Archives: Cookies, Tracking & Online Behavioral Advertising

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European Commission Publishes E-commerce Geo-Blocking Inquiry Findings

The European Commission (the executive of the EU) recently published the initial findings of its e-commerce inquiry, an investigative process conducted to determine whether and to what extent competition is being restricted or distorted in the sector. The inquiry focused on geo-blocking, a commercial practice whereby online providers block user access to the purchasing of … Continue Reading

Update on Initiation of FCC Rulemaking to Implement the New TCPA Exemption for the Collection of Government Debt

Some of you may remember that back in early November 2015, I wrote about a then little-noticed provision slipped into the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. That provision, designed to find more revenues to offset government spending (and thus help to reduce the federal deficit), created an exemption from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) … Continue Reading

FTC’s PrivacyCon Highlights Consumer Privacy Perceptions and Targeting

The Federal Trade Commission is currently the most aggressive enforcement agency on privacy and data security. The agency kicked off 2016 with PrivacyCon on January 14, which put the spotlight on academic research on consumer privacy and security. The conference, which drew 400 attendees to Southwest D.C. and 1,500 more streaming online, showcased 19 papers … Continue Reading

The UK’s data protection regulator cracks the enforcement whip

As 2015 draws to a close, the UK’s Data Protection Regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’), is making sure it ends the year with a bang. The past few months have seen a significant increase in enforcement action, a theme which seems to be common for the regulator at this time of year because of … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Slams Google’s Allegedly ‘Deceitful’ Cookie Practices

Exploiting loopholes in Internet users’ cookie-blocking settings while claiming to protect them from cookies is a serious and deceitful invasion of privacy, the Third Circuit held November 10. Ruling on an appeal from consumer plaintiffs, whose multi-district litigation against Google and several other companies that run Internet advertising businesses was dismissed in Delaware District Court, … Continue Reading

The House and Senate passed a new budget deal potentially affecting the TCPA

Automated dialing systems are back – temporarily – like never before. The new Budget Act provision makes “robocalls” to mobile phones a nonissue when used to collect money owed to the United States government. Following this release, Sen. Ed Markey spoke out and is reportedly preparing a “Hang Up Act” aimed at repealing this robocall … Continue Reading

TCPA Litigation and Compliance Will Be Affected by the FCC’s TCPA Omnibus Declaratory Ruling

In its July 10, 2015 TCPA Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order, the Federal Communications Commission unfairly lumps legitimate businesses in with the telemarketing abusers that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was intended to deter. Highlights within the ruling include: An Expansive Definition of “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” or “Autodialer” Liability for Calling Reassigned/Wrong Wireless … Continue Reading

Reactiv Media fine increased on appeal by UK Information Rights Tribunal

Reactiv Media has found itself facing a 50% increase in the fine it was attempting to overturn after an appeal to the First-Tier Information Rights Tribunal. The UK Information Rights Tribunal hears appeals against decisions of the Information Commissioner’s Office actions relating to data protection, privacy electronic communications, freedom of information and environmental information. The … Continue Reading

FCC Finally Acts to Clarify Ambiguities in the TCPA

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) once again demonstrated to businesses the wisdom of that old adage, “be careful what you ask for.” The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects consumers from unwanted telephone calls and text messages and has created a cottage industry for the plaintiffs’ bar bringing a tsunami of individual and class … Continue Reading

Article 29 Working Party issues its Cookie Sweep Combined Analysis – Report

On 3 February, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party published its ‘Cookie Sweep Combined Analysis – Report’. The sweep was undertaken by the WP29 in partnership with eight of the European data protection regulators, including the UK’s ICO, France’s CNIL and Spain’s AEPD, in order to assess the current steps taken by website operators … Continue Reading

EU Art. 29 Confirms Cookie Rules Apply to Digital Fingerprinting

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (Working Party) released Opinion 9/2014 on ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC (amended in 2009), stating that the consent and transparency mechanisms apply to digital fingerprinting of devices (Opinion). The Working Party issued the opinion to clarify that consent was required and to end “surreptitious tracking” of users in light of … Continue Reading

