Law2sm’s Monthly Recap 09/01/16 – Stories Relating to Social Media & the Law

Heart outline with words relating to social media in the center

Welcome to our monthly recap of stories relating to Social Media and the Law. This month recap’s stories cover many issues including: National Cyber Security Month highlights social media security issues; ballot-selfies law struck down; social media inlfuences causing legal issues; send a tweet, get fired; FTC’s first case on native ads; social media & defamation; Dropbox hack; social media policy checklist; and more.

These are some of the articles, reports, posts, etc. that caught our attention this month. We originally send them out through our twitter account @law2sm, so follow us to get them as we find them. But many of them are such great resources we don’t want you to miss them, so we’ve decided to put them as a recap. Some have the links that will take you to their original sources, whether Mashable, Lexology, and/or others. For others you have to go to our Twitter handle @Law2sm to get. Enjoy and let us know some of the stories you’ve found interesting this time around. Just share in the comments below. Have a great week

Film Review: Terms and Conditions May Apply

Terms and Conditions May Apply Film Poster

On September 22, 2016 the Technology Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia, co-hosted a screening of the documentary “Terms and Conditions May Apply” at Emory University in Atlanta (

The synopsis of the film reads: “TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY explores the intent hidden within these agreements, and reveals what corporations and governments are legally taking from you and the consequences that result from clicking “I accept.””

As one side of my practice focuses on online legalities in the digital world I decided to go and see what it was about. First I will say it was interesting. Second I will say it was disappointing. As I sat there I was wondering why it doesn’t seem like they dealt deep enough – something is missing. And then when I looked up the film I figured it out – the film came out in 2013, which means it was filmed in end of 2012. So what was missing? Everything regarding Snowden and his whistleblowing, SONY, Target and other data breach hacks, and the current political and legislative environment regarding online privacy. The premise was good but the content did not prove timeless. Watching it with over 4 years of hindsight behind me I kept finding myself updating what was being displayed on screen (in my mind and notes) and wishing it would hurry up and get to its point.

There were a few gems I managed to record – because I was really, really looking for some tidbits to share since this film is old and so much has changed.

Have you seen this documentary? What year did you see it if you did? What was your reaction to it? If you haven’t just click on this link to view it for free.


For a limited time when Game Station had an update the license agreement said they “could claim your immortal soul.” Not many people found that because not many people read the license agreement. 

Online privacy laws that were to go into effect died because of the 9-11 attack and have not been passed yet.

 The filmmaker (Cullen Hoback) called himself a “digital rights advocate” as he connects these online terms of use with government survellience.

 Privacy is a fickle thing – you have nothing to hide until you do.

Who is watching the watcher?


ICLE 2016 Recap: Social Media Beyond Our Comfort Zone

On September 16, 2016 over 130 attorneys attended in person or via remote access the 6th Annual Social Media and Law program sponsored by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia (ICLE). Chaired by Deborah Gonzalez, Esq. , founder of Law2sm, LLC (, the program featured a number of prominent attorneys in the areas of criminal and civil litigation, employment law, entertainment law and technology law.

Gonzalez began the day with an update of the social media legal landscape highlighting the most prominent changes in the social media technology and the latest cases relating to the online platforms. Gonzalez emphasized that not only were there changed from 2015 to 2016, but that these changes should be seen in the context of change from 2011 (when this series began) to 2016 (the present year).

Trends reported on:

  • Facebook seeing its users share less personal information as people are becoming more concerned over privacy and security.
  • Facebook changing its algorithm making it necessary for business to spend more on advertising to reach potential clients.
  • Live streaming taking off with Facebook Live and Twitter and NFL deal.
  • Emojis as a language that can convey specific speech, including threats and discrimination.
  • New apps accessing publically available social media data for new uses.
  • Hoax Alert – Selfitis
  • Increase in cyber bullying and cyber-harassment
  • FTC Native Advertising Guidance
  • Tweets are Public Records in Nevada
  • The Dark Web proves challenging for law enforcement and criminal investigations.

