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FCC Issues Two TCPA Declaratory Rulings, One Clarifying Autodialer Definition

Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau released a Declaratory Ruling clarifying the agency’s interpretation of the “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” (an “autodialer” or “ATDS”) definition in the Telephone Consumer Protection (TCPA).  The Ruling clarified that, in the context of a call or text message platform, the definition does … Continue Reading

FTC and NAD Actions Highlight Continued Scrutiny of Online Reviews

As consumers rely more and more on the “independent” reviews of their peers in choosing products and services, advertisers need to remain vigilant that their role (if any) in disseminating such reviews is fairly disclosed, accurate and not misleading.  The pitfalls in this area were recently illustrated by a pair of enforcement actions brought by … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Hears Argument Regarding Constitutionality of TCPA

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument (by telephone) in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, a case that centers on the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and, more specifically, the prohibition on transmitting automated calls or texts to mobile telephone numbers without prior express consent.  Given the litigious environment surrounding … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Holds that TCPA Consent Revocation is Limited When Given as Part of a Bargained-For Contract

The Eleventh Circuit has issued a unanimous decision in Medley v. Dish Network, LLC, holding that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not permit consumers to unilaterally revoke their consent to receive automated calls or texts, if that consent is given in a bargained-for contract.  The decision could have important implications for businesses that … Continue Reading

The FTC’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic: Consumer Protection Priorities and Initial Actions

The Federal Trade Commission has traditionally responded forcefully to public health and economic crises, and it is doing so again in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  The current crisis does present some additional complications, however, because of its impact on the operations of the agency itself.  Three particular aspects of the FTC’s consumer protection-related response … Continue Reading

The BBB’s National Advertising Division Launches Fast-Track SWIFT Process for Digital Advertising

Last week, the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD) announced a new expedited process for digital advertising challenges.  The SWIFT (Single Well-defined Issue Fast Track) Process will allow businesses to address concerns of transparency and truthfulness on an accelerated basis, with decisions rendered within twenty business days of case initiation.  The SWIFT process is … Continue Reading

FCC Continues Implementation of TRACED Act with SHAKEN/STIR Mandate and Industry Traceback Consortium

With the adoption of two recent orders, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) continues to implement the TRACED Act.  In the first of these orders, the FCC established a deadline by which certain voice services provides must adopt and implement the SHAKEN/STIR call authentication framework.  In the second of these orders, the FCC established the registration … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Nominations for Hospital Robocall Protection Group

Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) took another step toward implementing the TRACED Act by announcing that it is seeking nominations for the Hospital Robocall Protection Group. As we previously explained, the TRACED Act was enacted with the aim of curbing unwanted robocalls.  One of the law’s provisions directs the FCC to establish … Continue Reading

FCC Clarifies that COVID-19 “Emergency Purposes” Calls/Text are Not Subject to “Prior Express Consent” Requirement

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 … Continue Reading

FTC Sends Warning Letters to Teami Tea Influencers

Cardi B might like it, but the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) did not.  On March 5, 2020, the agency sent Cardi B and other high-profile influencers warning letters alleging that the influencers made inadequate disclosures in their endorsements of Teami tea.  The letters followed on the heels of the FTC’s proposed order against Teami, LLC … Continue Reading

New Bill Seeks to Impose Design Restrictions on Kids’ Online Content and Marketing

On March 5, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Kids Internet Design and Safety (KIDS) Act.  The bill, which covers online platforms directed to children and teenagers under 16 years old, aims to curb the time spent by these minors on such platforms and could dramatically affect advertising and influencer content … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit TCPA Decision Imposes Potentially Restrictive Consent Standard for Faxes

Last week, the Seventh Circuit issued a decision in Physicians Healthsource, Inc., v. A-S Medication Solutions, LLC, a case that could have important implications for fax marketing.  The court found that the consent required under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to send an unsolicited fax advertisement must satisfy highly specific standards and potentially cannot … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Adopts Narrow Interpretation of TCPA Autodialer Definition, Deepening Circuit Split

