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Social media marketing and the law
The explosion in the use of social media as a marketing and communications channel over the last decade has left the law struggling to keep up. Laws and regulations drafted without the informal environment of social media in mind are now repeatedly being tested and stretched, often with unintended consequences. The combination of this and a significant level of ignorance on the part of brands as to when legal issues may arise in using social media is exposing a number of businesses to significant reputational risk, much of which could probably be avoided. This paper will explore how UK marketing and data protection law and regulations are currently being applied to social media, and where the potential pitfalls may arise.
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Ruth Boardman is based in London and cohead of Bird & Bird’s International Privacy and Data Protection Group. Ruth provides practical advice and solutions to complex legal issues. Ruth has had extensive experience advising a broad range of organisations on data-privacy matters. She advises on the data protection aspects of new products or services and on commercial arrangements involving personal data and personal data breaches. She also advises clients on their dealings with data protection authorities, with the European Data Protection Board and with those involved in passing new data protection legislation. Ruth works with clients in many sectors — including online providers and ad-tech, new technology and electronics, life sciences, financial services including payments, creative industries (such as music and film), automotive and sports. She is coauthor of Data Protection Strategy (Sweet & Maxwell), which has just been republished to take account of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK legislation. Ruth has edited the Encyclopaedia of Data Protection (Sweet & Maxwell) and sits on the editorial board of the professional journal Data Protection Leader. She is also a Board Member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Ruth assists the Global Alliance on Responsible Genome and Clinical Data Sharing, where she is a member of its Regulatory and Legal Group.