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Inside Privacy Updates on Developments in Global Privacy & Data Security from Covington & Burling LLP

FTC to Explore Mobile Payments

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Financial Institutions, Mobile

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that it will host a workshop on April 26, 2012, to discuss mobile payments.  In addition to exploring payment technologies and business models, the workshop will likely cover consumer protection issues such as the risks of financial loss, the need for information disclosures, data protection concerns, and the remedies available to consumers.  The FTC plans to bring together a variety of stakeholders – industry, consumer advocates, regulators, technologists, and academics – and welcomes public comments in advance of the event.

As we previously noted, the law governing mobile payments is a complex blend of existing federal laws as well as rapidly changing state laws.  The regulatory picture is further complicated by the number of federal agencies that could theoretically assert jurisdiction over mobile payments.  Besides the FTC, other agencies that might have an interest include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Communications Commission, the Treasury Department’s Federal Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.