New York City adware company Direct Revenue LLC has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission. "The FTC charged that [the company] and its four principals illegally downloaded advertising software, or adware, onto consumers' computers and made it difficult to locate and remove. The case is the latest installment in a recent crackdown on adware companies by the FTC, which announced three enforcement actions against such companies in November."
"A man who was fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room at work is suing the company for $5 million, claiming he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal." The plaintiff "says he visits chat rooms to treat traumatic stress incurred in 1969 when he saw his best friend killed during an Army patrol in Vietnam. Apparently, "the stress caused him to become ‘a sex addict, and with the development of the Internet, an Internet addict.’ He claimed protection under the American with Disabilities Act."
It’s cases like this that illustrate the need for employers to have robust, written policies on the use of company computers. You just never know when a nearly 40-year old combat experience is going to overcome a man’s will and force him to visit adult-oriented websites on company time.
E-Commerce Law Briefs is a weekly feature appearing each Friday afternoon on E-Commerce Law. Each week, E-Commerce Law Briefs will provide a brief summary and commentary on recent legal news affecting e-commerce businesses.