Libbie Canter

Libbie Canter

Libbie Canter is a member of the Communications & Media, Data Privacy and Cybersecurity, and Litigation Practice Groups. She represents and advises clients on matters before Congress and various federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.  She has advised clients on a broad range of privacy issues, including data security breach matters, online and mobile marketing, and social networking policies for employers.  Her legislative work focuses on the areas of communications and media, privacy law, and cloud computing policy.

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The Wyndham Case is Being Argued Today: Why You Should Care

Today, the Federal Trade Commission is defending its authority to enforce Section 5 of the FTC Act against  Wyndham Hotels in connection with alleged lax data security procedures.  Following several publicized data security breaches, the FTC investigated Wyndham and concluded that the hotel company failed to employ “reasonable and appropriate” data security practices, citing, for … Continue Reading

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

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

FTC Announces Workshop To Examine Native Ads

The Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop on December 4, 2013 in Washington, DC to examine so-called “native advertising.”  This term refers to the practice of blending advertisements with news, entertainment, and other content in digital media and is sometimes also referred to as “sponsored content.”  As an FTC blog post explains, “[w]hatever the … Continue Reading

Ramirez Says That FTC Will Use Tools To Protect Consumers From “Big Data” Privacy Concerns

Earlier this week, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez gave the keynote address at a technology conference, in which she focused on the privacy challenges of so-called “big data.”   Her remarks provide some guidance about what the FTC considers “best practices” in terms of deploying big data analytics without raising privacy concerns.   Data minimization … Continue Reading

Article Reports on Practice of Tracking Merchandise Returns and Associated Privacy Issues

Earlier this week, the Huffington Post’s Jennifer Kerr reported on the practice of tracking of merchandise returns by retailers.  According to the article, some retailers track merchandise returns to identify “chronic returners or gangs of thieves trying to make off with high-end products that are returned later for store credit.”  The article notes that many … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Workshop On The “Internet of Things”; European Commission Publishes Report

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it would hold a public workshop on November 21, 2013 on “the growing connectivity of consumer devices, such as cars, appliances, and medical devices”―also known as, “the Internet of Things.”  The FTC will accept public comments (due June 1, 2013) in advance of the workshop. In describing the … Continue Reading

Ramirez To Head Federal Trade Commission

News outlets are reporting that the White House will appoint FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez to lead the Commission.  She would replace current FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, who announced his resignation in January.  Ramirez’s appointment to chair the Commission would leave it evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with one empty seat until another person is nominated … Continue Reading

FTC and Senate Commerce Committee Staffers Suggest Cautious Approach to “Big Data”

Yesterday, industry and government panelists participated in a conference sponsored by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee that included a panel discussion on “Plumbing the Policy Implications of Data Analytics and Defining Big Data,” The Year’s Most Overused Term.”  According to press reports, Federal Trade Commission Senior Policy Adviser and panelist Paul Ohm acknowledged that … Continue Reading

FCC Provides Consumer Tips On Mobile Privacy And Security

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released a Smartphone Security Checker, a tool designed to help consumers secure their smartphones against mobile security threats.  The tool provides consumers with tips that are customized for four different mobile operating systems.  Many of tips focus on security-related topics.  For instance, the tool recommends that consumers set a password … Continue Reading

Upton Will Continue To Chair Energy & Commerce Committee; Announces Terry Will Take Over Chairmanship of Key Subcommittee For Privacy

Earlier today, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) was selected by his colleagues to continue to serve as Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the key House committee with jurisdiction over the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.  In addition, Rep. Upton announced that Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) will take over … Continue Reading

FTC Schedules December 6 Workshop On Data Collection By Large Platform Providers

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that it will host a public workshop on December 6 to discuss the privacy issues raised by the collection of data about consumers’ online activities by so-called large platform providers.  According to the scheduling notice, the FTC seeks to explore the potential privacy issues raised by the collection of … Continue Reading

FTC Obtains Second Largest Civil Penalty Under FCRA

An employment background screening company will pay a $2.6 million civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.   The FTC alleged that HireRight Solutions, Inc., which compiles background reports to assist employers in making hiring and other employment-related decisions, is a consumer reporting agency since its reports “bear on … Continue Reading

