Can a celebrity’s post mortem right of publicity enter the public domain?

Banking on a dead celebrity’s right of publicity being public domain is an extremely dangerous advertising practice. Rights of publicity are a suite of legal rights that have developed from invasion of privacy and trademark law since the early 20th Century. There is a web of state and federal laws that can protect dead celebrities– even celebrities from (...) [Read More]

Children and Digital Advertising Collection Practices: FTC to issue new COPPA Rules

Does your website have a Facebook “Like” button? Is your website, mobile site or mobile app directed at adults but attracts children under age 13?  Pull out your pens.  The Wall Street Journal reports that today FTC is expected to issue new rules proposed last fall to protect children online and on mobile devices. The new (...) [Read More]

Social Media Users have the Power to Control their Online Privacy

The Wall Street Journal has an article about Apps this morning.  The paper has done a great job of revealing the so-called seamy underbelly of the online advertising world. Today the theme is that Facebook apps exploit users (and make Facebook million$) by collecting bits and pieces of personal data, details that alone do not (...) [Read More]

When is Advertising Invasive or Just “Creepy”?

Cookies are one of my favorite things.  Usually, this refers to the oatmeal raisin variety rather than those tiny bits of computer code that empower websites to remember a user’s login, keep items in a shopping cart and greet the user by name when she returns.  Warm and fuzzy, right? Sometimes, not so much.  I (...) [Read More]

What is Protected as “Private” Online?

Less than one might  think. Online privacy focuses on the use of personal information and how it is contributed, collected, shared and used by the user and other people and companies providing web services.  “Personally Identifiable Information” (a.k.a. “PII”) is protected by a web of laws – but non-personally identifiable information collected by many websites (...) [Read More]

Undressing Online: Managing User Privacy in an Interactive World

The evolution of digital and social marketing makes it easier than ever for agencies and marketers to target consumers. But there are gaping legal pitfalls. Because of lax or downright misleading privacy policies, some of the largest online players – including Facebook, Twitter and Google – have bull’s-eyes on their backs; and the Federal Trade (...) [Read More]

In the Matter of Facebook: FTC Forces Privacy Fix

Facebook settled with the FTC today over its chameleon-like  privacy policy reports Gizmodo, putting the user into the driver’s seat for privacy settings. No more Big-Daddy-Knows-Best privacy changes.  FTC announced that given the long history of Facebook privacy changes and broken promises, it issued an order that Facebook be barred from making misrepresentations about the privacy of user’s (...) [Read More]

What is a Flash cookie and why should we worry?

Starting with the basics, what is a “Flash cookie” you ask?  They are files known as LSOs (local shared objects) installed on your browser by websites that use Adobe Flash. Similar to HTML cookies (hence the Flash cookie name), an LSO stores data such as graphics, usually for user convenience so graphics and video files load more rapidly upon a (...) [Read More]

Online Behavioral Advertising: Protecting Consumer Privacy

Does online behavioral advertising (OBA) invade consumer privacy? Federal regulators claim that it does and threaten to increase regulation of online advertising if the industry does not soon provide consumers with tools to understand and control what personal data is shared with OBA. “Do-not-track” tools will soon be available so consumers can opt-out of OBA (...) [Read More]