Archives: Federal Trade Commission

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FTC Announces “Stick With Security” Initiative

The FTC announced today a new “Stick With Security” Initiative, building on its prior “Start With Security” guide as “part of its ongoing efforts to help businesses ensure that they are taking reasonable steps to protect and secure consumer data.”  Stick With Security constitutes a series of blog posts published each Friday using “hypothetical examples … Continue Reading

FTC and NHSTA Hold Workshop to Drive Discussion on Connected Cars

On June 28, 2017, The Federal Trade Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hosted a workshop  to examine the consumer privacy and security issues that automated and connected motor vehicles pose.  The workshop’s Public Notice, which solicited comments from stakeholders in advance of the event, highlighted the benefits that connected cars can … Continue Reading

FTC Launches Review of Its Email Marketing Rule

Today the FTC announced that it is undertaking a review of its CAN-SPAM Rule, which sets out the requirements for sending commercial e-mail messages.  Among other things, the CAN-SPAM Rule requires that senders of commercial e-mails provide recipients a mechanism to opt out of receiving commercial e-mails, honor opt-out requests within 10 business days, and include specific disclosures in the … Continue Reading

FTC Staff Publish COPPA Guidance for Businesses

The FTC staff published today a “Six-Step Compliance Plan” for businesses to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The guidance, which provides a useful framework for businesses, states explicitly that COPPA applies to connected toys and other devices that collect personal information from children over the Internet.  The FTC’s 2013 revisions to the COPPA Rule greatly expanded … Continue Reading

Senate, House, and FTC Seek to Steer the Course of Self-Driving Vehicles

Members of Congress are gearing up for national laws on autonomous vehicles. Last week in the Senate, John Thune (R-S.D.), Gary Peter (D-Mich.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) released a list of principles for bipartisan legislation in advance of a hearing they convened on June 14, 2017, entitled “Paving the Way for Self-Driving Vehicles.”  In the … Continue Reading

FCC Releases NPRM on Broadband ISPs and Net Neutrality Rules

The FCC has released the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on “Restoring Internet Freedom” that was adopted by a 2-1 vote at the Commission’s open meeting on May 18.  The NPRM is substantively very similar to the draft released by Chairman Pai on April 27, and the comment deadlines remain the same: July 17 for … Continue Reading

New Republican Privacy Bill Would Expand Scope of “Sensitive” Data

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has introduced a bill, the “Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly Act of 2017” (“BROWSER Act,” H.R. 2520) that would  create new online privacy requirements.  The BROWSER Act would require both ISPs and edge providers (essentially any service provided over the Internet) to provide users with notice of … Continue Reading

First Annual Privacy Shield Review Will Comprehensively Assess the Framework

The first annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”) is scheduled to occur in September 2017 in Washington, D.C.  The first review is particularly important for the nascent framework, as regulators in both the U.S. and the EU are expected to closely scrutinize the operation of the first year of the Privacy Shield, … Continue Reading

Parties Discuss Privacy Issues in Advance of FTC, NHTSA Workshop on Connected Cars

Automated vehicle technology is accelerating, and regulators are racing to keep up.  On June 28, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) will hold a workshop to examine the consumer privacy and security issues posed by automated and connected vehicles.  The workshop comes several months after the Department of … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Will Rehear Dismissal of FTC Throttling Suit

The Ninth Circuit announced today that the full court will rehear the case in which the three-judge panel opinion had dismissed the FTC’s lawsuit against AT&T for allegedly violating Section 5 of the FTC Act due to past “throttling” practices around unlimited data plans.  According to the panel opinion, the FTC lacked jurisdiction over AT&T’s … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Pai Proposes New Regulatory Framework for Broadband ISPs, Seeks Comment on Net Neutrality Rules

In a widely anticipated step, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on the legal framework that governs broadband providers and related net neutrality questions. Most notably from a privacy perspective, the draft NPRM proposes to find that broadband Internet access service is an “information service” under the Communications … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Plans to Clarify its Data Security Standard

