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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Facebook Message Insufficient Notice to Terminate Parental Rights: In re Adoption of K.P.M.A.


Facebook Message Insufficient Notice to Terminate Parental Rights:

In re Adoption of K.P.M.A.

The Oklahoman Supreme Court ruled last month (In re Adoption of K.P.M.A.) that a Facebook message served as insufficient notice to terminate parental rights.  The Oklahoma Supreme Court held that it

does not believe that attempts to provide notice via Facebook comport with the requirements of due process. While the adequacy of Facebook as a means of providing notice in a due process context is an issue of first impression in Oklahoma, to date only one federal court–of at least three that have considered the issue–has allowed service of process via Facebook and even then only as a supplementary means of providing notice.

In this case, the biological father was challenging the termination of his parental rights arguing that he never received notice that the biological mother was pregnant prior to the child being adopted.  According to the father, he and the mother engaged in sexual intercourse several times between August and October of 2011; however, they were not in a romantic relationship.

At some point prior to the child’s birth, the mother sent the Father a message via Facebook informing him that she was pregnant and planning to give the child up for adoption.  The father claims he did not read the message until after the child’s birth which occurred in June of 2012.

The child was adopted shortly after birth.  The new parents moved to terminate the rights of the biological parents.  The mother willingly agreed but the father contested the termination proceeding.  The father was unsuccessful at the trial court stage and during his initial appeal.  However, his fortunes changed when his case reached the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Facebook Updates Privacy Policy


Facebook Updates Privacy Policy

Here is a brief description of the updates from Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer.

We wanted to let you know we’re updating our terms and policies on January 1, 2015 and introducing Privacy Basics. You can check out the details below or on Facebook.

Over the past year, we’ve introduced new features and controls to help you get more out of Facebook, and listened to people who have asked us to better explain how we get and use information.

Now, with Privacy Basics, you’ll get tips and a how-to guide for taking charge of your experience on Facebook. We’re also updating our termsdata policy and cookies policy to reflect new features we’ve been working on and to make them easy to understand. And we’re continuing to improve ads based on the apps and sites you use off Facebook and expanding your control over the ads you see.

We hope these updates improve your experience. Protecting people’s information and providing meaningful privacy controls are at the core of everything we do, and we believe today’s announcement is an important step.


Erin Egan

Global Chief Privacy Officer

Updating Our Terms and Policies: Helping You Understand How Facebook Works and How to Control Your Information

Privacy Basics

Privacy Basics offers interactive guides to answer the most commonly asked questions about how you can control your information on Facebook. For example, you can learn about untagging, unfriending, blocking, and how to choose an audience for each of your posts. This information is available in 36 languages.

Along with our privacy checkupreminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors, Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with the people you want.

Helping you get more out of Facebook

Every day, people use our apps and services to connect with the people, places and things they care about. The updates to our policies reflect the new products we’ve been working on to improve your Facebook experience. They also explain how our services work in a way that’s easier to understand. Here are some highlights:

  • Discover what’s going on around you: We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends (currently only available in some regions). We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.

  • Make purchases more convenient: In some regions, we’re testing a Buy button that helps people discover and purchase products without leaving Facebook. We’re also working on new ways to make transactions even more convenient.

  • Find information about privacy on Facebook at the moment you need it: To make them more accessible, we moved tips and suggestions to Privacy Basics. Our data policy is shorter and clearer, making it easier to read.

  • Understand how we use the information we receive: For example, we use device information to optimize your mobile experience, like understanding battery and signal strength to help us make sure our apps work well for you. We ask for permission to use your phone’s location when we offer optional features like check-ins or adding your location to posts.

  • Get to know how the family of Facebook companies and apps work together: Over the past few years, Facebook has grown and we want to make sure you know about our family of companiesapps and services. We use the information we collect to improve your experience. For example, if you’re locked out of your Instagram account, you can use your Facebook information to recover your password. Nothing in our updates changes the commitments that Instagram, WhatsApp and other companies have made to protect your information and your privacy.

  • Your information and advertising: People sometimes ask how their information is shared with advertisers. Nothing is changing with these updates—we help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who you are. Learn more about ads and how you can control the ads you see.

