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 (www.law2sm.com), 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 http://iclega.org/.

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 (http://www.gwinnettchamber.org/gwinnett-technology-forum/). 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)





Possible Woman Conference 2016 Recap: Dare to Win!


A couple of months ago a good friend and colleague invited me to be a “brand ambassador” for an upcoming women’s leadership conference. We are both members of Atlanta Social Media Women (ASMW), a group whose members are comprised of very seasoned and successful women in the top of the social media and marketing fields. Toby Bloomberg (@TobyDiva) is the president of Bloomberg Marketing, founder of Diva Foodies, and fearless leader of ASMW.   They “allow” me in because I do social media law and every once in a while (although more frequently now) a legal concern comes up in the group’s discussions. Before I sad yes, Toby had to explain what a “brand ambassador” was and what I was supposed to do as one. Simply put it was to tweet and post on my social media accounts about the conference and its speakers before and during the event. Of course we were to disclose that our tweets and posts were sponsored because we received complimentary admission to the event in exchange for our brand ambassadorship. I used the “SPONSORED” and “SPNSRD” for my disclaimers. There were seven of us in total (http://www.windenterprises.com/2016-conference-dare-to-win/social-media-ambassadors/).

The conference was held as a half-day event on May 10, 2016 with “two wonderful keynotes, interactive C-suite panelists, exciting networking opportunities and informative exhibits” (excerpted from their program). You can look back at the tweets and social media postings by searching out #PossibleWoman (http://www.windenterprises.com/2016-conference-dare-to-win/). I wasn’t sure what to expect but ended up enjoying the conference on different levels – one getting to meet new exceptional women, getting to better know amazing women that I already knew, and learning a few golden tidbits to help my own path to success. One of the messages emphasized is the need for us, as successful leaders to share what we learn with others so below I have listed a few of the things that I made me reflect, rang true, or were surprising.

“Keys for success: confidence and competence.” Hala Moddelmog, President, MAC

“Phrasing the problem to solve changes the perspective: curing breast cancer vs. decreasing the mortality of breast cancer.” Hala Moddelmog

“You must be intentional.” Hala Moddelmog

“Stand by your beliefs. Keep an open mind but it is OK to walk a different path.” Tracy Garner, AT&T

“Diversity needs to change from how we look around the table to getting the best of each of us.” Patricia Falotico, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership

“Who you are as a leader is different depending on who needs you at a particular time.” Tracy Garner

“Be selfish with your time. Outsource what you don’t bring value to (Like cleaning the house).” Lee Pressley, IBM

“There is no work-life balance – it is about life choices – integration of the two.” Paraphrased from various speakers.

“We have an obligation to be great.” Celeste Johnson, Transformation Coach

“Who’s watching you? Who are you inspiring?” Celeste Johnson

Affirmation by Celeste:

“I’m open to possibilities;  I’m committed to action; I dare to succeed.”

“Success does have a cost: time, money, attention.” Celeste Johnson

DARE by Celeste Johnson:

D = Discipline yourself

A = Act with clarity and focus

R = Raise the bar on endurance, excellence and expectations

E = Engage with people, purpose and passion

Did you attend? What tidbits would you share? If you did not attend what leadership lessons would you share with others?


ASMW Social Media Ambassadors Table –                   Close to the action.


From Hala Moddelmog's keynote
           From Hala Moddelmog’s keynote


women of Power & Vision Panelists
        Women of Power & Vision Panelists


Desserts are a must at any leadership conference - chocolate!
       Desserts are a must at any leadership conference – chocolate!




2015 Cyber-security Summit Atlanta


On July 15, 2015, the US Chamber of Commerce (https://www.uschamber.com) partnered with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce (https://www.gachamber.com), the Georgia Institute of Technology (http://www.gatech.edu), and the Technology Association of Georgia (http://www.tagonline.org), to present the Atlanta Cyber-security Summit (https://www.uschamber.com/event/georgia-2015-cybersecurity-summit).

The event is part of a nationwide tour stopping at various cities throughout the US to promote awareness and preparedness of companies regarding cyber-security risks and threats, as well as resources and strategies to prevent, manage, and recover from them. The half-day event included various speakers from local and national FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, NIST, US Army Cyber Protection Brigade, and corporate representatives. Their presentations were full of valuable information – some new and some as refreshers, but all good components of a business cyber security toolkit.

I have put down some highlights and thoughts below, as well as some of the resource URL’s that they shared with us. What are you doing from a business standpoint on the issue of cyber-security? Do you even know where to start? One myth that we should do away with right now is that size does not matter in this arena in terms of being a target – it matters in terms of the resources we have to protect our data and mitigate incidents. But it is not futile. As a business professional you do need to think about how to incorporate some security controls in your operations. Although the message was clear from this event that our adversaries (i.e. hackers, etc.) have their own rules that they play by and will not give up the attacks, it is also clear that there are resources and help out there from the US government, military and private sectors. So read a bit, check them out, and let us know if you have any questions.