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it is launching a new initiative to improve data security guidance and transparency as part of a broader plan to implement process reform initiatives.  In an interview with Politico Pro (subscription required) last week, the new acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Thomas Pahl, … Continue Reading

Senators Reintroduce Cybersecurity Legislation for Cars and Planes

Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reintroduced a pair of bills today relating to the cybersecurity of cars and aircraft, which would impose affirmative security, disclosure, and consent requirements on manufacturers and air carriers.  The Security and Privacy in Your Car (“SPY Car”) Act and Cybersecurity Standards for Aircraft to Improve Resilience (“Cyber … Continue Reading

FTC Announces June Workshop on Connected and Automated Cars

The FTC announced today that it will hold a joint workshop on June 28, 2017 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to “examine the consumer privacy and security issues posed by automated and connected motor vehicles.”  The announcement lists several discussion topics for the upcoming workshop: the types of data vehicles with wireless … Continue Reading

FTC Comments on NTIA’s Cybersecurity Vulnerability Disclosure Template

The FTC released public comments yesterday on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) draft “Early Stage” Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure Template released in December 2016.  The draft template was released by the NTIA Safety Working Group as part of a multistakeholder process that convened security researchers and software and system developers and owners to address … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Cross-Device Tracking Report

The Federal Trade Commission yesterday released its report on cross-device tracking.  The report, which follows the Commission’s November 2015 Cross-Device Tracking Workshop, describes some of the current approaches to track consumers across multiple connected devices, discusses industry self-regulatory approaches to protect consumer privacy, and offers recommendations for how to apply longstanding FTC principles like transparency, … Continue Reading

Switzerland and US Announce New Commercial Data Transfer Framework

On January 12, 2017, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced the adoption of a Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield, to replace the existing Swiss-U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement.  Companies have a three month grace period to switch from the old to the new regime. The Swiss version of the Privacy Shield had to be negotiated following the invalidation … Continue Reading

Ashley Madison Settles Data Security and Deception Charges

The FTC announced today that it has reached a settlement with the operators of AshleyMadison.com (Ashley Madison) for alleged data security deficiencies and deceptive trade practices.  According to the FTC, Ashley Madison, a dating website for married individuals, was hacked in July 2015, leading to the release of 36 million users’ account and profile information.  … Continue Reading

The Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity Releases Its Report on Securing and Growing the Digital Economy

On December 1, 2016, the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity released its Report on Securing and Growing the Digital Economy. In its Report, the Commission, established in February 2016 by President Obama, provided detailed short- and long-term recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in the public and private sectors. The Commission took a multi-stakeholder approach, emphasizing the … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Privacy Disclosure Staff Summary

On November 30, the FTC released a staff summary of its September 15, 2016 public workshop, Putting Disclosures to the Test.  Numerous goods and services, from home appliances to financial services, make use of disclosures to inform users of their privacy practices.  These disclosures—whether delivered offline or online, via text, video, or audio—are a key … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Stays Enforcement of FTC’s LabMD Order

In an order released last week, the Eleventh Circuit temporarily delayed enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) order in the LabMD case.  As we reported earlier, the FTC ruled in July that LabMD’s data security practices violated the FTC Act, clarifying and expanding upon the FTC’s authority to regulate corporate data security practices.  After … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Guidance for Responding to Data Breaches

On Tuesday, the FTC issued new guidance for businesses on responding to data breaches, along with an accompanying blog post and video.  The data breach response guidance follows the issuance of the FTC’s “Start with Security” data security guidance last year and builds upon recent FTC education and outreach initiatives on data security and cybersecurity … Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Rehearing of Ninth Circuit Dismissal of Throttling Suit

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed a petition for en banc (full court) review of a Ninth Circuit opinion dismissing the FTC’s lawsuit against AT&T for violating Section 5 of the FTC Act due to its throttling practices. As we previously reported, in October 2014, the FTC challenged AT&T’s practice of reducing—or “throttling”—the … Continue Reading
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