Tag Archives: mobile apps

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 Releases Online Tool to Help Health App Developers Identify Applicable Laws

A new post on the Covington eHealth blog discusses the new web-based interactive tool released by the FTC, in conjunction with HHS and the FDA, to assist mobile health app developers in navigating applicable federal laws and regulations in the areas of advertising and marketing, medical devices, and data security and privacy.  As part of … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Warning Letters to App Developers Using Technology That Could Monitor What Users Watch on TV

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it issued warning letters to mobile app developers that installed software created by an entity called Silverpush that could allow third parties to monitor the television-viewing habits of consumers who have downloaded the mobile apps of those developers.  The letters were sent to 12 developers whose apps … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues $100,000 Fine in First-Ever Data Security Enforcement Action

On March 2, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) entered into a consent order with online payment systems operator Dwolla, Inc., based on allegations that Dwolla deceived consumers about its data security practices and the safety of its online payment system. The CFPB brought this action under its authority in Sections 1031(a) and 1036(a)(1) … Continue Reading

FTC Settles COPPA Charges With Two App Developers

Two app developers, LAI Systems, LLC and Retro Dreamer, have settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that the companies shared children’s personal information with third-party advertising networks in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. These cases are the first in which the FTC alleged that companies allowed ad … Continue Reading

HHS Launches Portal Seeking Questions from Mobile Health Application Developers

A new post on Covington’s Inside Medical Devices blog discusses a new portal recently launched by HHS seeking questions from mobile health application developers.  The platform allows for individuals to both submit and review questions on the HIPAA implications of these mobile health applications.  To read the post, click here.… Continue Reading

Start With Security: Key Takeaways from the FTC’s Data Security Conference

By Lindsey Tonsager and Megan Rodgers The FTC held its “Start with Security” conference in San Francisco, California, last week, launching an initiative to provide companies with practical resources for implementing effective data security strategies. The event was targeted at tech start-ups and small- and medium-sized businesses, but the panelists included representatives from companies with … Continue Reading

Following TCPA Omnibus Order, Court Reaffirms Prior Ruling in Dismissing TCPA Text Message Lawsuit Against AOL

In one of the first decisions evaluating Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims under the FCC’s recent omnibus TCPA order, the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action lawsuit alleging that AOL violated the TCPA when users of its Instant Messenger service (AIM) sent text messages to incorrect recipients.  After the court dismissed … Continue Reading

Regulators in the U.S. and U.K. Monitoring Mobile Apps and Websites Directed at Children

By Megan L. Rodgers What information is being collected by mobile apps and websites directed at kids? With whom is that information shared? What notice is provided to parents? Regulators in the U.S. and abroad continue to focus on these issues. The FTC recently released a follow-up report on privacy notices in mobile apps directed … Continue Reading

Ten Key Takeaways From Last Week’s TCPA Order

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the text of its long-awaited order addressing certain aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and related FCC rules.  The order addressed a total of 21 petitions seeking “clarification or other actions” regarding the TCPA, principally in connection with automated calls and text messages. Although the … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Text-Message TCPA Suit Against AOL, Finding Instant Messaging Service Does Not Constitute an ATDS

On June 1, the Northern District of California dismissed a putative TCPA class action against AOL, finding that the plaintiff had failed to allege that AOL utilized an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS), as required to state a cause of action under the TCPA.  In dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint in Derby v. AOL, the court … Continue Reading

May 2015 EU mHealth Round-Up

May 2015 saw a number of developments in the EU mHealth sector worthy of a brief mention.  The European Commission announced that it would work on new guidance for mHealth apps, despite the European Data Protection Supervisor and British Standards Institution publishing their own just weeks earlier.  In parallel, the French data protection authority announced … Continue Reading

Article 29 Working Party Clarifies Scope of Health Data in Apps and Devices

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (Working Party), an independent EU advisory body on data protection and privacy, responded to a request from the European Commission made in the framework of the Commission’s  mHealth initiative to clarify the definition of data concerning health in relation to lifestyle and wellbeing apps.  (See more here, and here … Continue Reading

Summary Report of European Commission’s mHealth Consultation Published

The European Commission has finally published its summary of 211 responses to its mobile health (“mHealth”) consultation.  The summary and original responses to the consultation have been made available on the Commission’s website at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/summary-report-public-consultation-green-paper-mobile-health The consultation covered a broad range of important issues for mHealth, including legal frameworks, privacy and data protection, patient safety, … Continue Reading

Carnegie Mellon Grades Privacy of Android Apps

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have designed a website that doles out grades to Android apps based on their privacy practices. The website, privacygrade.org, assigns grades based on a model that measures the gap between people’s expectations of an app’s behavior and how the app actually behaves. The grades range from A+, representing no privacy … Continue Reading

FTC Settlement Requires Fandango and Credit Karma to Establish Comprehensive Security Programs to Protect Consumers’ Sensitive Personal Information

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has approved final orders settling charges against Fandango and Credit Karma that the companies misrepresented the security of their mobile apps and failed to protect the transmission of consumers’ sensitive personal information.  The FTC specifically alleged that, although the companies made security promises to consumers that their information was adequately … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Releases Report on Mobile Shopping Apps: Finds Insufficient Disclosures to Consumers

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a staff report examining the consumer-protection implications of popular shopping apps.  These services are intended to ease and enhance the shopping experience by allowing consumers to, for example, compare prices in-store across retailers, collect and redeem deals, or pay for purchases while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.  The FTC … Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee To Examine “Stalking Apps”

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law will hold a hearing on legislation reintroduced in March by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2014.  The bill would regulate the development, operation, and sale of “stalking apps” and also would require companies to get consumer permission before collecting … Continue Reading

BYOD’s Rapid Growth Presents New Legal Challenges

Companies are increasingly allowing employees to access work email and apps on their personal devices, according to a new Gartner survey of chief information officers.  But employers confront many tough policy and legal questions when they adopt Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) programs. Thirty-eight percent of the CIOs said that their organizations will stop providing … 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

FTC Releases Mobile App Privacy Guidelines

As state and federal regulators increasingly focus on mobile apps, the Federal Trade Commission today released detailed recommendations for mobile privacy. In a 29-page staff report, the FTC suggests how mobile app platforms and developers should notify consumers of their privacy practices.  Although the guidelines are not binding law, they offer best practices that could … 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
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