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Social Media SCCI Prezi

Every legal issue about using FB, Twitter, Linkedin etc online

Peter Wright

on 23 April 2013

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Transcript of Social Media SCCI Prezi

Social Media
& The Law Social Media & The Law
What is Social Media?
Social Media in 2012
Defining Social Media
Legal Controls
Privacy Concerns
EU 2012 Data Protection Regulations
Facebook - Regulation & Privacy
Employment Law & Social Media
Touchscreen devices London 2012 - First Social Media Olympics Social Media in Context
Email is 20 years old now
Social media has been popular for less than 5 years
25 Million UK users engaged
78% of total UK online population is engaged in social media "We considered that the Nike reference was not prominent and could be missed, consumers would not have already been aware of Nike's "£makeitcount" campaign and that not all Twitter users would be aware of the footballers' and their teams' sponsorship deal with Nike.

"We considered there was nothing obvious in the tweets to indicate they were Nike marketing communications. In the absence of such an indication, for example £ad, we considered the tweets were not obviously identifiable as Nike marketing communications and therefore concluded they breached the code."

Celebrities often paid to blog or tweet about certain products
Advertising Standards Rules say you can't promote a product if the consumer doesn't know they are being advertised to – Criminal Sanctions if not followed! When EU Data Protection Regulations were adopted in 1995, Mark Zuckerberg was 11...

1% of people had internet access

People didn't have email addresses on Biz Cards

Most Firms didn't have websites

Most internet connections were still dial – up

Mobile phones were analogue

Mobile phones were only used to make calls.... Legal Controls in Context Data Protection Act 1998
EU Data Protection Directive 1995 Definition

A Social Networking Service (“SNS”) is

Web – based service allowing individuals to

Construct a public / semi public profile in a bounded system

Articulate a list of other users to whom they are connected

View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others in system

Facebook, LinkedIn, Bebo, Twitter, Foursquare, Privacy & Risks of Abuse

European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) Report 2007

Private attributes accessed by 3rd parties

Operators could use data

Users can't delete data permanently

Targeted “phising attacks” across accounts

Reveal a users location and schedule Privacy Concerns and Risks of Abuse

UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) Guidance on SNS

Reveal only certain details

Avoid using passwords that can be guessed

Use separate email

Don't provide details of “real – life” location Data Protection

Pre – Condition for fair data processing is one of the following:

1.Individual Consent

2.Necessary to perform contract with

3.Necessary to comply with legal obligation

4.Necessary for legitimate interests Who is a Child?

England and Wales – U18

Scotland U16

UN – U18

US – prohibits data collected on U13s

UK ICO - prohibits data collected on U12s

Usage by Children

SNS awareness in Children generally high

49% 8 – 17 year olds have a Profile

37 % of parents thought their child had a profile

15% of parents questioned had a profile

23% of parents with U11s allow their child to go online unsupervised

In EU, 77% of 13 – 16 yr olds use SNS Risks

Adult material

Focused commercial content

Contact risks (youngster to youngster
can be inappropriate)

Conduct Risks – Photos, bullying (inc teachers..)

“Trolling” Retention of User Data
User Data often retained for longer than necessary
Not possible to close user account on certain SNS
“Right to be forgotten” proposed in EU Data Protection Regulations
How effective can this be in practice?
EG Press, Health, Crime, Credit References
SNS – Data passed through to other users/ Facebook response to the proposed EU Regulations

Transparency – Understandable and usable privacy policy

Control – you can control and edit by post – the new “Timeline” even has an “only me” setting. Can close and delete account
Accountability – To users and regulators (Irish DPC – audited in 2011)

Facebook Response
Freedom of expression – can it be right to be able to delete anything written about you?
Don't want system so over – regulated that it makes online experience more complex and less enjoyable

Could stifle the creativity of FB App developers 10 Legal Risks on Twitter The test: If a tweet lowers a person's standing "in the estimation of right-thinking members of society" it will breach the law of libel. This may occur where a tweet causes a person to be exposed to "hatred, ridicule, or contempt", encourages exclusion of that person from society or imputes a lack of professional skill or efficiency. 10. Defamation 9. Harrassment

The test: Tweets which the "reasonable person" would conclude cause alarm or distress may amount to harassment

The Protection from Harrassment Act 1997 provides that "if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct amounted to or involved harassment", it is harassment.

Two or more tweets would be necessary for a claim of harassment to be made, as it involves a 'course of conduct'. Harassing tweets could result in a claim for damages for anxiety or financial loss, fines or imprisonment for up to six months. 8. Malicious Tweets

Tweets made within the intention of damaging another's business, goods or services through false statements, or which are reckless with the truth as to another's business, goods or services will offend the law against malicious falsehood. A maliciously false tweet could result in a claim for damages for loss and for further compensation for causing distress and "hurt feelings".

The test: False tweets with the intent to injure another's commercial interests, or recklessness as to the truth, will amount to malicious falsehood 7. Menacing Tweets

The test: If a tweet could create fear or apprehension in the minds of anyone who may reasonably be expected to see it the tweet could be considered a menace and an offence under the Communications Act

A tweet that is grossly offensive, or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, will offend the Communications Act 2003. The crown court considered Paul Chambers' tweet "... I am blowing the airport sky high" to be menacing, however the high court overturned its decision.

A tweet that is indecent, obscene or menacing in character could result in a fine or a prison sentence of up to six months. 6. Deceptive & Misrepresentative Tweets

The test: Is the tweet deceptive in nature or likely to deceive?

