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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

Petitions to Forbear or Clarify New FCC TCPA Rules Filed

Earlier today, two entities — the Direct Marketing Association (“DMA”) and a Coalition of Mobile Engagement Providers (“Coalition”) — filed petitions at the FCC asking the agency to stay and forbear from enforcing, or clarify, certain aspects of the “prior express written consent” requirement that went into effect yesterday for prerecorded calls to residential numbers and autodialed … Continue Reading

The DAA Principles Applied to Mobile: Key Takeaways

The Digital Advertising Alliance (“DAA”) recently released a guidance document titled Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment (“Mobile Guidance”).  The Mobile Guidance does not purport to establish new principles, but rather to explain how the DAA’s existing principles — the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising and for Multi-Site Data — apply to the … Continue Reading

HTC America’s Settlement with FTC Becomes Final

Yesterday, the FTC announced that it had approved a final order settling charges that HTC America failed to take reasonable steps to secure the software it developed for mobile devices.  (We’ve previously blogged about the case here.)  The FTC alleged that this failure amounted to an “unfair” practice in violation of Section 5 of the … Continue Reading

FCC: Customer Data Carriers Obtain Through Mobile Devices Subject to Existing Privacy Rules

Telecommunications carriers and providers of interconnected VoIP service with access to certain kinds of customer information collected through mobile devices are subject to existing privacy rules governing their use and disclosure of that information, the Federal Communications Commission announced in a declaratory ruling adopted at its June 27 meeting.  Significantly, the decision makes clear that … Continue Reading

FCC to Consider Ruling on Carriers’ Use of Data Collected on Mobile Devices

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote this month on a declaratory ruling stating that existing rules governing telephone carriers’ use of subscribers’ personal information also apply to data collected on mobile devices. Existing regulations restrict telecommunications carriers’ ability to use or disclose Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) that a carrier obtains in the … Continue Reading

FTC Holds Forum Addressing Mobile Security

By Chris Higby & Kurt Wimmer Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission held a forum on Mobile Security: Potential Threats and Solutions. The forum brought together academics, industry leaders, and security experts to discuss the security problems arising from the rapid adoption of mobile devices. The first panel, consisting of security experts and researchers, gave a … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Information about Upcoming Mobile Security Forum

Today, the Federal Trade Commission released the agenda and panelists for the public forum it is holding on mobile security, Mobile Security: Potential Threats and Solutions, on June 4, 2013.  The forum will bring together technology researchers, industry members, and academics to explore mobile malware, the security of existing and developing mobile technologies, and the roles … Continue Reading

FCC Confirms That Sellers Can Be Liable for Telemarketer TCPA Violations

A seller who authorizes a third-party telemarketer to market the seller’s goods or services may be held vicariously liable if the telemarketer violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission held in a May 9 declaratory ruling. The FCC’s ruling interprets two subsections of the TCPA. The first subsection — 47 U.S.C. … Continue Reading

FTC Reminds Mobile App Developers To Comply With Revised Children’s Privacy Requirements By July 1

The Federal Trade Commission has sent letters to more than 90 different companies who develop mobile apps that the FTC claims may be directed to children.  The letters emphasize that the FTC has not evaluated the apps or the companies’ practices to determine if they comply with the current or revised COPPA Rule.  Instead, the letters remind these … Continue Reading

Delta succeeds in dismissing California AG’s first CalOPPA case

California Attorney General Kamala Harris failed in her first attempt to sue a company for failing to post a privacy policy on a mobile app. Harris alleged that Delta Airlines violated the California Online Privacy Protection Act ("CalOPPA") by failing to include a privacy policy on its mobile app- The lawsuit, in the California Superior Court in San Francisco, was the first enforcement action under CalOPPA since it came into force in 2004. On Thursday, the district court granted Delta's motion to dismiss the complaint, concluding that the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) pre-empts the state's claims. The ADA provides that "a State....may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier." Courts have construed the scope of preemption by the ADA broadly, and the majority of courts which have considered the issue have held that the ADA preempts the application of state consumer protection laws to airlines. See Morales v. Trans World Airlines, 504 U.S. 374 (1992). The judge decided that the operation of a mobile app for air travel services is "related to price, route or service of an air carrier" and thus agreed with Delta's argument that the California AG's claim is pre-empted.… Continue Reading