The next panel focused on Social Media and its use in litigation. Paul E Andrew, from Andrew Merritt, Reilly & Smith, organized and moderated the panel. Josh H Viau from Fisher & Phillips LLP and Melinda C Pillow from the Law Office of Melinda C Pillow were the panelists. They began their presentation with a comparison of the 20th and 21st Century perspectives about the use of the Internet in litigation:

20th Century View: “Any evidence procured off the Internet is adequate for absolutely nothing.” St. Clair v. Johnny’s Oyster & Shrimp, Inc. (S.D. Tex. 1999).

21st Century View: A lawyer has a duty of competence to his/her clients (GRPC Rule 1.1). To be ignorant of social media and its interrelationship with the law is unethical at best and, at worst, malpractice.

Their panel discussion followed the litigation process from client intake to after the decision and award. Some highlights:

  • Review a potential client’s social media accounts – run a Google search and see what you find.
  • Various jurisdictions now allow for service f process via social media and email.
  • Social media has created new defendants and expanded duties.
  • Social media is accepted as evidence but you must go through the authentication process, etc. to have it entered into the record.
  • Social media used in the voir dire of jurors.
  • Be careful about using social media before, during, and after trial – publicity rules and Ethical rules must be followed.

Third panel of the day recognized the importance of this year in politics. Tamay Shannon (@Where2start) from W2S Marketing and Ashley Sasnett (@AshleySasnett) from Atlanta joined Gonzalez in looking at the impact social media platforms are having on the politic landscape, specifically this presidential election. The panelists provided examples of social media campaigns and best practices and Gonzalez focused on the legal issues surrounding this use.


  • Earned, owned, paid and shared media work together to reach voters.
  • FTC Disclosures of hen political speech is free and when it is bought.
  • Your social media political team needs to have certain skills in crisis communication, data analytics, writing political speech
  • No backyard is private anymore.
  • A crisis will happen – how big and how much of an impact it has varies on the response: delete, ignore, repurpose.
  • Political donations DO NOT have a limited when they are contributed via online.
  • Security has become a major issue for the campaigns – from protecting donor and voter information, to preventing hacks.
  • We are getting some decisions from state courts regarding ballot selfies – in some states they are protected freedom of speech. However there is an argument as to whether this can violate the integrity of the voting process.
  • Government agencies can use social media but not to post propaganda.

After lunch the anxiously anticipated social media and ethics panel began. Moderated by Paul Andrew it included William J Cobb, Counsel for the State Bar of Georgia and Terri Thornton from Thornton Communications. Christina Petrig, then counsel for the State Bar of Georgia, left many attorneys with more questions regarding “consent” from clients. In response Ms. Thornton worked with her attorney clients to create a series of hypotheticals, and Andrew sent them on to Tina and Cobb. Cobb, Thornton and Andrew then went through the hypothetical scenarios. The short answer is always get consent from your client before you post anything right before you post it. Do not rely on a social media amendment signed at the beginning of the engagement as situations may change and the client may change their mind. Cobb also provided a good paper regarding specific ethical rules to be considered when an attorney uses social media.

The next to the last panel focused on a specific application of social media use within the entertainment industry. Social Media: Celebrities and Public Figures Legalities included Julie K Roach, Esq.(@julieroachesq), Ashley Hollan Couch, Esq. (@CouchLawyer) and Eddie Rhodman, Jr. from DFSM.


  • The difference between a celebrity, a public figure and an influencer.
  • Review of how celebrities use social media, including to promote change and to stay relevant.
  • How brands use celebrities and influencers
  • The issue of honesty, authenticity and consumer protection when brands promote using celebrities and influencers.
  • The differences between endorsement, sponsorship, advertisement and promotion.
  • FTC Endorsement Guidelines (retweets, disclaimers)
  • Twitter Whitelisting

The last session of the day was Social Media International Developments by John Yates of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP. According to Yates this topic is important because “While social media has become ubiquitous across the world in all realms of society, the legal complexity surrounding it remains challenging.

