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FTC Twitter Chat: Influencers 101

Earlier this month, the FTC settled with two social media influencers for failing to provide adequate disclosures in their promotions of their company, and issued 21 warning letters to other influencers it felt continued to violate the FTC Endorsement Guidelines in spite of the educational letters the FTC had sent earlier this year. In addition … Continue Reading

FTC Reaches Settlement with Influencers; Issues Updated Guidance

The FTC recently announced that it reached a settlement with two social media influencers, Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell, for deceptively endorsing their owned and operated online gambling service “CSGO Lotto” without disclosing that they were the owners of the site, as well as paying other well-known social media influencers to promote the site without … Continue Reading

FTC Launches Review of Its Email Marketing Rule

Today the FTC announced that it is undertaking a review of its CAN-SPAM Rule, which sets out the requirements for sending commercial e-mail messages.  Among other things, the CAN-SPAM Rule requires that senders of commercial e-mails provide recipients a mechanism to opt out of receiving commercial e-mails, honor opt-out requests within 10 business days, and include specific disclosures in the … Continue Reading

NAI and DAA Launch New Opt-Out Tools

The Network Advertising Initiative and the Digital Advertising Alliance jointly launched new opt-out tools today.  These tools (available at both the NAI and DAA pages) offer users a simple interface to learn more about and exercise choice over interest-based advertising.  They are designed to have an optimized interface for mobile devices and an intuitive display … Continue Reading

UK Company Fined For Buying And Selling Non-Compliant Marketing Databases

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which enforces data protection legislation in the UK, has fined a company £20,000 (approximately 24,000 USD / 23,000 EUR) for not exercising sufficient due diligence when buying and using marketing databases. The ICO found that over 580,000 individuals’ contact details had been obtained by The Data Supply Company Ltd … Continue Reading

New EU GDPR Guidance: Data Portability, Data Protection Officers, and the One Stop Shop

The Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) – the representatives of national data protection regulators in the EU – has issued new guidance on three important aspects of the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which comes into force in May 2018. This first salvo of GDPR-focused guidance concerns: the new “Right to Data Portability”, an … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Privacy Disclosure Staff Summary

On November 30, the FTC released a staff summary of its September 15, 2016 public workshop, Putting Disclosures to the Test.  Numerous goods and services, from home appliances to financial services, make use of disclosures to inform users of their privacy practices.  These disclosures—whether delivered offline or online, via text, video, or audio—are a key … Continue Reading

Digital Advertising Alliance Will Begin Enforcing its Cross-Device Guidance February 1, 2017

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), a consortium of the nation’s largest media and marketing associations that has established self-regulatory standards for online behavioral advertising, announced on October 13 that the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association will begin enforcement of the Application of the DAA Principles of Transparency and Control to Data … Continue Reading

EDPS Issues Opinion on Big Data and Enforcement

As announced last week, the European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) released on September 23, 2016 an opinion on “coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of big data.”  This opinion follows an earlier Preliminary Opinion on privacy and competitiveness in the age of big data, published in 2004 (see our previous blog post here). … Continue Reading

FTC Hosts “Putting Disclosures to the Test” Workshop

By Sari Sharoni On September 16, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted a workshop on the factors that may contribute to the effect disclosures have on consumer behavior. The workshop, “Putting Disclosures to the Test,” included speakers from a wide range of disciplines and industries, who remarked on aspects of disclosure such as consumer … Continue Reading

China Releases Draft Implementing Regulations for Consumer Rights Protection Law

China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) has released for public comment a draft regulation implementing recent amendments to a consumer protection law that would, among other things, supplement existing privacy obligations for businesses operating in China. The “Regulations on the Implementation of the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of … Continue Reading

NTIA Multistakeholder Group Reaches Consensus on Best Practices for Commercial Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Last week, the multistakeholder group convened by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) to create set of voluntary best practices for the commercial use of facial recognition technology finalized its guidelines.  While the three-page code of conduct was praised by industry groups, including the Software & Information Industry Association and Consumer Technology Association, many … Continue Reading

