Privacy Law Developments Impacting Social Media (2018)
Total Credits: 1.5 Professional Practice
American businesses often use social media accounts for a range of purposes, including marketing, brand management, and support. While U.S. privacy laws have not generally had obvious impacts on social media to date, there are certain well-established laws regarding treatment of personal information shared by customers. For example, privacy notices must be clear and accurate in what customer personal information collected through social media is used for, and state law (including California’s CalOPPA) govern 'Do Not Track' requests (affecting users tracked across websites) and protect children online.
Now, new laws worldwide are requiring a fundamentally new look at how U.S. businesses with customers in other countries manage their social media presence. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as revisions to Canada’s PIPEDA privacy law, will have a massive impact on U.S. companies that collect customer’s personal information, with a movement toward consent and a defined legitimate use for each purpose. These companies will be governed either as data processors or data controllers.
Businesses will have to ask customer’s permission for using personal information, while also supplying a specific legitimate reason for needed to use that data. For example, while social media
users / customers must be presented with a clear Privacy Notice, businesses cannot take a customer’s email address and then use that to engage in undeclared email marketing or data processing activities. Additionally, the GDPR’s “consent” framework will change how information collected by social media may be used with many current “opt-out” uses switching to “opt-in.” Consent will need to be evidenced at every step.
On January 29, 2018, Facebook released a statement where it explained how it is going to comply with data protection laws. Many more companies using Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms will follow. This program will cover these recent privacy law developemnts with a focus on their potential impact on social media presence management for businesses.
Tarique N. Collins, Esq. | Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C.
Shashank Roy | RepHike
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