On November 28, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and seven state attorneys general announced that they reached settlements with Google LLC and iHeartMedia, Inc., to resolve claims that the companies aired deceptive advertisements promoting Google’s Pixel 4 phone by arranging for iHeartMedia radio personalities who never actually used the phone to personally endorse it. The companies agreed to pay a combined $9.4 million to the states to settle these allegations.
Yaron Dori has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications, privacy, and consumer protection law, advising telecom, technology, life sciences, media and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the Communications and Media practice group and currently serves as a member of the firm’s eight-person Management Committee.
Yaron’s practice focuses on strategic planning, policy development, transactions, investigations and enforcement, and regulatory compliance.
He represents clients before federal regulatory agencies—including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)—and the U.S. Congress in connection with a range of policy issues under the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and similar statutes. He also represents clients on state regulatory and enforcement matters, including those that pertain to telecommunications and data privacy regulation. His unique experience in telecommunications, privacy, and consumer protection enables him to advise clients on key business issues in which these areas intersect.
With respect to telecommunications matters, Yaron advises clients on a broad range of business, policy and consumer-facing issues, including:
- Broadband deployment and regulation;
- IP-enabled applications, services and content;
- Equipment and device authorization procedures;
- The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA);
- Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) requirements;
- The Cable Privacy Act
- Net Neutrality; and
- Local competition, universal service, and intercarrier compensation.
Yaron also has extensive experience in structuring transactions and securing regulatory approvals at both the federal and state levels for mergers, asset acquisitions and similar transactions involving large and small FCC and state licensees.
With respect to privacy and consumer protection matters, Yaron advises clients on a range of business, strategic, policy and compliance issues, including those that pertain to:
- The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA);
- The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA);
- Location-based services that use WiFi, beacons or similar technologies;
- Online Behavioral Advertising;
- Online advertising practices, including native advertising and endorsements and testimonials; and
- The application of federal and state telemarketing, commercial fax, and other consumer protection laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), to voice, text, and video transmissions.
Yaron also has experience advising companies on FCC (Enforcement Bureau), FTC and state attorney general investigations into various consumer protection and communications matters, including those pertaining to social media influencers, digital disclosures, product discontinuance, and advertising claims.
On November 3, the FTC announced that it entered into a significant $100 million settlement with Vonage to resolve allegations relating to the internet phone service provider’s sales and autorenewal practices. The FTC alleged that Vonage violated both the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) by failing to provide a simple cancellation mechanism, failing to disclose material transaction terms prior to obtaining consumers’ billing information, and charging consumers without consent.…
A financial institution and its vendor recently reached a $50 million settlement in a class action lawsuit for violating the call recording provision of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”). The settlement is nearly three times the size of the largest previous settlement under CIPA, which provides for damages of $5,000 per violation. …
Continue Reading Financial Institution Reaches Settlement in Call Recording Class Action
Last week, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Lemmon v. Snap, Inc., No. 20-55295 (May 4 2021), that 47 U.S.C. § 230 (“Section 230”) did not bar a claim of negligent product design against Snap, Inc., reversing and remanding a lower court ruling. …
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Denies Section 230 Defense in Products Liability Case
On December 30, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Report and Order (“Order”) that imposed certain new restrictions on nonmarketing prerecorded calls to residential lines. The action was in response to Congress’s mandate in the TRACED Act that the FCC reevaluate certain exemptions the agency previously granted regarding the consent requirements for prerecorded calls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).
Continue Reading FCC Imposes New Requirements on Nonmarketing Prerecorded Calls to Residential Lines
FCC Chairman Pai announced today that the FCC will move forward with a rulemaking to clarify the meaning of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). To date, Section 230 generally has been interpreted to mean that social media companies, ISPs, and other “online intermediaries” have not been subject to liability for their users’ actions.
Continue Reading FCC Announces Section 230 Rulemaking
Two developments in the past week will likely have a significant impact on businesses subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”): the long-awaited CCPA regulations have been finalized and put into immediate effect with modifications, while at the same time it seems increasingly likely that the exemptions for employees’ and business-to-business contacts’ data will be extended beyond January 2021.
Continue Reading Final CCPA Regulations Take Effect With Modification; Extension of Employee and Business-to-Business Exemptions Advances
Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) on its own motion released a Declaratory Ruling to confirm that the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an “emergency” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”); as a consequence, hospitals, health care providers, state and local health officials, and other government officials may lawfully communicate through automated or prerecorded calls (which include text messages) information about the coronavirus and mitigation measures to mobile telephone numbers and certain other numbers (such as those of first responders) without “prior express consent.”
By way of background, absent “prior express consent,” the TCPA prohibits the transmission of an automated or prerecorded call to any mobile telephone number. However, this prohibition is subject to an “emergency purposes” exception. The TCPA does not define what constitute “emergency purposes,” but the FCC’s rules construe the term to mean “calls made necessary in any situation affecting the health and safety of consumers.”…
Continue Reading FCC Clarifies that COVID-19 “Emergency Purposes” Calls/Text are Not Subject to “Prior Express Consent” Requirement
A class-action lawsuit filed last month alleges that Wal-Mart’s video recording technology at its self-service checkout kiosks collects “personal identification information” in violation of the California Song-Beverly Act Credit Card Act of 1971 (“Song-Beverly Act”). The Song-Beverly Act, like analogous statutes in several other states, generally prohibits businesses from recording customers’ “personal identification information” as…
On February 28, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a report discussing security updates for mobile devices. The report stems from information the FTC collected from eight mobile device manufacturers — Apple, Blackberry, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, and Samsung — and from information the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) collected from mobile carriers in May 2016. …
Continue Reading FTC Issues Report on Mobile Device Security Updates