Italian Data Protection Authority issues new EU guidelines

This post was also written by Matthew N. Peters. In early May the Italian data protection authority (“Garante”) issued “Simplified Arrangements to Provide Information and Obtain Consent Regarding Cookies” (“Guidelines”).  These are intended to provide clarity on the application of Legislative Decree No. 69/2012 (the “2012 Act”), which implemented the EU Cookie Directive in Italy. The … Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Take Another Blow In Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) Class Action Against Hulu and Facebook

On June 17, 2014, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the Northern District of California denied class certification for the proposed class of Hulu and Facebook users alleging that their personal information was transmitted to Facebook in violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).  We’ve written about this VPPA case before. At the end of … Continue Reading

To Those Calling Consumers for Marketing Purposes: LISTEN UP!!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday announced the largest Do-Not-Call settlement it has ever reached.  Under that settlement, a major telecommunications company will pay $7.5 million for the mobile wireless company’s alleged failure to honor consumer requests to opt out of phone and text marketing communications.  In addition, the company has agreed to take a … Continue Reading

Online Advertising Targeted by Federal Trade Commission

On May 15, 2014, Maneesha Mithal, Associate Director of the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) testified, on behalf of the FTC, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs addressing the Commission’s work regarding three consumer protection issues affecting online advertising: (1) privacy, … Continue Reading

French data protection authority ramps up inspections for 2014 – will it be a knock on the door or a “remote audit”?

At the end of April, the French data protection authority (CNIL) released its inspection schedule for 2014 (the Schedule), promising to carry out some 550 inspections over the course of the year. Approximately 350 inspections are expected to be on-site, a quarter of which will focus on CCTV/video surveillance, and 200 will be carried out … Continue Reading

First European Cookie Fine Issued By Spanish Data Protection Authority

The Spanish data protection authority, the AEPD, has issued the first European cookie fine for the violation of Article 22.2 of Spain’s Information Society Services and Electronic Communications Law 34/2002 (Spanish E-Commerce Act), as amended by Royal Decree Law 13/2012 which implements the e-Privacy Directive (Directive 2002/58). On 29 April 2013, the AEPD issued guidelines … Continue Reading

IAB Future of the Cookie Working Group Publishes White Paper on Privacy and Tracking In a Post-Cookie World

The ‘Future of the Cookie Working Group’, established by the International Advertising Bureau (IAB) in 2012, has published a white paper titled ‘Privacy and Tracking in a Post-Cookie World’, which addresses the limitations of the traditional cookie. The Future of the Cookie Working Group takes issue with the fact that the cookie often forms the … Continue Reading

ICO January Updates for 2014

The ICO has had a busy January with some key updates to note for the start of 2014. The ICO has produced a series of quarterly reports: Spam text messages The main three topics for the subject of unsolicited marketing text messages were found to be debt management, payday loans and payment protection insurance. Enforcement … Continue Reading

Compliance Warning Issued by BBB Accountability Program on Data Collection for Online Behavioural Advertising

This post was also written by Frederick Lah. The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program Council issued its first ever compliance warning about the omission of notices of data collection for online behavioral advertising, which are required under the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.  Enforcement actions against first parties failing to provide such notice has been delayed … Continue Reading

Advertising Industry Group Enters the Mobile Privacy Arena

This post was written by Joshua B. Marker. The Digital Advertising Alliance released its self-regulatory principles for advertising in the mobile environment yesterday. While the guidance is ostensibly focused on advertising, it incorporates many important privacy principles regarding the collection, use, and sharing of data through mobile applications, and should be reviewed by any company … Continue Reading

Spanish data protection watchdog publishes one new guidance on cookies and two on cloud computing

The Spanish data protection authority, Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD), has issued three new guidance documents dealing with (1) the use of cookies, (2) cloud computing from a customer perspective and (3) cloud computing from a service provider perspective. The guides provide useful information on how to use modern IT solutions in conjunction … Continue Reading

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office publishes report on new cookie rules compliance activity

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a report detailing compliance and consumer concerns about use of cookies, following the changes under Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (PECR), which require consent, more transparent notice and opt-out. In response to more than 550 consumer complaints about implied consent mechanisms and the … Continue Reading
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