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Category Archives: Advertising & Marketing

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The FTC’s Agenda to Tackle Big Data and Discrimination

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Emerging Technologies, Federal Trade Commission, Financial Institutions, Mobile, Online, United States

Last Friday, the FTC announced an agenda for its upcoming workshop, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” which will take place on Monday, Sept. 15, starting at 8:00 a.m.  As we’ve previously reported, the workshop will build on recent efforts by the FTC and other government agencies to understand how new technologies affect… Continue Reading

Court Dismisses CFAA, ECPA, and Other Claims in Privacy Class Action Opperman v. Path

Posted in Litigation, Mobile, United States

On May 14, a judge in the Northern District of California granted in part and dismissed in part four motions to dismiss filed by defendants in the consolidated class action, Opperman v. Path (No. 3:13-CV-00453-JST). The plaintiffs alleged that apps offered by a number of developers (“App Defendants”) accessed and uploaded information from plaintiffs’ mobile… Continue Reading

Google, the CJEU, and the Long Arm of European Data Protection Law

Posted in European Union, Online

By Dan Cooper, Mark Young and Kristof van Quathem On May 13, the European Court of Justice (the “Court”) handed down an important judgement in a referral from Spain’s National High Court involving Google, a Spanish national, and the Spanish data protection authority (Case C-131/12).  The decision has wide-ranging consequences regarding the application of EU… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds Facebook IDs and URLS Not “Content” under ECPA

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Litigation, Mobile, Online, Social Media, United States

Last Thursday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of claims for violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”), holding that the plaintiffs had failed to allege Facebook and Zynga disclosed the “contents” of a communication, a necessary element under the Act. The court’s ruling applies to the consolidated… Continue Reading

Snapchat Settles FTC Charges

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Data Security, Federal Trade Commission, Mobile, Social Media

On Thursday, mobile messaging application Snapchat agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charges that it made false or misleading representations about the ephemeral nature of its messages, the collection of user information, and the nature of its security practices. The FTC Complaint alleges six counts, many of which demonstrate the Commission’s aggressive enforcement of… Continue Reading

FTC Announces Settlements with Two Mobile App Providers

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile, United States

Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced settlements with two mobile app makers that allegedly failed to provide reasonable security for the personal information collected in connection with their apps.  In complaints against Credit Karma, Inc. and Fandango LLC, the FTC alleged that both companies’ apps failed to validate SSL certificates, a security shortcoming that could… Continue Reading

FDA Issues Untitled Letter Focused On Promotional Claims On Facebook

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Online, Social Media

FDA has previously included claims made on Facebook or other social media platforms along with broader allegations of misbranding using a variety of sources in its enforcement letters . . . [b]y contrast, the present untitled letter focuses solely on a single statement on a Facebook page, and does not take issue with any statements outside the Facebook page.

White House Seeks Public Comment on Implications of Big Data

Posted in Advertising & Marketing

As part of the White House’s ongoing review of “big data” and its implications for privacy, the economy, and public policy, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (“OSTP”) has announced that it is requesting comments from the public on several key issues. OSTP’s Request for Information asks commenters to consider the following questions: What… Continue Reading

Key Takeaways from the FTC Workshop on Mobile Device Tracking

Posted in Mobile, Uncategorized

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission held the first of its three spring workshops, focused on mobile device tracking.  Mobile tracking has gained increasing attention in recent years, as some brick and mortar retailers have begun tracking the signals emitted from customer smartphones in an effort to better understand shopping habits and patterns.  For instance,… Continue Reading

Franken Bill Would Require Express Consent to Collection of Geolocation Information

Posted in Mobile, Uncategorized

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) plans to re-introduce a bill intended to limit the use of geolocation data obtained from consumer smartphones and car navigation systems.  The Location Privacy Protection Act, which was first introduced in 2011, would require a user’s express authorization to collect, receive, record, obtain, or disclose to a non-governmental individual or entity… Continue Reading

Coalition Urges White House to Open Big Data Review to Public Comment

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Data Security

Almost three weeks into the Administration’s comprehensive review of privacy issues relating to big data, a coalition of twenty-five consumer groups, privacy advocates, and civil liberties organizations are pushing the White House to open up the process to public participation. In a letter released this week, the coalition asked the Office of Science and Technology… Continue Reading

Industry Grapples With Implementing “Do Not Track” Disclosures; IAB Outlines “Guiding Principles” for a Post-Cookie World