China Regulates Smart Device Manufacturers’ Use of Pre-installed Apps

China’s Ministry of Internet and Information Technology (“MIIT”) has promulgated a new regulation targeting manufacturers of mobile smart devices (such as smart phones) that prohibits them from preinstalling certain apps that raise privacy, security, or prohibited content concerns.  Entitled “Notice Regarding Strengthening the Management of Network Access for Mobile Smart Terminals,” the new regulation forbids … Continue Reading

FTC’s Current Enforcement Priorities: Infographic

Speaking at a seminar hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Assistant Director Chris Olsen and Senior Attorney Peder Magee, both of the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, provided a useful overview of the FTC’s recent enforcement actions and current enforcement priorities.  Based on this discussion, the following infographic identifies the … Continue Reading

5 Privacy and Data Security Measures That Can Protect Your Company Against Trade Secret Theft

At a recent forum in New York, a team of Covington lawyers addressed the growing concern among companies that their most valuable assets could leave the building on a thumb drive in an employee’s pocket or be disclosed through an employee’s use of a social media site.  Addressing this threat involves many disciplines beyond trade … Continue Reading

EU Data Protection Working Party Sets Out App Privacy Recommendations

By Dan Cooper and Philippe Bradley This week the Article 29 Working Party released its Opinion 2/2013 on apps on smart devices (WP 202), a 30-page report on mobile app privacy and data protection considerations. This development follows on the Working Party’s Statement on the draft General Data Protection Regulation on 27 February 2013 (which … Continue Reading

FTC Releases New Guidance For Online Advertising Disclosures

On March 12, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released new guidance for online advertisers, providing specific tips and examples of how to make disclosures clear and conspicuous, and, therefore, not deceptive in the context of emerging technologies, space-constrained screens, and social media platforms. The guidelines—titled “.com Disclosures:  How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Report on Mobile Payments

Last Friday, the Federal Trade Commission released a report, Paper, Plastic…or Mobile?, on the use of mobile payments.  The report follows a workshop hosted by the FTC in April 2012 that explored innovative mobile payment products and services, the potential benefits offered by mobile payments, and the concerns they raise.  For purposes of the report, mobile … Continue Reading

HTC America Settles FTC Charges It Failed to Secure Mobile Devices

Mobile device manufacturer HTC America has settled Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charges that the company failed to take reasonable steps to secure the software it developed for its smartphones and tablet computers, introducing security flaws that placed sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk.  The settlement requires HTC America to develop and release software … Continue Reading

Rep. Johnson Releases Discussion Draft of Mobile App Privacy Bill Following NTIA’s 8th Meeting Concerning a Voluntary Code of Conduct

On Friday, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) released a discussion draft of a bill for mobile privacy. Named the Application Privacy, Protection and Security Act of 2013 (“APPS Act”), the bill would obligate app developers to disclose to users the terms and conditions around the collection, use, storage, and sharing of user data. Additionally, the bill … Continue Reading

FTC Enters into Consent Order with Mobile Application Developers for Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission entered into a consent order with two companies alleged to have operated as consumer reporting agencies, by providing criminal record reports through mobile applications, without complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The consent order represents the FTC’s first FCRA case involving mobile applications.  According to the FTC’s complaint, Filiquarian … Continue Reading

Key Takeaways from the California AG’s Mobile Apps Report

Yesterday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris continued her efforts to promote privacy best practices in the mobile app ecosystem by issuing a number of recommendations in her report, “Privacy on the Go.”  The report encourages app developers, platform providers, ad networks, OS developers, and even mobile carriers to incorporate privacy by design into their products … Continue Reading

California AG Will Reportedly Release App Privacy Guide

Politico is reporting that California Attorney General Kamala Harris will release a report containing privacy recommendations for key players in the mobile app ecosystem (including developers, advertisers, and others).  The report could be released as early as this week.  As we have noted elsewhere, Harris has made mobile privacy a key priority for her office.  … 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
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