These challenges are daunting in light of the diversity of concerns that must be addressed among different countries that may have inconsistency in the rules and regulations based on new technologies and overlapping jurisdictions. Plus, these applications are changing so quickly that someone who thinks they’ve covered their bases may learn that the landscape has changed drastically in a short period of time. “ John’s session was based on a survey “derived directly from international attorneys (from 16 different countries) with whom I have been involved throughout the ITechLaw organization, a global association of attorneys focused on technology law issues.” The questions addressed by them were:

  1. Has your country enacted or proposed laws or regulations on social media?
  2. What organization or governing body promulgates rules and regulations in this area?
  3. Have there been court cases or administrative decisions relating to the use of social media? If so, I’d be interested in a short summary.
  4. Do the social media rules vary from province/state/jurisdiction in your country or are they uniform across the country?
  5. What is your expectation of the future of regulation of social media in your country?

For more information about the program and/or to secure materials from prior year sessions please contact ICLE at

Ashley Couch, Eddie Rodham Jr., Julie Roach
Ashley Couch, Eddie Rodham Jr., Deborah Gonzalez, Julie Roach


John Yates, Terri Thornton
John Yates, Terri Thornton



Bill Cobb, Terri Thornton, Paul Andrew
Bill Cobb, Terri Thornton, Paul Andrew
Terri Thornton, Ashley Sasnette, Tamay Shannon, Deborah Gonzalez
Terri Thornton, Ashley Sasnette, Tamay Shannon, Deborah Gonzalez

Gwinnett Tech Forum: The Evolution of Wearable Technology

Using smart watch

Partnership Gwinnett hosts quarterly Technology Forums ( I enjoy attending them because they always have interesting topics, knowledgeable speakers, and great networking with technology professionals. The last one I attended was called “The Evolution of Wearable Technology.” Panelists included Rick Erazo (RE), of AT&T Wearable IOT; Todd Charest (TC), Chief Innovation and Product Officer, Ingenious Med; and Peter Presti (PP), Research Scientist at Georgia Tech IMTC Georgia Tech. The panel was moderated by Robert McIntyre (RM), from the Wireless Technology Forum.

The discussion began with some introductory remarks and a history of wearable technology – where it came from up to where it is now. The moderator then presented a series of questions for each panelist regarding how they use the technology, what are the trends and obstacles they see, and how they believe this technology will change employer and consumer behavior. Below I have put some highlights form the discussion.

Check their website for future Forum dates.


Hurdles for wearable technology?

Size, battery life, and consumer behavior.

Factors of adaptability of wearable technology?

Health, productivity, safety and security.

Interesting stats:

  • 10% of wearable devices will be working on a cellular network.
  • 24 million devices were in use by end of 2015.
  • A 36% annual growth is expected in this market through 2017.
  • By 2018 it will be a $12 billion range market.

There is a difference between non-traditional OEM’s of wearable technology and enterprise wearable technology.

Non-Traditional OEM Enterprise
Concerned with how the device “looks” on the body

Personal preferences, tastes, personality traits of the wearer, fashion, lifestyle


Concerned with how the device “functions” and affects productivity

Ex. Google glass flopped with consumers but has been taken up by service providers