Microsoft Announces Design of “Do Not Track” Privacy Feature for Windows 8

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that users of Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10 will have a “first run” option to disable the default “Do Not Track” privacy setting.  A first run option occurs during the software set-up process.  If users take no action, the DNT setting will be enabled by default. Shortly after the Federal Trade … Continue Reading

Senate Scheduled To Consider Cybersecurity Legislation

Yesterday, the Senate voted to move forward with a floor debate of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (“CSA2012”) (S. 3414), and the White House formally endorsed CSA2012, saying it will strengthen efforts to secure American networks against cyberattacks.  As a result of yesterday’s procedural vote, the Senate is likely to consider the current version of … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues Updated Report on “Overbroad” Social Media Policies

By Brian Ryoo On May 30, National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Acting General Counsel Lafe E. Solomon issued his third report on employer social media issues, focusing on “overbroad” employer social media policies.  The report expresses concern about “ambiguous [policies] that contain no limiting language or context” and give employees insufficient notice of their protected … Continue Reading

Vermont Amends Breach Notice Requirements

Last month, Vermont amended its breach notice requirements to add an obligation to notify the Vermont attorney general and an outside deadline to notify affected consumers.  Under the amended Vermont law, businesses generally will be required to notify the Vermont attorney general within 14 business days of a security breach and to provide the attorney general … Continue Reading

FTC Settles P2P-Related Data Breach Charges Alleging Failure to Provide Appropriate Security

By Brian Ryoo The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached separate settlements with two companies it had accused of exposing sensitive personal information through peer-to-peer (“P2P”) file-sharing software installed on their corporate networks.  The complaints filed against the companies alleged that the companies failed to have in place adequate information security policies and procedures, risk assessment … Continue Reading

Proposed Bill Would Limit Annual Privacy Notice Requirement Under GLBA

Last week, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) introduced legislation (H.R. 5817) to limit the obligations of certain financial institutions to provide an annual privacy notice to consumers.  Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), financial institutions must provide customers an initial privacy notice and, for the duration of a customer relationship, an annual privacy notice that describes the … Continue Reading

Members of Congress Examine Impact of Media and Marketing On Children

Earlier today, members of Congress and regulators gathered for a symposium on “The Impact of Media on the Health & Well-Being of Children.”   Participants included Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA), Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jon Leibowitz, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission, and Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, as well as researchers … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Updated Guidance Regarding Employer Use of Criminal History; Considers Use of Social Networking Information

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued updated guidance concerning employer use of criminal histories.  As many as 92 percent of employers use criminal background checks as part of their hiring processes.  The EEOC’s updated guidance generally provides that the EEOC will regard as suspect blanket or automatic exclusions of individuals from employment or promotion … Continue Reading

Companies Struggle With Lack Of Clarity Around TCPA And Text Messaging

Last week, a district court declined to stay a lawsuit against Google Inc. and group-texting service Slide, Inc. alleging a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  The court found that a related, ongoing proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission relating to the scope of the definitions of “consent” and “automatic telephone dialing system” … Continue Reading

Mobile Advertising Self-Regulatory Groups Work To Address Privacy Concerns

In the face of calls by the FTC for improved mobile privacy protections, as well as interest by members of Congress, mobile advertising companies are actively working on privacy initiatives.  Yesterday, a group of companies in the mobile advertising industry announced that they are working to create an industry standard for anonymous mobile device identification.  … Continue Reading

House Approves VPPA Amendment

Earlier today, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) (H.R. 2471) that would clarify certain ambiguities in the 1988 law in light of technological changes in the marketplace.  In his remarks on the House floor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) – the primary author of H.R. 2471– explained that the amendment … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Flash Cookie and COPPA Claims

Online advertiser ScanScout has entered into a consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission in connection with claims it made that consumers could opt out of receiving targeted ads by changing their computer’s web browser settings to block cookies.  According to the FTC, these claims were deceptive with respect to the use of so-called “Flash … Continue Reading
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