Personal Data Collection Is Getting Trickier

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

October 7, 2015

On October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“EU”) issued a judgment declaring that the United States Safe Harbor Decision is invalid. That Decision had been rendered by the EU Data Protection Commission (“Commission”) and permitted, among other things, personal information about European private citizens that was collected by an EU location of a social media site to be sent to servers in the United States. Continue reading

Crowdfunding Isn’t Charity

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

“How do I get backers for my project?”

You see this question asked frequently on social media sites. The projects are sometimes serious, but have often advanced little more than a dream. The person seeking funds may have heard of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and perhaps he or she has heard that people contributed to quirky projects like a person being willing to make potato salad; the site as of this writing reports 6,911 backers who have pledged a total of $55,492. Although this project began as a joke, the creator, having in fact made the potato salad, ended up using the proceeds for charity. Continue reading

Beware – Price Fixing by Algorithms

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

So, you’ve designed a great looking poster.  Posters are sold all over Twitter and other social media sites, and now you’ve been lucky enough to land a space in Amazon Marketplace. You’re not the only one selling posters, of course.  Some even resemble yours.  Great minds think alike, after all.  So, how do you know what price to advertise?  Prices are constantly changing and being discounted on Amazon. Overpricing on a sensitive item like posters can make you dead in the water.  Yet, you need to cover your costs and make a living.

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Environmental Branding in Social Media

Budzynski_Cheri

Cheri Budzynski

For the last three years, I have been the Vice Chair of Social Media for the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Air Quality Committee. The position requires posting developments in the law associated with air quality on Twitter and LinkedIn.  While most companies recognize that social media in this era is critical to image, the “good” environmental impact of companies seems to be overshadowed by negative environmental posts about corporate and industrial America.  This was illustrated after the 60 Minutes segment on Duke Energy.  I decided to go to Twitter and type in #DukeEnergy.  The results did not help Duke Energy’s branding at all. Continue reading

Crowdfunding Disclaimers Aren’t Adequate to Avoid Liability under U.S. Securities Laws

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

Warning to non-United States equity crowdfunding sites: it’s not enough to warn that offerings are not being made to United States residents.  Your procedures must verify that investors are not United States residents.  On November 10, 2014, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) entered a cease and desist order (the “Order”) against crowdfunding site Eureeca Capital SPC (Case No. 3-16265). Continue reading

Internet Startups: Beware of Being a Money Transmitter

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

So, you’ve got a great idea. Social media platforms are all about finding new solutions for old inefficiencies. And what’s more efficient than serving as a platform for an account holder to obtain a single cash payment in exchange for virtual currency he/she/it has received through interactions on numerous merchant sites? Or a platform aggregating other monetary remuneration due from a large number of vendors? Aggregation would be relatively easy with the right platform and software. Continue reading

Businesses Encouraged to Adopt Social Media Policies

Douglas A. Cherry

Douglas A. Cherry

Many business owners, particularly those with a limited marketing budget or no marketing plan, view access to social media as free marketing. What could be better? Ask paid employees to get out the “buzz” as an assignment. But every business should know that free marketing may give rise to potential pitfalls that are detrimental to not only immediate sales, but also long-term growth and security of your company’s brand. Continue reading