bill Likely to Become Law in California - Alert -  09/11/2013

By: Gary A. Kibel

The California Online Privacy Protection Act (the Act) was enacted in 2004 to little fanfare. It was the first state law to require a website to post a privacy policy, even though doing so was commonly believed to be the best way to comply with applicable federal and state consumer protection laws and a best practice.


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Gamustra: Seven Steps to Improved Security - Published Article -  05/02/2012

By Gary A. Kibel and S. Gregory Boyd

While privacy and data security are hot topics everywhere these days, they are of particular interest to the game industry. Vast quantities of consumer data are generated every day in the game industry, including through consoles, websites, and mobile devices. Data can be a significant asset in that it provides valuable insight into a consumer’s behavior which can be used to improve games and target messages and offerings. However, data can also be a liability.

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MediaPost: The Pinning Rules - Published Article -  03/26/2012

By Vejay G. Lalla and Anne DiGiovnni

In addition to “friending,” “liking,” “tweeting,” and “checking in,” the social-media savvy have added “pinning” to their repertoire as Pinterest.com has taken off more than 1 billion page views per month.

As with other social networks or sites that have significantly increased traffic over a very short time, the rules of engagement, particularly for brands, are not yet entirely clear. However, we know that social media marketers have a continuing desire to drive traffic and monetize the ever-growing word-of-mouth engagement power of social networking.

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MediaPost: Post-Google Buzz: Has Google+ Gotten Privacy Right? - Published Article -  09/26/2011

By Vejay G. Lalla and Joseph J. Lewczak

In June, Google unveiled the test phase of its new social network, Google+. While Google+ is regarded as Google’s “response” to Facebook, the service is Google’s second attempt at social networking after privacy problems plagued Google Buzz, a Twitter-like service based around user updates.

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MediaPost: Facebook’s Sponsored Stories May Become Tales of Woe - Published Article -  07/28/2011

By: Vejay G. Lalla

In one of Facebook’s latest efforts to monetize the participation of its over 500 million members, the company announced in early 2011 that it will offer advertisers a new opportunity: “Sponsored Stories.”

Sponsored Stories will republish a content user’s post about an advertiser’s brand as part of banner ads. Advertisers can opt to have several types of user-posted content appear as Sponsored Stories, such as page “likes,” check-ins, application engagement, and page posts.

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Privacy & Security Law Report: Social Media, Games, Privacy, and Digital Identifiers - Published Article -  03/17/2011

By: Gary A. Kibel and S. Gregory Boyd

It is difficult to believe social media as a phenomenon is less than seven years old. Facebook was founded in 2006, MySpace and LinkedIn were both founded in 2003. Now, social networks are ubiquitous. As of February 2011, Facebook alone had more than 500 million users and there are ten or more other social networks with more than 100 million users.

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Promo Magazine: Quiznos/Subway Settlement Poses Legal Threat to Future UGC Promos - Published Article -  03/23/2010

By: Joseph Lewczak

Quiznos and Subway recently settled their longstanding dispute involving the Quiznos vs. Subway TV Ad Challenge user generated content promotion and other advertising created by Quiznos for its Double Meat Campaign. The settlement came quickly after the court in the matter issued a decision denying Quizno's motion for summary judgment. The negative decision for Quiznos could have far reaching consequences for future UGC promotions, and sponsors should now carefully consider what type of content they ask users to submit.

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PRWeek: Social Media Guidelines and Why You Need Them to do Business - Published Article -  07/24/2009

By: Michael C. Lasky

Public relations firms are quickly trying to develop appropriate social media guidelines in order for their employees to use (and not misuse) tools such as Facebook, blogs, and Twitter.  This article highlights the key principles that all firms should keep in mind, although social media guidelines should be customized based on a firm’s own culture and risk tolerance.

Social media guidelines should be prepared by legal counsel and signed or accepted by all employees as a condition of their continued employment. Here are four points that should be incorporated into any fi rm’s
social media guidelines:


Brandweek//New FTC Asserts Itself - Press Mention - 04/27/2009

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Privacy & Data Security Law Journal: Statutorily Mandated Security Requirements - The Next Step in the Evolution of Data Security Laws - Published Article -  02/24/2009

By: Gary A. Kibel and Alison Winter

It has been over five years since California SB 1386 became effective and ushered in the age of state security breach notification laws. While the obligation to disclose security breaches is now well recognized, there has been less clarity on the measures legally required to prevent the occurrence of a security breach in the first place. There is certainly some guidance that can be gained from reviewing recent enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC" or the "Commission") in which failure to maintain reasonable security standards has been interpreted by the Commission as an unfair practice in violation of the FTC Act. However, data security legislation has taken a giant step forward with the enactment of two state laws that contain specific data security requirements.

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Gamasutra: Emerging Issues in In-Game Advertising - Published Article -  02/11/2009

By: S. Gregory Boyd and Vejay G. Lalla

Advertising in games is currently in a stage similar to internet advertising in the late 1990's -- the research and development phase. As such, many deal terms during negotiations between game companies and advertisers -- including one of the most important to all parties, price -- are in flux.


IP Law & Business//Game Hero - Press Mention - 01/01/2009

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The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel: Behavioral Advertising - An Advertisers Dream Or A Privacy Nightmare? - Published Article -  09/01/2008

By: Gary A. Kibel

Behavioral advertising is the practice of capturing vast amounts of non-personal consumer data, developing a profile of the consumer and then delivering a targeted message to that particular consumer.


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The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel: Virtual Property - Business Models and Pitfalls - Published Article -  09/01/2008

By: Richard S. Eisert and S. Gregory Boyd

In the last several years, online games and communities have experienced exponential growth. A number of these worlds such as EverQuest, Second Life and World of Warcraft are self-contained persistent worlds where consumers spend many hours a week. Traditionally, the main revenue stream for these businesses in the United States has been from subscription sales. However, a new method for achieving additional revenue is growing in popularity. This new method is virtual property sales, and it is growing in popularity because it allows game businesses to fine tune prices to match a broad spectrum of consumer demand. But this new revenue stream is not without potential problems. The purpose of this article is to outline the main virtual property models used by online businesses and highlight potential issues as these business models develop.

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Privacy & Data Security Law Journal: Federal Trade Commission Proposes Principles Regarding Privacy in Online Behavioral Advertising - Published Article -  04/01/2008

By: Gary A. Kibel

The Federal Trade Commission recently released proposed principles regarding Online Behavioral Advertising. These proposals followed a public workshop and forum held on November 1-2, 2007, during which the FTC sought to analyze the issues surrounding such practices and whether or not there existed a genuine issue for the FTC to address.

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TRUSTe: Privacy Concerns Grow As Marketers Flock to Social Networking - Published Article -  05/01/2007

By: Gary Kibel

Marketers are excellent at making use of popular cultural trends and the latest fads, as in the case of social networking. In just a short time, the use of social networking and user-generated content has exploded on the Internet, and may soon do so in the wireless world as well. So naturally, marketers have sought to jump on the bandwagon.

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