FTC Settles With Lord & Taylor Over Native Advertisement and “Influencer” Promotion

By Megan Rodgers The FTC today announced that it reached a settlement with Lord & Taylor over a native advertisement and promotion that relied on social media “influencers” to promote a particular product. This was the first native advertising settlement reached by the FTC since it issued its Policy Statement on Native Advertising in December … Continue Reading

Company Receives Record Fine from UK Regulator For Cold Calling

The UK’s data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), has imposed a fine of £350,000 on Prodial Ltd (“Prodial”) for making over 46 million unsolicited automated telephone calls to generate leads in relation to payment protection insurance refunds.  This is the highest fine issued by the ICO to date.… Continue Reading

Children’s Website Modifies Privacy Practices in Response to CARU Inquiry

In an example of successful industry self-regulation, the website DorkDiaries.com revised its privacy practices for children’s data, following an inquiry from the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). CARU, the children’s arm of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, monitors advertising to children in all media.  As part of that effort, it examines websites and apps … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Policy Statement on Native Advertising

By Megan Rodgers The Federal Trade Commission today issued an Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements.  The Policy Statement addresses occasions in which certain media outlets blur the traditional line between advertisements and editorial content, and seeks to clarify advertisers’ and publishers’ obligations regarding native advertising and social media. Native advertisements can take a … Continue Reading

FTC Hosts Cross-Device Tracking Workshop

The FTC’s cross-device tracking workshop on Monday focused on the benefits and challenges of cross-device tracking.  FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez emphasized that regardless of the specific technology employed, companies should continue working to address issues of transparency, notice, and choice in this area.  She also highlighted the self-regulatory efforts of the advertising industry on cross-device … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Final Agenda for Cross-Device Tracking Workshop

The FTC has announced the final agenda for its November 16 cross-device tracking workshop.  According to today’s press release, the workshop “will examine the practice of collecting data through these devices and the potential wide-ranging effects on consumer privacy.” Opening remarks will be provided by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, followed by a presentation from Justin … Continue Reading

California AG Issues Guidance for Consumers on Managing Mobile Location Privacy

By Hannah Lepow Yesterday California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released guidance on how smartphone and tablet users can manage GPS and other location tracking functions on their mobile devices. The brief information sheet, designed for consumers, details how Android and iOS users can control different types of location information on their devices, including location … Continue Reading

FTC to Hold Workshop on Cross-Device Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission will hold a workshop on November 16 to address cross-device tracking.  The FTC’s announcement highlights two forms of cross-device tracking: “deterministic” tracking, which requires that a user log in to the same service across multiple devices, and “probabilistic” tracking, which collects data about users to create a digital fingerprint that links a … Continue Reading

New California Law Regulates Voice Recognition Technology in Smart TVs

By Brandon Johnson On October 6, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1116 (A.B. 1116), which regulates the manner in which smart TVs must notify users of voice-recognition technology and may use recorded voice commands.  The bill, which was passed unanimously by both houses of the California legislature earlier this year, … Continue Reading

UK ICO Issues Largest Ever Fine In Connection With Automated Marketing Calls

The UK Information Commissioner’s Officer (“ICO”) has issued its largest fine to date in connection with using an automated calling system to make direct marketing calls.  The ICO found that Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Ltd (“HELM”), a green energy company that made millions of automated marketing calls in relation to “free” solar panels, recklessly … Continue Reading

Regulators in the U.S. and U.K. Monitoring Mobile Apps and Websites Directed at Children

By Megan L. Rodgers What information is being collected by mobile apps and websites directed at kids? With whom is that information shared? What notice is provided to parents? Regulators in the U.S. and abroad continue to focus on these issues. The FTC recently released a follow-up report on privacy notices in mobile apps directed … Continue Reading

Web Standards Group Releases Candidate Recommendation As Part of Broader “Do Not Track” Review

As part of its broader effort to develop a “Do Not Track” (DNT) web browser privacy standard, the World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”), an international organization that develops Internet standards, recently released a draft of one technical component of the standard to gather implementation experience from the developer community.… Continue Reading
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