Last week, the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD) announced a new expedited process for digital advertising challenges.  The SWIFT (Single Well-defined Issue Fast Track) Process will allow businesses to address concerns of transparency and truthfulness on an accelerated basis, with decisions rendered within twenty business days of case initiation.  The SWIFT process is currently limited to challenges involving one of three issues:  the prominence or sufficiency of disclosures, including disclosure issues in influencer marketing, native advertising, and incentivized reviews; misleading pricing and sales claims; and misleading express claims that do not require review of complex evidence or substantiation such as clinical testing or consumer perception evidence.
Continue Reading The BBB’s National Advertising Division Launches Fast-Track SWIFT Process for Digital Advertising

By Jean de Ruyt

According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, the EU and the US have finalized the EU-US Umbrella Agreement (for the press release, see here; a reportedly near-final draft of the agreement can be read here). This is a remarkable breakthrough after the first calls for such an agreement back in March 2009, when the European Parliament called for an “EU – US agreement ensuring adequate protection of civil liberties and personal data protection”.

Continue Reading EU – US Umbrella Agreement about to be concluded: towards a transatlantic approach to data protection?

On October 23, 2013, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the suspension of an EU-US Agreement on the transfer of financial data for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (the so-called “SWIFT Agreement”).  The resolution comes after allegations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has had unauthorized access to EU citizens’ bank data held by the Belgian company SWIFT.

The SWIFT Agreement, which entered into force in 2010, permits the sharing of EU citizens’ bank data with US authorities for the purposes of preventing, investigating and prosecuting conduct pertaining to terrorism or terrorist financing subject to a number of data protection safeguards.

However, following the recent allegations that the NSA has had direct access to EU citizens’ financial payment messages and related data in breach of the SWIFT Agreement, the European Parliament adopted the resolution asking the European Commission to suspend the Agreement.  The resolution also calls for further investigations of the NSA spying allegations by requesting the Council and the EU Member States to authorize the Europol Cybercrime Centre to carry out a full on-site technical investigation and by inviting the Parliamentary Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to conduct a special inquiry into the mass surveillance of EU citizens.

Continue Reading European Parliament Calls for Suspension of the SWIFT Agreement following NSA Surveillance Claims