  1. Why are wearables taking off?
    • Mass adoption of smart phones. (RE)
    • There are better user interfaces and user experiences now. (RE)
    • A wearable is not just the device but also an infrastructure. (PP)
    • We are understanding better behavior change – behavioral engineering – so now we can collect data passively and do something with the data to make lives better. (TC)
  2. Is the wearable the extension of the human or is the human the extension of the wearable?
    • We start with the human first. (TC)
    • We may be transitioning in to a “Borg Lab” (from Star Trek) where humans and wearables will co-evolve (like clothes). (PP)
    • An extension of the human 0 that fashion element that represents who you are to the world – like luxury items. (RE)
  3. How will wearables enhance and challenge the workplace?
    • Wearables can work very well in certain areas – like manufacturing – like id badges – for authentication and to provide access. (RE)
    • Any job that needs interaction with a terminal can use a wearable. (PP)
    • We are collecting a vast amount of data today – information overload – we need to learn how to make sense of it. It will not be fashion but usability that will determine a higher adoption rate in the workplace. (TC)
  4. What about privacy and security?
    • These are the biggest challenges in this market. How do we strike a balance? What is the younger generation’s understanding of privacy, etc.? (TC)
    • What happens to the data collected by the wearable beyond health – photos, etc.? Regulatory policy will come into this space within the next 5-10 years. (PP)
    • These are critical to adoption multi-faceted approach through every step in the use of the wearable for security. We each need to access our risk. Need to look at mobile device management – and update IT policy to include wearables and IoT; especially bio-data of employees. (RE)
  5. Which wearable is your favorite and why?
    • Google Glass – a massive social experiment of what people are willing to accept and not to accept. Fashion vs. form vs. function – what is the right way to build these things? (PP)
    • Samsung Gearup 2 and Timex Metropolitan (RE)
    • Need to look at the breath and depth; my smartphone, Apple Watch (convenience and social acceptability), Fitbit (social norms) (TC)
  6. Which wearable technology company should we buy stock in?
    • Fashion name brands like The Fossil Group which just acquired Misfit. (RE)
    • Small start-ups; Pulse Wave monitoring company (PP)
    • Companies working with cognitive computing; self-driving cars; insurance companies (DC)
  7. Other comments:
    • Problem with Google Glass is that its battery life is too short so it is not good for constant and long-term monitoring (PP)
    • Empowered patients – “sitting (not moving) is the new smoking” – this is a public health concern; we need to get employees moving (PP)
    • This will be a competitive space, but a big challenge is that the data collected in one device is not transferable to different platforms. (TC)
    • Who owns the data? Will you be beholden to a certain brand because they have your data (not ideal). The user should own the data. (PP)
    • It will be a crowded space (RE)





Law2sm’s Recap 07/01/16 – Interesting Stories Related to Cyber-bullying

Colorful fireworks

Welcome to our monthly recap of interesting stories relating to Cyber-bullying. These stories cover many issues including: parent tips on cyberbullying, online predators, & privacy; YouTube TOS targets harassment; no simple solution for cyber-bullying; cyber-bullying & recent suicides; and more.

Hope you had a safe and fun Fourth of July!

These are some of the articles, reports, posts, etc. that caught our attention this past month. We originally send them out through our twitter account @l2cyberbullying, so follow us to get them as we find them. Some of the links below can only be accessed by our Twitter handle. But many of them are such great resources we don’t want you to miss them, so we’ve decided to put them as a recap. Enjoy and let us know some of the stories you’ve found interesting. Just share in the comments below.

  • Teenagers who are bullied and their bullies are at risk of suicides, warns AAP report ‪ 
  • Parents Tips: Cyberbullying, Online Predators & Privacy ⋆
  • Legal Bits & Business Bytes Monthly Lunch-n-Learn ‪ 
  • Changes To YouTube Terms Of Service Target Harassment
  • Cyber Violence against Women and Girls: A World-Wide Wake-Up Call ‪ 
  • As number of social apps grows, so does need to battle cyberbullying | KVAL
  • Do you know if your child is being cyberbullied? ‪ 
  • Facebook leads the way against cyberbullying, but others need to follow
  • Editorial: Pain of cyberbullying is all too real
  • How citizen journalism can lead to cyber bullying ‪ 
  • New Legislation Expands Stalking Laws, Adds Rules For Online Activity And Social Media
  • Facebook’s Suicide Prevention tool to offer support to at-risk users – National
  • Cyberbullying: So you’ve become a meme – National – NZ Herald News
  • No simple solution for cyberbullying as social media changes – Times Union
  • Cyberbullying: 11-Year-Old Falls Victim to Offline and Online Bullying in Virginia ‪ 
  • A Nude Snapchat Video and Cyberbullying Lead to Teen’s Suicide
  • North Carolina’s cyberbullying law violates First Amendment – Supreme Court
  • Technological Advancement And The Dawn Of The Cyber Bully
  • 10 Ways to Protect Social Media Passwords From Hackers
  • Law2sm’s Recap 06/01/16 – Interesting Stories Related to Cyber-bullying ‪ 
  • How to actively prevent workplace cyber bullying & harassment ‪ 
  • ‘This Was Louise’s Phone’ website shows harsh realities of cyberbullying | The Daily Dot ‪ 
  • New Laws To Prevent Bullying In Missouri
  • Google, censor agencies train pupils on Internet safety – The Nation Nigeria
  • ‘No one listened’: Teen dies by suicide after months of cyberbullying | ‪