Tag Archives: Mobile

HTC America Settles FTC Charges It Failed to Secure Mobile Devices

Mobile device manufacturer HTC America has settled Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charges that the company failed to take reasonable steps to secure the software it developed for its smartphones and tablet computers, introducing security flaws that placed sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk.  The settlement requires HTC America to develop and release software … Continue Reading

Key Takeaways from the California AG’s Mobile Apps Report

Yesterday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris continued her efforts to promote privacy best practices in the mobile app ecosystem by issuing a number of recommendations in her report, “Privacy on the Go.”  The report encourages app developers, platform providers, ad networks, OS developers, and even mobile carriers to incorporate privacy by design into their products … Continue Reading

California AG Will Reportedly Release App Privacy Guide

Politico is reporting that California Attorney General Kamala Harris will release a report containing privacy recommendations for key players in the mobile app ecosystem (including developers, advertisers, and others).  The report could be released as early as this week.  As we have noted elsewhere, Harris has made mobile privacy a key priority for her office.  … Continue Reading

Delta Sued for Failure to Provide In-App Privacy Policy

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has made good on her promise to get tough with mobile app makers that fail to provide privacy policies in their apps.  Yesterday, her office sued Delta Airlines for violating the California Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”), which requires providers of websites and “online services” to conspicuously post privacy policies … Continue Reading

California AG Puts Mobile App Developers on Notice

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has formally warned 100 app developers that their apps are not in compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act (OPPA).  Harris has given these developers 30 days to come into compliance by “conspicuously post[ing] a privacy policy within their app that informs users of what personally identifiable information about … Continue Reading

Telemarketing Recap: Recent Key Developments at the FCC, FTC and in the Courts

A number of key developments affecting telemarketing emerged over the past week: 1.  The distinction between informational and telemarketing calls was further defined.  The 9th Circuit held that calls intended to impart information about a customer rewards program could be construed as “dual purpose” calls subject to federal and state telemarketing restrictions.  See Chesbro v. … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Privacy Guide for Mobile Application Developers

The Federal Trade Commission has released a guide, Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right from the Start, to help mobile application developers comply with truth-in-advertising standards and privacy principles.  Although the guide is informal and not binding guidance, it does represent helpful FTC commentary.  The guide notes that a one-size fits all approach is not workable since … Continue Reading

NTIA Privacy Multistakeholder Group Discusses Process, Substance

Privacy stakeholders gathered today at NTIA to once again discuss how the group might move forward in developing a code of conduct for mobile app transparency.  While no decisions were made, the group identified a number of topics that would be appropriate to tackle early in the process.  There also appeared to be consensus among … Continue Reading

California Legislature Bans Warrantless Location Tracking

Last week, the California legislature passed one of the nation’s most restrictive bills governing law enforcement’s ability to access location information.  Under the California Location Privacy Act, state and local government agencies would be required to secure search warrants before obtaining historical or current location information for any electronic device.  The California bill would curtail … Continue Reading

NTIA Releases Notes from First Privacy Multistakeholder Meeting; Announces Next Meeting Dates

As noted in our coverage of the inaugural Privacy Multistakeholder Meeting, NTIA promised to release meeting notes and the results of informal polls taken during the meeting.  This information is now available on NTIA’s website, and includes notes in document format and images of the flipcharts used during the meeting. Additionally, NTIA has encouraged stakeholders … Continue Reading

Study Finds Top Mobile Apps More Transparent About Privacy Practices

According to a recent study released by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), the number of mobile apps with privacy policies has grown rapidly since September 2011. The study examined the top 25 free and 25 paid apps in the Apple iOS, Google Play, and Kindle Fire app stores, for a total of 150 apps.  Of the apps reviewed, the study found … Continue Reading

Recapping the NTIA Multistakeholder Meeting

Yesterday marked the inaugural Privacy Multistakeholder Meeting at the Department of Commerce, hosted by the National Telecommunication & Information Administration (“NTIA”).  The meeting brought together representatives of technology companies, advertisers, consumer groups, and  other stakeholders for a discussion of mobile application transparency and the process for future discussions and meetings.  While the meeting did not … Continue Reading

