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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 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

Google, the CJEU, and the Long Arm of European Data Protection Law

By Dan Cooper, Mark Young and Kristof van Quathem On May 13, the European Court of Justice (the “Court”) handed down an important judgement in a referral from Spain’s National High Court involving Google, a Spanish national, and the Spanish data protection authority (Case C-131/12).  The decision has wide-ranging consequences regarding the application of EU … 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

FDA Issues Untitled Letter Focused On Promotional Claims On Facebook

FDA has previously included claims made on Facebook or other social media platforms along with broader allegations of misbranding using a variety of sources in its enforcement letters . . . [b]y contrast, the present untitled letter focuses solely on a single statement on a Facebook page, and does not take issue with any statements outside the Facebook page.… Continue Reading

Industry Grapples With Implementing “Do Not Track” Disclosures; IAB Outlines “Guiding Principles” for a Post-Cookie World

California’s recent amendments to the California Online Privacy Protection Act require certain online services to make additional disclosures about how they respond to browser-based Do Not Track signals―new obligations that went into effect on January 1.  Along with Joanne McNabb of the Office of the California Attorney General, Kurt Wimmer and I will be discussing … Continue Reading

Senate Panel Examines Data Broker Industry; Releases Staff Report

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing entitled, “What Information Do Data Brokers Have on Consumers, and How Do They Use It?”   Committee members expressed interest in bringing about greater transparency to what information is collected by data brokers and how it is used at the hearing, which consisted … Continue Reading

OBA Accountability Program: A Recap of What Happened in November

The Online Internet-Based Advertising Accountability Program issued five decisions in November enforcing the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.  The Accountability Program’s first two decisions, issued November 18 against BMW of North America and Scottrade, addressed those companies’ failure to provide notice of third-party data collection on their websites.  On November 20, … Continue Reading

Texas AG Objections To Transfer of Personal Data Demonstrate Significance of Privacy Policy Disclosures

Last week, dating website PlentyOfFish withdrew its offer to buy bankrupt rival True.com, citing concerns raised by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott that the sale would violate True.com’s privacy policy and expose its members to unexpected privacy risks.  Two weeks ago, Abbott filed an objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to block the proposed transfer of … Continue Reading

European Regulators and the Eternal Cookie Debate

By Dan Cooper, Mark Young and Maria-Martina Yalamova This week, the Article 29 Working Party (the “WP29”) released an opinion paper on what constitutes “consent” for purposes of complying with the EU’s “cookie” rules — rules that were revised to include a consent requirement nearly four years ago.  The paper will be relevant to website … Continue Reading

DAA to Website Operators: Provide “Enhanced Notice” of OBA by January 1

Earlier this week, the organization that enforces the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising issued a “Compliance Warning” to website operators, advising them to provide “enhanced notice” on every web page where data is being collected or used for online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) by January 1, 2014.  The DAA defines OBA as … Continue Reading

CA Governor Signs Bill Providing Online Protections For Minors

Earlier this month, we blogged about the California Senate’s passage of the bill titled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World”, which prohibits certain targeted advertising to California minors and requires that minors be allowed to delete materials they have posted online.  Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation, and it will … Continue Reading

CA Legislature Passes Bill Establishing Online Protections for Minors

Last Friday the California Senate unanimously passed legislation titled, “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World,” which prohibits certain types of marketing to minors (defined as a natural person under the age of 18 residing in California) and allows minors to delete materials they have posted online.  The bill, which already cleared the … Continue Reading

Bill Adding Do-Not-Track Disclosures to CalOPPA Passes California Senate

Last week the California Senate unanimously approved a bill requiring that operators of commercial websites and online services that collect personal information disclose how they respond to “do-not-track” signals from web browsers and whether they allow third parties to engage in online tracking.  The legislation, which was introduced by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, has been sponsored … 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

Two New Decisions on the Wiretap Act and Secondary Liability

The last two weeks have brought two important decisions in the ongoing litigation over behavioral advertising firm NebuAd’s alleged use of a device to intercept data from ISP networks. Several ISPs allegedly permitted NebuAd to install an “appliance” on their networks in order to collect and analyze subscriber data for ad targeting purposes.  In lawsuits … Continue Reading
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