Ann M Beauchesne, Senior Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce began her discussion with a poignant statement “The Internet is infested” and “90% of all cyber attacks are done to private companies.” She added that the focus is now on health records – “that when stolen are worth their weight in gold.”   This was a recurring theme – the records do not weigh physically but they weigh heavily with value. Another recurring message throughout the day was the increased use of social media and social networking tools by cyber-terrorists to get their messages out, recruit new jihadists, and create a cyber-jihad army. One tool spotlighted for them – YouTube.

Ann was followed by Tino Mantella, CEO of the Technology Association of Georgia. Tino indicated that in Georgia alone the cyber-security industry consists of more than 10,000 jobs and has raised $4.7 billion in revenue. His emphasis was that cyber-security is a “growing national security challenge.” Tino introduced Jim Kerr, General Counsel of Southern Company (http://www.southerncompany.com), who spoke about how the electricity industry is approaching the cyber-security threat with cooperation and collaboration. Jim talked about how vital energy was for the “health and happiness” of people and so their systems must be reliable and resilient. The challenge of cyber-security is that “we do not necessarily see them coming” and in essence “we are under attack every day – millions of times a day – in fact, people are in our systems as I speak today.” He emphasized the importance of government and industry communication and collaboration. This message was also reiterated a number of times.

Next on the agenda was Adam Sedgewick, Senior IT Policy Advisor, for The National Institute of Standards and Technology (http://www.nist.gov). Adams spoke about the NIST Cyber-Security Framework (http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/), describing its components and its usefulness for business of all sizes, but especially small-to-midsize businesses, to ensure cyber-security in their companies. The five main concepts include: identify, protect, detect, respond, and resolve. Adam ended with a brief statement of how the US is now introducing this framework internationally (EU, Japan, etc.) to begin the conversation of worldwide standards.

One of the main objectives of these summits is to introduce local businesses to local law enforcement who can assist them should they experience an incident. Murang Pak and Michael Anaya represented Georgia FBI (https://www.fbi.gov/atlanta), and Alan Davis represented Georgia Secret Service (http://www.secretservice.gov/ectf_atlanta.shtml). An important point brought up by Agent Anaya was the fact that “hacking” technology has progressed so much that you know have “unsophisticated hackers using tools developed by very sophisticated actors.” These actors could be criminals, nation states, individuals, etc. The agents agreed on that information sharing is so important when it comes to cyber-attacks since by reviewing and analyzing the data they can “identify a migration of threats from one company to another” and can warn the company to prevent the attack from happening or from causing extensive damage and/or loss.

Following the break, the private sector panel was bright up including Matthew Eggers of the US Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Steve Cross, Executive Vice President for Research, Georgia Tech, Sean Franklin, Vice President of Cyber Intelligence for American Express (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/sean-franklin/49/76/695), and Jeff Schilling, Chief Security Office of Firehost (https://www.firehost.com).   Their discussion ended up focusing on specific threat trends and security concerns of the Internet of Things. Dr. Cross offered two great resources form Georgia Tech, their annual emerging threat report (https://www.gtisc.gatech.edu/pdf/Threats_Report_2015.pdf) and APIARY, an automated framework for malware analysis and threat intelligence (http://apiary.gtri.gatech.edu). Jeff talked about the consequence of not knowing your own system as one of the causes of cyber-security failures. “Know they self, know thy enemy” he quoted. “Do you know your own system – its vulnerabilities and its strengths?” Sean took a humorous approach to IoT “my refrigerator keeps threatening my toaster.” But his statement is funny because so many see the future truth in it. We know there are millions of devices connected to the Internet now, what happens when they start talking to each other and telling our secrets?

Before lunch Thad Odderstol, Director of Industry Engagement for the Department of Homeland Security offered a number of tools and resources for combating cyber-attacks (http://www.dhs.gov/topic/cybersecurity) and Col. Donald Bray talked about the Army Cyber Mission Force and the new Cyber Security Branch the Army is starting. Col. Bray also discussed briefly the Army training in cyber-security initiative from the Army Cyber Institute at West Point (http://www.usma.edu/acc/SitePages/Home.aspx), to the US Cyber Command (http://www.arcyber.army.mil) to be consolidated in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

The luncheon keynote brought us Mark Guiliano, Deputy Director of the FBI. He used the recent cyber-attack on SONY as an example of cooperation between government and corporate. He outlined the “dark net” that we are combating and the agility of our adversaries. He also emphasized the importance of information sharing and spoke about the Cyber-security Information Sharing Act (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/754) and why the government having access to encryption keys is so important. “Our job is to keep Americans safe. We can’t do that efficiently and effectively if we do not know what is going on” since right now so many criminal actors use encrypted channels to communicate and organize attacks. The Act is still being debated in Congress.