Company Releases Industry Guidelines for Mobile App Advertising

Mobile security firm Lookout has issued guidelines to help mobile ad providers and app developers standardize privacy practices for app-based mobile ads.  According to Lookout Chief Technology Officer Kevin Mahaffey, the guidelines are intended to provide guidance about what constitutes “acceptable behavior” in the mobile ad ecosystem, and to “fix this problem before it gets … Continue Reading

New Jersey AG Settles COPPA Suit Against Mobile App Developer

The New Jersey Attorney General and Division of Consumer Affairs have announced a settlement with 24x7digital, the developer of the “TeachMe” mobile apps for preschool through second-grade children, to resolve claims that the company violated the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).    The state alleged that children were encouraged to submit their full names, along with a photograph, … Continue Reading

Health Officials Emphasize Data Security for Providers’ Mobile Devices

Recently, officials from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the Department of Health and Human Services stressed the need for data security in connection with providers’ use of mobile devices for health care delivery.  Approximately 81 percent of physicians use smart phones or mobile devices.  The need for data … Continue Reading

House Hearing Discusses Merits of Comprehensive Federal Privacy Legislation, Self-Regulation

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet recently held a hearing entitled “New Technologies and Innovations in the Mobile and Online Space, and the Implications for Public Policy.”  Much of the discussion focused on the relative merits of self-regulation versus the enactment of comprehensive federal privacy legislation.  (Separately, the Senate Commerce Committee … Continue Reading

FCC Mobile Privacy Notice Published — Comments Due July 13

As we reported, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently announced that it is seeking comments on the protection of data stored on mobile devices by wireless phone carriers. The FCC has noted that the comments it previously received on the issue five years ago are already “badly out of date.”  The Federal Register published the … Continue Reading

What Happened at the FTC Advertising and Privacy Disclosures Workshop? (Part 2 of 2)

The afternoon panels at yesterday’s FTC workshop focused on mobile issues, with the first focusing on mobile advertising disclosures and the second focusing on mobile privacy disclosures. Some themes were common to both panels.  In particular, panelists in both sessions identified the unique challenges of designing disclosures that will effectively communicate with consumers who often … Continue Reading

What Happened at the FTC Advertising and Privacy Workshop? (Part 1 of 2)

Yesterday, the FTC held a public workshop titled “In Short: Advertising & Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World.”  The workshop explored whether and how the FTC should revise its 2000 guidance concerning advertising and privacy disclosures in the new era of online and mobile technology.   This post will highlight the morning workshop sessions on … Continue Reading

Federal Communications Commission Seeks Comments on Mobile Privacy

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has released a Public Notice seeking comments on the steps wireless phone carriers are taking to protect the privacy and data security of customer information that is stored on consumers’ mobile devices and on how existing laws apply to the carriers’ information practices.  Section 222 of the Communications Act and the FCC’s … Continue Reading

PCI Council Issues Guidance for Mobile Payment Acceptance

Yesterday, the Payment Card Industry Council issued guidance for merchants using smartphones or tablets to accept payments from customers.  The guidance follows up on the PCI Council Chairman’s pledge in February, as reported in this blog, to make mobile payments a top priority.  Payment card readers that can be attached to a smartphone or tablet have become … Continue Reading

FTC Publishes Preliminary Agenda for Digital Advertising Disclosures Workshop

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a preliminary agenda for its upcoming public workshop called Advertising and Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World.  The goal of the workshop is to discuss revisions to the Dot Com Disclosures, the FTC’s current guidance document on online advertising disclosures, which was published in 2000. The Dot Com Disclosures discusses … Continue Reading

FCC, Companies Announce Mobile Device Anti-Theft Database

Earlier this week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, together with major U.S. wireless carriers and chiefs of police, announced a plan to develop databases that will allow consumers whose mobile devices have been stolen to render the devices inoperable on mobile networks.  The database will be created over the next eighteen months.  Using the … Continue Reading
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