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District Court Rejects Consent Revocation Claim Under TCPA

A recent District of New Jersey case emphasizes that while, under the FCC’s 2015 interpretation of the law, a customer has a broad right to revoke consent to receive automated calls and texts under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), the manner in which the consumer seeks to revoke his or her consent must be … Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Comment on Petition to Modify 2009 Sears Order Concerning Online Browsing Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is soliciting public comments on a petition filed by Sears Holdings Management (“Sears”) to reopen and modify a 2009 FTC order regarding the tracking of personal information on their software apps.  The petition is notable for a number of reasons.  First, the Sears consent order was a seminal order in … 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

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

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

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

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

Draft Regulations in China Preview Stricter Rules on Internet Advertising

On July 1, 2015, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce published a draft of the Interim Measures on Supervision of Internet Advertising (“Draft Internet Advertising Measures”; original Chinese here) for public comment. If adopted as drafted, the Draft Internet Advertising Measures would (1) require advertisements in email and instant messaging to contain conspicuous options … Continue Reading

Digital Advertising Alliance Will Begin Enforcing its Mobile Guidance September 1, 2015

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 May 7 that the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association will begin enforcement of the Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment (DAA Mobile … Continue Reading

White House Privacy Bill: A Deeper Dive

As we reported earlier today, the long-awaited White House draft of privacy and data security legislation has been released. While the United States does not today have a comprehensive privacy and data security law, the proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights would impose a suite of substantive privacy and data security obligations across sectors and … Continue Reading

White House Privacy Bill Is Released

The White House’s much anticipated draft privacy legislation has now been released.   We are digesting its content now and will post an update with some additional comments shortly. The draft appears to include an expansive definition of “personal data.”  In addition, early press reports note that the draft bill would require companies to inform consumers and … Continue Reading

What the FTC’s Latest COPPA Settlements Mean for Mobile Apps

Making good on its warnings that mobile apps will be an enforcement priority under the revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule, the FTC has announced two settlements with mobile app developers: TinyCo., the developer of several child-directed mobile apps, will pay $300,000 to settle charges that it violated COPPA by collecting children’s email addresses through its mobile app … Continue Reading

Compliance Warning States OBA Principles Apply to Cross-Device and Cross-Platform Tracking

Last week, the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program released a compliance warning to clarify that its Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA Principles) apply―not just to traditional HTTP cookies―but to other types of tracking technologies that enable the tracking of consumers across different platforms and devices.   The compliance warning admonished companies developing and implementing … Continue Reading

The FTC’s Agenda to Tackle Big Data and Discrimination

Last Friday, the FTC announced an agenda for its upcoming workshop, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” which will take place on Monday, Sept. 15, starting at 8:00 a.m.  As we’ve previously reported, the workshop will build on recent efforts by the FTC and other government agencies to understand how new technologies affect … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses CFAA, ECPA, and Other Claims in Privacy Class Action Opperman v. Path

On May 14, a judge in the Northern District of California granted in part and dismissed in part four motions to dismiss filed by defendants in the consolidated class action, Opperman v. Path (No. 3:13-CV-00453-JST). The plaintiffs alleged that apps offered by a number of developers (“App Defendants”) accessed and uploaded information from plaintiffs’ mobile … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds Facebook IDs and URLS Not “Content” under ECPA

Last Thursday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of claims for violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”), holding that the plaintiffs had failed to allege Facebook and Zynga disclosed the “contents” of a communication, a necessary element under the Act. The court’s ruling applies to the consolidated … Continue Reading

Snapchat Settles FTC Charges

On Thursday, mobile messaging application Snapchat agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charges that it made false or misleading representations about the ephemeral nature of its messages, the collection of user information, and the nature of its security practices. The FTC Complaint alleges six counts, many of which demonstrate the Commission’s aggressive enforcement of … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Settlements with Two Mobile App Providers

Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced settlements with two mobile app makers that allegedly failed to provide reasonable security for the personal information collected in connection with their apps.  In complaints against Credit Karma, Inc. and Fandango LLC, the FTC alleged that both companies’ apps failed to validate SSL certificates, a security shortcoming that could … Continue Reading

Key Takeaways from the FTC Workshop on Mobile Device Tracking

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission held the first of its three spring workshops, focused on mobile device tracking.  Mobile tracking has gained increasing attention in recent years, as some brick and mortar retailers have begun tracking the signals emitted from customer smartphones in an effort to better understand shopping habits and patterns.  For instance, … Continue Reading

Franken Bill Would Require Express Consent to Collection of Geolocation Information

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) plans to re-introduce a bill intended to limit the use of geolocation data obtained from consumer smartphones and car navigation systems.  The Location Privacy Protection Act, which was first introduced in 2011, would require a user’s express authorization to collect, receive, record, obtain, or disclose to a non-governmental individual or entity … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Charges Against Flashlight App Maker

Yesterday, the FTC announced a settlement with Goldenshores Technologies, a company that makes the most-downloaded flashlight app on the Android platform.  The FTC alleged that Goldenshores violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by failing to disclose to consumers that it shared location data it collected from users’ device with third parties.  Although a list … Continue Reading

NTIA to Convene Multistakeholder Meetings On Facial Recognition Technology

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced today that it will convene a series of meetings about the commercial uses of facial recognition technology.  The goal of the meetings will be to develop a voluntary, enforceable code of conduct specifying how the Obama Administration’s “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” applies to facial recognition.  The first … Continue Reading

Self-Regulatory Code Released for Retailers Using WiFi To Track Customers

Under a new self-regulatory code released earlier this week, brick-and-mortar retailers that track customer in-store movements using mobile phone WiFi signals must disclose the practice to customers and allow them to opt out. The code was created by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and a group of mobile analytics companies.  It was announced jointly … Continue Reading
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