Is sharing naked photos of your kids child pornography?

(Update 2014-06-12): Professor James Grant, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, has published an article on his site, titled "Child Pornography: Distribution by Parents", in which he explores the implications of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Amendment Act which also deals with child pornography. That Act also has a pretty... Continue Reading →

Are banks assessing your creditworthiness based on your social media profiles?

GigaOm has an interesting article titled "New breed of lenders use Facebook and Twitter data to judge borrowers" which looks at a growing trend in financial services industries. Banks and other lenders are starting to look at customers' social media profiles when assessing their needs and the risks they may pose as debtors. An emerging South African consumer protection framework could support extension of this behaviour to South Africa, if it hasn't already been adopted.

Is privacy a recent fiction or a neglected human right?

Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf, recently spoke at the FTC’s Internet of Things Workshop where he suggested that privacy is a recent construct our society created when technology made it possible. Is privacy an anomaly, as he suggests, or is it an important right which technology has enabled and which we are neglecting to the point where we are negating it so we can share more stuff with each other?

The growing importance of online sentiment to stock markets

The notion that online sentiment is a critical risk factor, especially in the context of stock markets and share trades, is gaining momentum. Australian Dionne Lew, the CEO of The Social Executive, wrote an article for Leading Company titled “Social media: Love it or loathe it, the ASX says you can no longer ignore it” in which she highlights the increasing impact online sentiment in services like Twitter and blogs (still relevant and important after all these years) has on companies’ bottom lines, particularly in the context of stock exchanges.

Defamation law’s chilling effects on social media

If you look to recent cases, you generally see this issue arising in the context of politicians and sports personalities whose indiscretions are published online (usually Twitter) and disseminated rapidly. Embarrassed plaintiffs and applicants approach courts, indignant, and seek to silence the debates and expressions of schadenfreude. The courts, applying the law as they understand it to this new medium, grant orders which sometimes just seem to be out of touch with new realities. What concerns me about these cases is that simply applying these legal principles to this new, unprecedented landscape can, and often does, have a chilling effect on freedom of expression. 

Johannesburg High Court rules on Facebook defamation

The innocuous looking case of H v W which was handed down in the South Gauteng High Court on 30 January 2013 is anything but. Judge Willis’ 30 page judgment recognises the harm a Facebook post can do to a person’s reputation and throws the weight of the Court behind the person defamed (and who can afford the legal fees).

Upcoming Event: Social Media Policy Workshop at the ITWeb Social Media Summit

Need to develop/implement a social media policy? Book for Social Media in the Workplace 101 workshop @pauljacobson WebTechLaw #ITWebSocial— ITWeb Events (@ITWeb_Events) June 6, 2012 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js I'm speaking and presenting a workshop on social media policies and related topics in the workplace at the ITWeb Social Media Summit in mid-August at The Forum in Bryanston,... Continue Reading →

Guest post: Being Generation Y

This guest post was written by Nastassja de la Guerre, a candidate attorney at Jacobson Attorneys. You can follow Nastassja on Twitter at @ndelaguerre. The spread and ever increasingly availability of the Internet and digital and media technologies are the biggest evolution in human history since the industrial revolution. These developments have sent Generation Y... Continue Reading →

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