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UK Supreme Court Will Hear Google’s Appeal in Important Privacy Case

The UK Supreme Court has granted Google the right to appeal part of the English and Welsh Court of Appeal’s notable ruling in Google Inc. v. Vidal-Hall & Ors [2015] EWCA Civ 311. Our previous blog highlighted the facts of the case (brought by Internet users against Google’s ad-tracking practices) and the significant consequences of … 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

Federal Court Narrows ATDS Definition

Last week, a federal judge in the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), ruling that an automated telephone dialing system or “autodialer” is not used when a third party group inviter has provided the number that resulted in the initiation of the automated text … 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

Schedule of Panelists for FTC’s Upcoming Big Data & Discrimination Workshop

As we have previously reported, in less than two weeks the FTC will host its anticipated workshop on big data and discrimination.  Today the FTC announced a full agenda and panelists for the September 15th event, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” which will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Constitution Center.  … 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

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

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

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

White House Seeks Public Comment on Implications of Big Data

As part of the White House’s ongoing review of “big data” and its implications for privacy, the economy, and public policy, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (“OSTP”) has announced that it is requesting comments from the public on several key issues. OSTP’s Request for Information asks commenters to consider the following questions: What … 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

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

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
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