A tweet containing a false statement that induces another person to act on it may offend laws against deceit and the making of misrepresentations. A duty may also arise for a professional or other skilled person not to make careless tweets. Misleading commercial communications may offend either the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 and industry based advertising rules. Untrue tweets in a commercial context can result in damages claims and prison sentences of up to two years. 5. Impersonating Tweets

Test: Misleading or an untrue representation as to a person's identity on twitter could amount to fraud

The Fraud Act 2006 protects against fraudulent activities. An impersonator who opens a Twitter account could be exposed to a claim for fraud if the person who has been impersonated suffers loss or damage as a result of the impersonation. A claim for fraud can result in criminal charges with a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and fines. 4. Threatening Tweets

The test: Generally, an intention to cause harm or intimidation may offend either criminal or civil wrong laws.

A tweet could amount to an assault if the person to whom it was directed has a genuine belief that physical harm is imminent. Criminal sanctions would apply in these cases. A tweet could also amount to intimidation if the tweeter makes a threat to engage in unlawful conduct (for example, violence, destroying property or in some circumstances breaching contractual obligations), which coerces another person into doing something for which they suffer loss or damage. The tweet must however be more than "idle abuse" to offend the law of intimidation. An intimidating tweet could result in a claim for compensation for loss or damages suffered. 3. Tweets revealing personal or confidential information

Test: Tweets revealing personal details about another person without their consent may breach data protection laws.

There is a risk that data protection laws may be breached if consent is not obtained before revealing another person's personal information. The penalty for breaching data protection laws vary across Europe. In the UK, a breach of data protection laws may result in fines and criminal convictions.
Particularly in the employer-employee context, a person may be bound to keep information of another confidential. A tweet breaching any such obligation could result in a claim for damages or an account of profits for any income made as resulting from the exposed information. 2. Copied Tweets

The test: A tweet which reproduces the work of another without consent will offend copyright law if that work gives evidence of another's creative choices in arranging words, images or sounds.

A tweet could offend copyright law if it reproduces even part of an isolated sentence from a copyright work.

ECJ - there must be an assessment of whether or not an author has exercised creative choices in the form of intellectual effort in arranging words, images or sounds. Claims for damages for loss suffered and criminal charges with prison sentences of up to two years can result from a tweet that infringes copyright law. 1. Branded Tweets and Hashtags

The test: Does the use of a hashtag create a likelihood of association or confusion with the products or services of a trade mark owner?

Hashtags, marked with the # symbol, are used in order to alert users to relevant conversations taking place on Twitter. There is a risk, however, that combining a hashtag with the trade mark of another person could result in trade mark infringement. Trade mark law generally protects the trade mark owner against use of its trade mark without permission in a way that may create a likelihood of confusion or association with other similar products or services. Use of hashtags in these circumstances potentially could result in a damages claim. Consumers & Privacy

Do consumers actually care about privacy?

Most consumers aren't aware of user – targeted adverts based on user history and location

80% of people are concerned about data stored online

44% of users don't like having their financial data available online

“Informed Consent” is a fallacy – who actually reads T&Cs before ticking the box? Cookies & Tracking

Cookies & Flash Cookies

Leads to adverts on websites tailored to what you have recently looked at

98% Websites have Flash (yet few state this)

Impossible to remove (& are recreated!)

Massive Privacy Issue EU Position

EU Privacy & Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2011

User must have given consent for Cookies to be installed

Came into force 26th May 2011

1 year grace period, hence will be in force and all sites must be compliant as of 26th May 2012

Companies WILL be prosecuted if no action taken by this date Cookies – What should you do?

Understand how your site uses Cookies

Reflected in Privacy Policy?

Train your IT & Marketing department

New version of Adobe Flash 10.3 allows for browser history to be deleted

Check contracts with web – designers and include appropriate liability

ICO Website follows correct approach

www.ico.gov.uk Issues for Businesses in using Social Media

Employees using SNS to bully or harass others

Employer liable if no reasonable steps taken to prevent this – Have a clear policy in place Whitham v Club 24 Ltd

Ms Whitham posted negative comments about her colleagues on her Facebook account after a difficult day at work, including

"I think I work in a nursery and I do not mean working with plants".

Tribunal Decision – Unfair Dismissal Preece v J D Wetherspoon

Bar Staff dismissed for gross misconduct after she made rude comments about customers on her Facebookaccount.

"Sandra and Brian barred ha ha ha!"

"Hope her (Sandra) hip breaks”

Tribunal Upheld dismissal LinkedIn – Who owns the contacts?
Depends on the circumstances in which contacts created
If in course of employment, contacts belong to employer
If activity outside employment led to contact, status of employee may mean contact still belongs to employer
Therefore have a clear SNS policy with guidance for employees and provide training Google Wave, Box.Net

Collaborative working for multiple users on a single document

“Smoking Gun” Legal Issue - US issues - Patriot Act

Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regs 2000 - Right of employer to monitor communications

Law Practices - Consider very carefully before using Cloud "BYOD"

Susceptible to hacking
Have a policy in place
Ensure Encryption in place
If difficult to police, then ban!

Updating of Accounts..... www.DigitallawUK.com
++ 44 (0) 114 272 1884
uk.linkedin.com/in/peterwrightlawyer Consent

Little option but to consent in order to use SNS

Often complex and difficult to follow

Fallacy of “Informed Consent” online

Privacy Settings

Facebook faced criticism of old system

20 settings and 170 options

New: 1 page, 15 settings

Criticisms – Apps that share data

Needs to be as simple as possible for user

Opt – in vs Opt – out – practical? But.....benefits

Education, Learning, Research


Social benefit (all peers are online, could isolate)


Identity & Social Connection

Stifle benefit is using tools that will be means of connection in future


“The first UK Child Internet Safety strategy”

ISPs, reviewed against UKCISS


“Zip it, Block it, Flag it”

Part of NC from age 5

“Safer Internet Day” 7.2.2012, now in 3rd year "Want" & "Collect"
Full transcript