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Personal Privacy & Reputation

The internet and social media have facilitated incredible advancements in worldwide communication and access to information.  These advancements, while unquestionably valuable, have also made it easier to collect, access, and distribute people’s private information, and to use it for good and ill. Beacon Legal Group stays on top of these issues and can help you find and enforce the right balance between legitimate and improper use of personal information.

Here are three top areas of concern related to security of information, reputation and personal privacy on the Internet:

  1. INVASION OF PRIVACY

Typically, state law recognizes three types of torts (wrongful civil acts) that may arise from statements made on web sites:

  • Public disclosure of private facts
  • Statements that depict a person in a false and defamatory light
  • The commercial use of another's image or likeness without their permission

Misconduct related to personal information can be highly difficult to pursue through the courts, though, because of the conflict between free speech and personal privacy on the Internet.

  1. WEBSITE USER PRIVACY

A hot-button issue in Congress at the moment is how to regulate website owners’ use of consumer information they have collected. Many currently pending bills address what website users are entitled to know, which includes:

  • What information is collected
  • How the information will be used
  • To whom the information will be disclosed
  • How to verify that the collected information is accurate
  • How to access the information so that revisions can be made

Users must also have the opportunity to opt out of the information collection process, which puts website owners on notice that the consumer does not want their private information collected or disseminated.

  1. RIGHT OF PUBLICITY

Back when Johnny Carson was the king of late-night television, he sued and prevailed against a toilet company that used "Here's Johnny" and the slogan "The World's Foremost Commodian" in its ads. The essence of the Right of Publicity is that individuals have the right to control the use of their own name, likeness, signature phrase, and other identifying characteristics. This right allows them to commercially exploit, or prevent the commercial exploitation of, their own identities. Infringements usually occur against celebrities, but the right exists for everyone.

 

Whether you own, collect, or use personal information, contact Beacon Legal Group today to make sure you know the rules about it. We can also help you protect your reputation and personal privacy on the Internet. Let us put our unique skills to work for you.