Tag Archives: FTC

Mobile Phone Manufacturer Settles with FTC Over Allegations that Its Vendor Collected Personal Data without Consent

By Melanie Ramey Mobile phone manufacturer BLU Products, Inc. entered into a settlement agreement with the FTC last week to resolve allegations that one of BLU’s China-based vendors collected personal information about its consumers without proper consent. The settlement agreement, which took the form of a consent order, applies not only to BLU but also … Continue Reading

Senators Klobuchar and Kennedy Introduce Privacy Legislation

On April 24, 2018, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act of 2018.  The bill aims to protect consumers’ online data by increasing the transparency of data collection and tracking practices, and requiring companies to notify consumers of a privacy violation within 72 hours. “Our … Continue Reading

Senate Democrats Propose CONSENT Act

By Alyson Sandler On April 10, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced new privacy legislation titled the Customer Online Notification for Stopping Edge-provider Network Transgressions (CONSENT) Act.  In a statement published on his website, Senator Markey referred to the legislation as a “privacy bill of rights” and explained that “[t]he avalanche of … Continue Reading

FTC Grants Sears’ Petition to Reopen and Modify Consent Order Based on Changed Conditions of Fact

This week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) granted Sears Holdings Management’s (“Sears”) petition to reopen and modify a 2009 consent order regarding the tracking of personal information on Sears’ software apps.  We analyzed Sears’ petition last fall, which sought to modify the definition of “tracking application,” which triggered heightened notice and consent requirements under the … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Report on Mobile Device Security Updates

On February 28, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a report discussing security updates for mobile devices.  The report stems from information the FTC collected from eight mobile device manufacturers — Apple, Blackberry, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, and Samsung — and from information the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) collected from mobile carriers in … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decision Provides Critical Win to FTC in its Authority over Internet Service Providers

In a ruling with implications for both net neutrality and privacy, the Ninth Circuit ruled en banc today that the common carrier exemption in Section 5 of the FTC Act is activity-based, reversing a 2016 panel ruling that the exemption was status-based.  Today’s decision bolsters the FTC’s authority to bring consumer protection (including privacy) and … Continue Reading

President Trump Nominates Four New Commissioners to FTC

Last week, President Trump nominated four new commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”):  Joseph J. Simons, an antitrust attorney, as Chairman; Noah Joshua Phillips, chief counsel for Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), for the second Republican seat; Christine Wilson, an executive for Delta Air Lines, for the third Republican seat; and Rohit Chopra, … Continue Reading

FTC Releases 2017 Privacy and Data Security Report

On January 18, the Federal Trade Commission released its annual Privacy and Data Security Update, highlighting its enforcement efforts in 2017.  The report discusses significant enforcement efforts in the areas of privacy, data security, credit reporting and financial privacy, international enforcement, children’s privacy, and telemarketing.  The report also highlights the FTC’s efforts in advocacy, rulemaking, guidance, … Continue Reading

FTC Hosts Workshop Highlighting Consumer, Industry, and Law Enforcement Perspectives on Informational Injury

On December 12, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted a workshop examining “informational injury,” defined by Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen in her opening remarks as the harm consumers suffer due to privacy and data security breaches. Chairman Ohlhausen emphasized three main purposes for the workshop:  First, to better identify qualitatively different injuries; second, to … Continue Reading

Key Information Security Pointers from the FTC’s Stick with Security Guidance

Earlier this year, the FTC’s staff released a series of blog posts entitled Stick with Security that updated and expanded upon the prior Start with Security best-practices guide for information security practices.  The Stick with Security series draws from FTC complaints, consent orders, closed investigations, and input from companies around the country to provide deeper … Continue Reading

FCC Poised to Release Draft Order on Net Neutrality Overhaul

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced today that at its December 14 open meeting, the FCC will vote on an overhaul of the net neutrality framework adopted by the prior Administration in 2015.  The full text of the draft order will be released tomorrow, but Chairman Pai has made certain key details known today.  The order … 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

FTC and Department of Education Announce Joint Workshop on FERPA and COPPA Compliance for Ed Tech

Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Education announced plans to hold a joint workshop on the application of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) to educational technology products and services in the K-12 school environment.  In advance of the workshop, the … Continue Reading

District Court Dismisses Multiple Counts in FTC’s Complaint Against D-Link

On September 19, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed three of the six counts in the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC’s”) January 2017 complaint against D-Link Systems, Inc., allowing the FTC until October 20, 2017 to amend its complaint. The FTC’s complaint alleged that D-Link engaged in unfair and deceptive … Continue Reading

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

GAO Releases New Vehicle Data Privacy Report

On August 28, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) publicly released a report regarding consumer privacy issues associated with the rapidly increasing number of cars that are “connected”—i.e., capable of wirelessly monitoring, collecting, and transmitting information about their internal and external environments.  The report examines four key issues: (1) the types of data collected … Continue Reading

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 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

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

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
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