Many business have suffered the misery and frustration of a harshly negative, anonymous online review. That anonymity, critics argue, frees the reviewer from worries about the need for accuracy and, worse yet, encourages the spiteful posting of false accusations designed to drive away customers. In competitive markets, the targeted business has no choice but to
Ed Heath is an experienced trial lawyer who has taken matters to verdict in state and federal courts and has appeared on behalf of international and domestic businesses in courts throughout the country. In addition, he routinely counsels clients in connection with government investigations involving agencies such as the United States Attorneys' Offices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Coast Guard, as well as the attorneys general of various states. His clients have included technology companies; manufacturers; financial institutions; health care entities; educational, charitable, and religious organizations; professional associations, such as law and accounting firms; municipalities; judges; and media personalities. Read his full rc.com bio here.
The Facebook Warrant Decision
Last week a New York state appeals court recognized that “Facebook users share more intimate personal information through their Facebook accounts than may be revealed through rummaging about one’s home.” Nonetheless, the court held that online providers and their users are powerless to stop the government from obtaining details about the users’ online activities once a search warrant has been issued, even where the search warrant may be improper.
The court held, consistent with well-established law, that once a law enforcement official possesses a search warrant directing a third party (e.g., Facebook, Google, cable company providing internet access) to provide details about an individual’s online activity (e.g., Facebook account, Google email account, search history), that third party and the individual whose account is under investigation have no ability to prevent law enforcement from obtaining those account details. According to last week’s decision, courts should not intervene until after the production is made. The individual’s remedies come later, such as by filing a motion to suppress the evidence in a subsequent criminal case brought against the individual. But that remedy simply keeps those often sensitive details away from the jury. By then, the government has spent months or years in possession of them.
Continue Reading The Facebook Warrant Decision
FTC says self-reporting is likely to result in more favorable resolution
Last week, the FTC encouraged companies to self-report data breaches with the promise of more likely favorable treatment. The statement comes in a blog post, authored by Mark Eichorn, an Assistant Director in the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection. Although the post provides a general overview of an FTC…
Connecticut AG forms new privacy and data security department
On March 13, 2015, the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office announced that it has created a privacy and data security department to focus on data breach and consumer privacy investigations and litigation. Attorney General George Jepsen said,
When I took office in January 2011, it became immediately clear that data privacy and security were growing concerns