May 032010
 May 3, 2010  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Online

Dan Solove introduces an invited article on Concurring Opinions:

With the recent case of Saffold v. Plain Dealer Publishing Co., involving a newspaper website that outed an anonymous commenter who was a judge, we invited Woodrow Hartzog to write a post about these issues.  Woodrow is the author of a terrific article about the enforceability of the privacy policies (via promissory estoppel) of online communities and social network websites, forthcoming in Temple Law Review. — DJS

From the article on Concurring Opinions by Hartzog, the introduction:

Virtually every website you visit has a privacy policy.  These policies are often incorporated into a website’s terms of use.  This attachment of contractual obligation to privacy policies has significant implications.  Like many standard-form contracts, these policies are often vague or practically unreadable, leaving most users with only a general sense of how their personal information will be treated.  Yet, privacy policies often begin with promissory language along the lines of “we are committed to protecting your privacy and handling any personal information we obtain from you with care and respect.”  Thus, the language in privacy policies raises a number of questions.  Are website promises to protect anonymity binding?  Can these promises create a reasonable expectation of privacy?

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