To Serve, Collect and Protect

To continue our royal wedding theme, if you’d any doubt before this past few months, it seems pretty clear that social media is the king (and queen) in 2011. LinkedIn’s recent IPO blockbuster has whet the appetite of investment bankers lucky enough to make the guestlist and hungry to pull eligible bachelors Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga along with them, and has drowned out the bubble naysayers with the anthem that the Internet’s pure social media players have finally hit their business model stride (think “rational exuberance”). Whatever the outcome of that bunfight, one thing we’ve learned from recent product launches and transaction history is the primacy of privacy regulation compliance in the development of new business models and in battening down the due diligence hatches in advance of a deal. Founders looking to jump back into the game should note the Wall Street Journal’s article highlighting the number of privacy-focused startups receiving VC-funding in rebound to the proliferation of information shared via APIs among the leading social media sites. If you’re already at it, pay close attention to the growing privacy class action cottage industry (Sony and Netflix principal among them, but especially among mobile applications) and the “scaper beware” terms of use by which many great, new products access the data that is so valuable to their clients and customers. If you are looking for some compliance nuggets, we’d invite you to get in touch with our guru and head of our licensing department, Michael Morgan, and of course please feel free to contact any of our partners if you’d like to see how well you’re positioned to succeed as the pipelines for user data likely narrows over the coming years.

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