Do You Know the Laws Surrounding Social Media Investigations?

legalities of online investigation

As a lawyer, you know that there are many laws on the books, and how difficult it is to keep track of all of them, regardless of how diligent you may be. That’s why SMI Aware hires and retains experts in internet investigations. We make it our business to stay current on the laws governing online investigations both nationally and internationally – so you don’t have to.

CCPA is the most comprehensive state-level data privacy regulation. It was signed into law on June 28, 2018, and went into effect on January 1, 2020

You may be an outstanding attorney, but if you don’t know the proper legal and defensible way to collect information online to adhere to various regulations like the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), or any one of numerous state or other regulations, you may be putting your entire case at risk. That risk is even greater if you assign a non-attorney administrator to perform the task.

The challenge is that there is no one comprehensive federal law that governs data privacy. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not specifically regulate what information can and cannot be collected online – leaving the states to set up their own regulations. Currently, 25 US states have their own data privacy laws regarding the collection, storage, and use of data collected from and about their residents. Some regulations only apply to government regulations, others apply to private entities and still others apply to both.

As an example, CCPA is the most comprehensive state-level data privacy regulation. It was signed into law on June 28, 2018, and went into effect on January 1, 2020. CCPA imposes specific duties on persons and entities that collect information about or from California residents, much like GDPR regulates the distribution of information pertaining to citizens of the European Union.

It’s a lot to try to keep track of. It’s easy to envision a scenario where an organization or firm could become overwhelmed by the complexity of the issue – especially if they work across state lines. If an attorney or administrator does not know the online privacy laws of their state, or whether they are one of 25 without state online privacy regulations – that person should not be conducting internet searches. First – they may be unwittingly committing a crime. Second, the opposition will almost assuredly rely on applicable laws to dispute any evidence collected.

Why leave your firm vulnerable to such challenges? SMI Aware has been in the business of conducting internet searches since 2011. We know all the laws governing online privacy, so no matter what your case entails, you can be confident that the evidence we supply will have been collected legally and ethically – and will stand up to any challenge. Check out our website to learn more about our data policies – and how we can put our expertise to work for you.

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