Business Startup

Social Media Legal Issues: (Post Number 3): Privacy Law, Privacy Policies, and Your Company’s Social Media Strategy

Privacy law is important for the vast majority of business owners and managers to understand, particularly those whose businesses operate online and employ social media as a marketing tool. Privacy law is not one of the areas of law we consider “overhyped,” as running afoul of privacy laws can be exceptionally costly to your business. Accordingly, your social media strategy, including your company’s social media policy, should be created with privacy law in mind.

Unfortunately, “privacy law” is also an incredibly broad subject that cannot be given due treatment within the confines of anything less than a legal treatise. Nevertheless, keeping the answers to the following questions in mind as you define your social media strategy (and your online strategy generally)...

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Business Startup

Social Media Legal Issues: (Post Number 2): Honesty, Transparency, and the FTC’s Impact on Your Social Media Strategy

“Advertising” and “marketing” via social media are an inherent part of any business’ social media strategy. After all, devoting  your valuable resources (time, money, and talent) to a social media campaign without garnering business is unsustainable. Like those who employ traditional media, companies who employ social media to advertise and market their business must be concerned with the laws and regulations that govern how companies can present information to consumers. But the viral nature of social media and the fact that your employees may be “advertising” and “marketing” without management’s knowledge  can translate to costly mistakes for your company. The Federal Trade Commission‘s (“FTC”) “Section 5” and the regulations promulgated under its authority largely govern how your business must conduct...

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Business Startup

Privacy Policies in the U.S.

A privacy policy discloses some or all of the ways a company gathers, uses, discloses and manages customer data. Businesses that collect personal information from customers should adopt a comprehensive privacy policy in order to maintain full disclosure.

There is currently no specific federal regulation establishing universal implementation of privacy policies in the United States (U.S.). However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces terms of privacy policies under Section 5 of the FTC Act which prohibits unfair or deceptive marketing practices. The FTC’s Fair Information Practice Practices provide details relating to critical issues that should be covered by a company’s privacy policy, including notice, choice, access, security, and enforcement.

Notice: data collectors must disclose their information practices before collecting personal information from...

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