The Summit ended with the presentation of Dr. Phyllis Schneck, Deputy Undersecretary for Cyber security, National Protection, & Programs Directorate of DHS (http://www.dhs.gov/person/phyllis-schneck-nppd). Her message was two-fold. DHS number one priority is building TRUST with the private sector, and one way they will do that is to BUY new technology from them.

This half-day was packed with information and expertise. But what does it all mean. Some skeptics would say this summit was part of an organized propaganda campaign for CISA and DHS – to “educate” the private sector about the need for giving government the keys to their data and to start building the “trust” Dr. Schneck spoke about. Perhaps. But they still offered a lot of good resources and tools for small and midsize businesses, who may not have a political agenda, but do have a bottom line to protect and grow.

Did you attend the Summit in Atlanta or in another city? Share you experience and/or thoughts in the comment box below. One thing is for sure – the conversation about cyber-security will continue.


TAG: Social Media in Health 2015

Panelists from the TAG Health event.
Panelists from the TAG Health event.

The Technology Association of Georgia (http://www.tagonline.org) sections on Health and Social co-presented a panel of key stakeholders in the health industry regarding the current and future use of social media to engage with patients. Entitled “Social Media in Health: Connecting, Collecting and Collaborating” it was held at the Centergy Building in Atlanta on May 14, 2015. Their promo for the panel read as follows:

Health consumer behavior is changing and consumers are engaging with social media platforms and tools in widely different ways. The means by which individuals seek, digest, and trust information makes it more critical than ever for health-related organizations to understand the right ways to engage with their audiences. This includes reaching specific population segments, and defending against misinformation and dissatisfied customers.

 Four panelists presented their views in a discussion full of insight, lessons learned, social experiments, and an emphasis on “purposeful use” of patient data that is collected and acted upon. All this with a twist of humor sprinkled throughout that kept the conversation lively and interesting. The four panelists included:

Although lasting just about an hour, a lot of information was shared. Below I list some of the highlights, but there was much more than I can recap here.

  • Social media is being used for a variety of reasons by health organizations including: brand recognition, patient engagement, patient acquisition, patient care management, patient behavior change, preventative care, and issues of public health awareness.
  • The main social media platform they all use is Facebook. KP uses Twitter and has found that Pinterest works well of women’s health concerns.
  • You need a strategic vision and sufficient resources to maintain the social media channel over time.
  • Using social media for preventative care is key as the economic model of healthcare has changed from reimbursement based on service provided to the patient to reimbursement based on patient outcome. For example, if a patient is readmitted within 30 days for the same issue, there is an economic penalty to the health organization.
  • The core digital strategy when using social media is personalization of the message for the individual patient.
  • KP will experiment with an online forum called “The Doctor ‘s In” where physicians will moderate conversations for patients who suffer form particular illnesses as a way to ensure the quality of the information the patient is receiving and to monitor the issue sand concerns the patients are having.
  • KP is also experimenting with geofencing conducting a pilot program in California. The example given was that if a KP member goes to a Church’s Chicken, the geofence will be triggered and the KP member will receive a message on their smartphone suggesting the chicken salad instead of the fried chicken basket.
  • Another panelists suggested that sounds great from a preventive perspective (helps lower the patient’s cholesterol, etc.) but did voice a concern of what happens when that information is tied to an increase in insurance premiums?
  • One of the panelists brought up a specific request a physician gave him “find me a technology that will change habits.”
  • Other technology mentioned was the use of digital patient coaches to push specific information to patients at specific times – avatars that monitor the patient and give “advice” and “guidance.”
  • Gamification was brought up as a response to how to incentive people in regards to certain health concerns – like childhood obesity. Budget to spend on the campaign was another.
  • HIPPA, security and data privacy are all concerns – and with mobile, more now than ever.

As you can see the conversation was broad and touched on a number of different topics, although wearable technology (like the Fit Bit, etc.) was not brought up. I can easily see some privacy and legal concerns as health care providers look at the wearable technology and other Internet of Things applications and start having them communicate with the health organizations. What unintended consequences will that bring? If so many of our medical decisions are being made by HMO’s today, will they next be made by the technology itself? Where does that leave our own autonomy regarding our health and our bodies? Health tech, e-health, digital health – these are all umbrella concepts attempting to label the intersection of health care and technology. One message I left with is that this is just the tip of the iceberg and we need to keep watching and monitoring where all of this is going.