San Diego Law Review

Consumers' Obsession Becoming Retailers' Possession: THe Way That Retailers Are Benefitting from Consumers' Presence on Social Media


Vivian Adame


Faculty editor: Lawrence A. Alexander


Publication Law Review
Volume 53
Issue 3
Start Page 653
Year 2016
Type Comment
Subject Area


   Retailers can profit from consumers’ social media presence in two ways: (1) through inadequate privacy laws; and (2) through retailers’ reposting of consumers intellectual property uploaded to social media sites. The California Legislature passed the Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA), which moved towards protecting the privacy rights of consumers. However, the Legislature’s inability to hold retailers accountable under CalOPPA leaves consumers susceptible to the invasive technologies retailers use to collect social media users’ information, which they in turn sell and profit from. To better protect consumers on social media, the legislature should first enact a privacy law restricting retailers’ and social media sites’ use of invasive technologies to collect and sell social media users’ personal information. The legislature must require all businesses to abide by a consumer’s request to opt-out of being tracked online.
   Part II of this Comment will explain how social media has created new ways for retailers to profit from online users’ private information. Part III will analyze the legal responses to the online privacy issue in terms of legal opinions and legislative attempts to protect the privacy of online consumers. Because social media sites provide retailers with massive amounts of personal and often private information from unsuspecting users, Part IV advocates for a privacy law that requires social media sites and retailers to honor the privacy requests of social media users. Lastly, Part V advocates for Congress to act on the proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act (CPBRA) and dedicate a section of the bill to the regulation of social media sites’ and retailers’ use of consumer information.


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