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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 16 Issue: 9
(September 2014)


Facebook announced on 7 August changes to its Platform Policy that prohibit Facebook page owners with apps from ‘incentiviz[ing] people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.’ The changes, effective as of 5 November 2014, mean Facebook page owners cannot require a user to ‘like’ a page before accessing app content, known as ‘like-gating.’ / read more

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) released on 21 August its 2013 Annual Report to Parliament, highlighting the need for online privacy transparency, particularly regarding website privacy practices. / read more

The German government passed on 20 August its ‘Digital Agenda 2014-17’ bill, aimed at expanding broadband internet across the country, strengthening internet security and fostering IT innovation. / read more


Is there a limit to the reach of a criminal search warrant issued by the US Government demanding access to data stored in a foreign country? That is the question Microsoft will ask the Second Circuit, in response to an order from a federal district judge ordering Microsoft to turn over data located in Ireland based on a criminal search warrant served in the US. Microsoft argues that US courts lack the authority to issue warrants for extraterritorial searches and seizures. The US Government contends that Microsoft must turn over any data that is within its possession, custody, or control regardless of its location. Cloud data storage facilities are increasing around the world, so the ruling here will have far reaching implications, as Peter S. Vogel and Sadie F. Butler of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP explain. / read more

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has released a call for submissions in order to shape the development of the Internet of Things and Ofcom’s role in its development. The consultation covers an array of issues to consider as the Internet of Things takes off, including its interaction with big data, IoT standards and whether Ofcom should be adopting a proactive role in the development of the Internet of Things. Liz Fitzsimons of Eversheds LLP assesses why the issues raised by Ofcom’s consultation are considered important for the IoT. / read more

EU and German competition law experts Dr. Alexander Rinne and Dr. Andreas Boos of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, discuss the viability of regulating dominant internet companies as essential utilities and the limitations of German competition law. / read more

The US Federal Trade Commission (‘FTC’) has turned its attention to mobile shopping apps, releasing this month a staff report based on a review of the most installed mobile shopping apps across multiple categories. The FTC’s focus was not only on how secure a user’s personal and payment data is when using these apps, but also on issues such financial liability. Michelle Cohen, Member of Ifrah Law and E-Commerce Law & Policy editorial board member, discusses the FTC’s study and its findings. / read more

In November 2012, the European Commission published a Communication on Cloud Computing intended to ‘unleash the potential of cloud computing in Europe.’ Twenty months later, the Commission has begun to deliver on its key actions set out in the Communication with the publication of its Cloud Service Level Agreement Standardisation Guidelines. Alistair Maughan of Morrison & Foerster examines how helpful these Standardisation Guidelines are to the cloud sector at this point in its development. / read more

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) released on 28 July a report into the use of big data analytics, and in particular the compliance issues that big data initiatives might bring in terms of the Data Protection Act (‘DPA’). The ICO takes the view that the principles contained within the Data Protection Act are flexible enough to cover the big data phenomenon, and in its report seeks to assist companies working with big data in complying with the DPA, as Jon Bartley, Partner at Penningtons Manches, explains. / read more

Many software developers work under the misconception that Open Source Software (‘OSS’) is freely available, so can be used without restriction. However, most OSS, even when freely available, is in fact governed by licensing conditions. Dr. Oliver Ehret, Director of Legal at GFT Technologies, Carlos Pérez, Alejandro Touriño, and Marina Franganillo of Ecija Abogados, discuss the extent of the problem. / read more

About Digital Business Lawyer:

The monthly publication providing authoritative insights and thought leadership on the legal/regulatory issues affecting online business, covering distance selling, contracts, domain names, adblocking, advertising, cloud computing, net neutrality, e-privacy, data protection, cyber crime, the Internet of Things, social media, internet taxation and software / read more

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