Giving you more control over ads

We’ve heard from some of you that it can be difficult to control the types of ads you see if you use multiple devices and browsers. In the past, if you opted out of certain kinds of advertising on your laptop, that choice may not have been applied for ads on your phone. We know that many people use more than one phone, tablet or browser to access Facebook, so it should be easy for you to make a single choice that applies across all of your devices.

That’s why Facebook respects the choices you make about the ads you see, across every device. You can opt out of seeing ads on Facebook based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance. You can also opt out using controls on iOS and Android. When you tell us you don’t want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook. Also, we’re now making ad preferences available in additional countries, beginning with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK.

MSU Law Students and Social Media


MSU Law School is hosting the first ever #SocialMedia Contest for its students.  According to the law school, the contest is designed for students to use social media professionally as a career-development and relationship-building tool.

#SocialMedia contest rules:

  1. Submit your plan on the #SocialMedia Contest form as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the day January 12, 2015. The contest kicks off on November 11, 2014, so we suggest that you submit your plan as soon as possible. Your entry into the contest does not begin until you submit your plan!  For contest form, http://www.law.msu.edu/careers/socialmedia/  (MS Word)

  2. Submit 1st status update by end of the day on January 26, 2015.

  3. Submit 2nd status update by the end of the day on March 2, 2015.

  4. The top 8-10 finalists will be selected after the 2nd status update.

  5. The finalists will give a presentation about their social media campaign before a panel of judges in late March on a date to be determined.


1st prize: $1,000
Two runners-up: $500 each
Five honorable mentions: $100 each

The Right to Be Forgotten: Its Weaknesses and Alternatives

The Right to Be Forgotten: Its Weaknesses and Alternatives

Martha Garcia-Murillo

Martha Garcia-Murillo Informals

Ian MacInnes

Ian MacInnes-27-7f6a5fc4-d77f-4bff-839c-654bcf9e2bac

Abstract (to read the entire article go here): 

In this article we argue that the European Union directive on “the right to be forgotten” is unrealistic and suggest instead a series of principles that can protect us from the potentially harmful publication of private information. The dissemination of personal information through public and private databases as well as social media is gradually educating humanity about reality: humans are weak; everyone misbehaves; and we need to learn to accept public knowledge of the imperfections of ourselves and others.

NJ School Districts Rush to Create Social Media Policies to Comply with S411


NJ School Districts Rush to Create Social Media Policies to Comply with S411

In an effort to comply with S411 school districts across New Jersey are creating policies on social media.  The article below highlights some of the challenges that arise with creating such a policy.

Patch.com: Brick School Board Adopts Social Media Policy, But Some Feel It Goes Too Far

U.S. v. Lori Drew: The Backstory


U.S. v. Lori Drew: The Backstory

Most know the story about Lori Drew but for those who don’t here is a brief synopsis.  In 2006, Lori Drew, a 49-year-old mother from Missouri, created a Myspace page with the picture of a fictitious 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans. Lori Drew created this account to befriend 13-year-old Megan Meir, a one-time friend and classmate of Lori Drew’s daughter.  Lori Drew believed that this bogus Myspace account would allow her to learn whether Megan Meier was spreading rumors about her daughter. Acting as Josh Evans, Lori Drew would flirt with Megan Meier on Myspace. The relationship eventually turned sour and Lori Drew, through Josh Evans, told Megan Meier that the world would be a better place without her. Shortly thereafter, Megan Meier committed suicide.

The federal government prosecuted Lori Drew under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act but was unsuccessful. The article below helps to fill in some of the backstory surrounding this case and the underlying facts. It was written by the reporter who broke the original story.

Springfield News Leader: Pokin Around: The story of Megan Meier’s suicide

9th Circuit Pushes Back on Obtaining Internet Information from Sex Offenders: Doe v. Harris

9th Circuit

Yesterday, the 9th Circuit issued a three judge panel opinion (Doe v. Harris) which struck down portions of Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (“CASE”) Act or Proposition 35. The panel found certain aspects of the CASE Act as applied to sex offenders, no longer under the jurisdiction of the court e.g., probation or parole, to be unconstitutional. Specifically, the panel struck down requiring registered sex offenders to provide law enforcement with all Internet names and addresses that they use in social media, instant messaging, and Web posts. This 9th Circuit panel decision follows in the footsteps of other federal courts that have struck down similar laws.