Tag Archives: privacy policies

European Consumer Legislation and Online Privacy Policies: Opening Pandora’s Box?

Regulators and courts in the EU are increasingly vigilant in relation to privacy practices and policies of large online companies.  In recent years and months, the pressure increases not only through privacy-specific regulations and enforcement, but also through the application of consumer legislation.  As the below examples from France and Germany show, some courts or … Continue Reading

Whisper’s Privacy Problem: Sen. Rockefeller Pushes for Probe While Editorial Team Is Suspended Pending Review

Following the Guardian’s recent exposé on Whisper’s consumer-privacy practices, alleging that the social-media app that supposedly allows people “to anonymously share [their] thoughts with the world . . . in a community built around trust and honesty,” in fact tracks the geolocation of users who opted out of such data collection, Chairman of the Senate … Continue Reading

Google Fined by the CNIL for Privacy Breaches as European Regulators Continue Investigation

On January 8, 2014, the French data protection authority, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL), announced that it was imposing a fine of €150,000 on Google, as well as a requirement that Google, within eight days of the decision, publicize the fine on its own website (at www.google.fr) for a period of … Continue Reading

FTC Annual Report Reveals Identity Theft — Not Privacy — Is Top Consumer Complaint

Yesterday the FTC released its annual report of consumer complaints, highlighting identity theft as the leading category of complaints, with 18% of the total.  The 2012 report analyzes complaints received by the FTC, certain other federal agencies, state law enforcement agencies, and non-governmental organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.  After identity theft, consumers filed the … 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

Fourth Circuit Limits Marital Communications Privilege for Email

The Fourth Circuit recently ruled that the marital communications privilege does not always apply to email that is sent from a work account. A federal jury convicted former Virginia state legislator Phillip A. Hamilton of federal program bribery and extortion under color of right.  During trial, the court admitted email messages that Hamilton sent to … 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

FTC Hosts Workshop to Examine Comprehensive Data Collection

On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted a workshop to explore the practices and privacy implications of comprehensive data collection. The event gathered consumer protection groups, academics, privacy professionals, and business and industry representatives to examine the current state of comprehensive data collection, its risks and potential benefits, and what the future holds for … Continue Reading

Amazon Settles “Flash Cookie” Lawsuit

On Thursday, November 15, 2012, Judge Robert S. Lasnick of the Western District of Washington dismissed Del Vecchio v. Amazon, stating that the parties had reached a settlement, the details of which were not disclosed.  The suit had alleged (among other things) that Amazon used Flash cookies to backup and “respawn” browser cookies that plaintiffs … 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

FTC Working on Privacy “Nutrition Label”; Industry Focusing on Icons

At the Wired for Change conference earlier this week, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz noted that the FTC is developing a “nutrition label” for data collection and use, modeled after the nutrition facts label for food and beverages.  Leibowitz reportedly said that the agency’s chief technologist and the Bureau of Consumer Protection are working to identify … 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

Two Recent Privacy Reports on Consumer Confidence and Website Tracking Practices

Two reports have recently been released that look at consumer perceptions of online privacy issues and examine user tracking practices on popular websites. TRUSTe Privacy Index TRUSTe released its Privacy Index for the second quarter of 2012, which measures consumer confidence in their online privacy.  The numbers show that consumers are concerned about web privacy … 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

European Mobile Operators Agree to App Privacy Guidelines

This week, the U.K.-based GSM Association unveiled voluntary app privacy guidelines, which are being implemented by several major European mobile telephone service operators for their own branded applications.  According to the GSM Association, the companies adopting these guidelines includes Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom – Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, and Vodafone.  This development  follows last week’s announcement of an agreement by Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, … Continue Reading

No Federal Court Jurisdiction to Review FTC Enforcement of Google Buzz Consent Decree, Judge Rules

An action brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) asking that the FTC be compelled to enforce its Google Buzz consent order (previously described, here) was dismissed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, who held that “enforcement decisions are committed to agency discretion and … Continue Reading

Mobile Platforms Agree to Require Apps to Display Privacy Policies

Yesterday California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced an agreement she forged among Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Research in Motion to ensure that mobile device apps that collect personal information contain privacy policies.  The agreement is designed to ensure that mobile apps comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires operators of commercial … Continue Reading
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