The Seventh Circuit has issued a unanimous decision in Gadelhak v. AT&T Services, adopting a narrow interpretation of a key definitional term in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  This decision is in line with a recent ruling from the Eleventh Circuit (which we analyzed here) but departs from the Ninth Circuit’s approach—deepening a circuit … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Expansive Interpretation of TCPA Autodialer Definition, Creating Split with Ninth Circuit

The Eleventh Circuit has issued a decision in Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company that rejects an expansive interpretation of a key definitional term in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)—an interpretation that has been embraced by the Ninth Circuit.  The decision therefore creates a circuit split that could increase the possibility the Supreme Court … Continue Reading

German court decides that GDPR consent can be tied to receiving advertising

On June 27, 2019, the High Court of Frankfurt decided that a consent for data processing tied to a consent for receiving advertising can be considered as freely given under the GDPR. The case concerned an electricity company that relied on consent obtained by another company to advertise its products and services to the claimant. … Continue Reading

CJEU rules that Facebook and website operators are joint controllers if the website embeds Facebook’s “Like” button

On July 29, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down its judgment in the Fashion ID case (Case C-40/17).   The CJEU found that when a website operator embeds Facebook’s “Like” button on its website, Facebook and the website operator become joint controllers. The case clarifies the relationship between website operators … Continue Reading

ICO Updates Guidance on Cookies and Similar Technologies

Back in 2013, we published a blog post entitled, “European Regulators and the Eternal Cookie Debate” about what constitutes “consent” for purposes of complying with the EU’s cookie rules.  The debate continues…  Yesterday, the ICO published new guidance on the use of cookies and a related “myth-busting” blog post.  Some of the “new” guidance really … Continue Reading

French Supervisory Authority will issue new guidelines on cookies

On June 28, 2019, the French Supervisory Authority (CNIL) announced that it will issue new guidelines on the use of cookies for direct marketing purposes.  It will issue these guidelines in two phases. First, during July 2019, the CNIL will update its guidance issued in 2013 on cookies.  According to the CNIL, the 2013 guidance … Continue Reading

The FTC Announces Consumer Review Fairness Act Enforcement Actions

On May 8, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first three cases that exclusively enforce the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA).  Enacted in December 2016 to protect consumers’ ability to share their honest reviews, the CRFA prohibits companies from using form contracts that bar consumers from writing negative reviews or threaten them with … Continue Reading

German DSK publishes guidance on the applicability of the German Telemedia Act to telemedia services

On April 5, 2019, the association of German Supervisory Authorities for data protection (‘Datenschutzkonferenz’ or ‘DSK’) published a guideline regarding the applicability of the German Telemedia Act (‘TMG’) to telemedia services – including, for example, the use of website cookies for targeted advertising post-GDPR. The guideline aims to “clarify and concretize” a previous statement on … Continue Reading

EDPB Begins Consultation on New Guidelines on Use of the “Performance of a Contract” GDPR Legal Basis by Online Services

On 9 April 2019, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) adopted new guidelines “on the processing of personal data under Article 6(1)(b) GDPR in the context of the provision of online services to data subjects.” In general, the GDPR requires that processing of personal data be justified under a legal basis in Article 6 GDPR.  … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Case to Address Scope of TCPA Insurance Coverage

The California Supreme Court has agreed to take up the question of whether a commercial general liability policy that covers “personal injury”—which, in relevant part, is defined as injury that arises out of a violation of an individual’s “right of privacy”—triggers the insurer’s duty to defend the insured against a claim that the insured violated … Continue Reading

Dutch Supervisory Authority Prohibits “Cookie Walls” under GDPR

On March 7, 2019, the Dutch Supervisory Authority for data protection issued guidance prohibiting the use of “cookie walls” on websites.  Cookie walls require website users to consent to the placing of tracking cookies or similar technologies before allowing them access to the website.  According to the regulator, it received many complaints about this practice. … Continue Reading

The Court of Justice of the European Union reiterates broad application of the EU Data Protection Law’s journalism exception to online platforms

On January 14, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) decided that video recordings of police officers in the exercise of their duties and the uploading of such videos on YouTube may constitute “journalistic activities” in the meaning of the journalism exception of the EU Data Protection Directive (“Directive”) (available here). The … Continue Reading
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