The Internet is constantly evolving, and along with it the realm of consumer online privacy. Every day companies are connecting in new ways with their consumers and discovering new ways of learning about consumers’ behaviors, preferences, and general information. While consumers may not always be diligent about where and how they divulge their personal information, companies are increasingly charged with the responsibility to inform consumers about information collection, use, sharing, and security. This task is not easy, however, as these same companies have to keep up not only with technology, but with the laws and regulations that protect consumers from the potential misuse of technology.
The increasing prevalence of mobile applications, social media, and online behavioral advertising means that both in-house and outside counsel are faced with the challenge of applying old (and sometimes new) rules to new media. This means assessing what it means to make meaningful disclosures and how to comply with the law while at the same time balancing the business needs of your client. Failure to present consumers with adequate disclosures, transparent policies, notice, and choice may expose your client to class actions, hefty fines, and burdensome settlement agreements—or worse, PR disasters.