In this issue: Running Contests and Sweepstakes on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter: How the Rules Stack Up; Proposed Facebook Settlement Underscores the FTC’s Privacy Priorities; Standard for Discovery of Anonymous Internet Users’ Identities Remains in Flux; Editors’ Predictions for 2012; Tracking the Trackers: Social Media Companies Face Pressure for Tracking Users’ Browsing Habits; Updated FINRA Guidance on Social Media Websites and the Use of Personal Devices; Agreement Reached in Belgium on Google Street View Privacy Concerns; Northern District of California Court Addresses the Law of the (Virtual) Horse (and Bunny); and Status Updates.
We welcome you to a special New Year’s edition of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media. To kick off 2012, we provide our predictions for the coming year, and we take a nostalgic look back at the most popular topics on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in 2011. We also compare the contest and sweepstakes rules of three major social media platforms; discuss the FTC’s proposed order settling its claims against Facebook’s privacy practices; review the emerging case law regarding the discovery of the identities of anonymous Internet users; highlight recent disclosures relating to Facebook’s online tracking of Facebook.com visitors; provide an overview of FINR A’s updated guidance to broker-dealer members on social media usage; and take a close look at a recent court decision applying intellectual property laws to user-created virtual objects. And we conclude with Status Updates, our round-up of social media news items.
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