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Online

California’s recent amendments to the California Online Privacy Protection Act require certain online services to make additional disclosures about how they respond to browser-based Do Not Track signals―new obligations that went into effect on January 1.  Along with Joanne McNabb of the Office of the California Attorney General, Kurt Wimmer and I will be discussing… Continue Reading

Senate Panel Examines Data Broker Industry; Releases Staff Report

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Data Security, Financial Privacy, Online, United States

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing entitled, “What Information Do Data Brokers Have on Consumers, and How Do They Use It?”   Committee members expressed interest in bringing about greater transparency to what information is collected by data brokers and how it is used at the hearing, which consisted… Continue Reading

OBA Accountability Program: A Recap of What Happened in November

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Online, United States

The Online Internet-Based Advertising Accountability Program issued five decisions in November enforcing the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.  The Accountability Program’s first two decisions, issued November 18 against BMW of North America and Scottrade, addressed those companies’ failure to provide notice of third-party data collection on their websites.  On November 20,… Continue Reading

FTC Settles Charges Against Flashlight App Maker

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Federal Trade Commission, Mobile, United States

Yesterday, the FTC announced a settlement with Goldenshores Technologies, a company that makes the most-downloaded flashlight app on the Android platform.  The FTC alleged that Goldenshores violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by failing to disclose to consumers that it shared location data it collected from users’ device with third parties.  Although a list… Continue Reading

NTIA to Convene Multistakeholder Meetings On Facial Recognition Technology

Posted in Department of Commerce, Mobile, United States

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced today that it will convene a series of meetings about the commercial uses of facial recognition technology.  The goal of the meetings will be to develop a voluntary, enforceable code of conduct specifying how the Obama Administration’s “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” applies to facial recognition.  The first… Continue Reading

Texas AG Objections To Transfer of Personal Data Demonstrate Significance of Privacy Policy Disclosures

Posted in Online, Social Media

Last week, dating website PlentyOfFish withdrew its offer to buy bankrupt rival True.com, citing concerns raised by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott that the sale would violate True.com’s privacy policy and expose its members to unexpected privacy risks.  Two weeks ago, Abbott filed an objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to block the proposed transfer of… Continue Reading

Self-Regulatory Code Released for Retailers Using WiFi To Track Customers

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Mobile

Under a new self-regulatory code released earlier this week, brick-and-mortar retailers that track customer in-store movements using mobile phone WiFi signals must disclose the practice to customers and allow them to opt out. The code was created by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and a group of mobile analytics companies.  It was announced jointly… Continue Reading

European Regulators and the Eternal Cookie Debate

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, European Union, International, Online, Privacy Policies, United Kingdom

By Dan Cooper, Mark Young and Maria-Martina Yalamova This week, the Article 29 Working Party (the “WP29”) released an opinion paper on what constitutes “consent” for purposes of complying with the EU’s “cookie” rules — rules that were revised to include a consent requirement nearly four years ago.  The paper will be relevant to website… Continue Reading

Petitions to Forbear or Clarify New FCC TCPA Rules Filed

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Federal Communications Commission, Mobile, United States

Earlier today, two entities — the Direct Marketing Association (“DMA”) and a Coalition of Mobile Engagement Providers (“Coalition”) — filed petitions at the FCC asking the agency to stay and forbear from enforcing, or clarify, certain aspects of the “prior express written consent” requirement that went into effect yesterday for prerecorded calls to residential numbers and autodialed… Continue Reading

DAA to Website Operators: Provide “Enhanced Notice” of OBA by January 1

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Online, Privacy Policies, United States

Earlier this week, the organization that enforces the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising issued a “Compliance Warning” to website operators, advising them to provide “enhanced notice” on every web page where data is being collected or used for online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) by January 1, 2014.  The DAA defines OBA as… Continue Reading

The ICO Publishes New Guidance on Direct Marketing

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, United Kingdom

By Helena Marttila-Bridge and Colin Warriner On 10 September 2013, the UK’s Information Commissioner (ICO) released new guidance on direct marketing.  The paper canvasses the marketing rules found in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, with the aim of helping companies to comply with the law… Continue Reading

CA Governor Signs Bill Providing Online Protections For Minors

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Children's Privacy, Marketing, Online, Social Media, State Legislatures, United States

Earlier this month, we blogged about the California Senate’s passage of the bill titled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World”, which prohibits certain targeted advertising to California minors and requires that minors be allowed to delete materials they have posted online.  Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation, and it will… Continue Reading