Tag Archives: FTC

FTC signals impending enforcement of its Health Breach Notification Rule

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in a Statement of the Commission On Breaches by Health Apps and Other Connected Devices (Policy Statement) that the FTC will begin enforcement of its Health Breach Notification Rule (Rule) issued in 2009. The Rule was issued by the FTC to regulate certain businesses that handle health … Continue Reading

Ohio Attorney General Yost discusses consumer protection and privacy laws

In a recent Q&A with Ohio Attorney General (AG) Dave Yost published in the IAPP Privacy Advisor, the first term AG discusses how he continued Ohio’s role as a vigorous enforcer of consumer protection and privacy laws, with a lengthy track record of looking out for the needs of the government, business and consumers equally. … Continue Reading

FTC loses powerful enforcement tool in consumer protection and antitrust matters due to Supreme Court decision

In a ruling on April 22, 2021, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that § 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (the Act) does not authorize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to seek, or a court to award, equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement. The FTC previously used § 13(b) as a … Continue Reading

Connecticut AG William Tong shared compliance insight on data privacy-related matters

In a recent Q&A conducted by Divonne Smoyer and Karen Lee Lust with Connecticut Attorney General (AG) William Tong published in the IAPP Privacy Advisor, the AG discusses how he has continued Connecticut’s role as a privacy leader among the states, partnering with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on data privacy-related matters and other compliance … Continue Reading

Tenn. Attorney General Slatery on state and federal consumer privacy in 2021 and beyond

In a recent Q&A with Tennessee Attorney General (AG) Herbert Slatery, the eight-year term AG discusses how he makes consumer protection, including privacy and cybersecurity issues, a top priority for Tennessee citizens and businesses. AG Slatery shares his thoughts on privacy on a multi-state state level, the prospect of standards of enforcement for technology companies, … Continue Reading

Six advertising law trends and what brands should watch out for in in 2021

In a Law360 article published last week, the top six media and advertising trends expected in 2021 are discussed. It is no surprise that data privacy and protection issues will likely continue to be a major focus for those operating in the media and advertising sectors. Two major themes identified include the potential for increased … Continue Reading

Important signals for national advertisers concerning FTC priorities and enforcement trends

In April, the Federal Trade Commission settled charges against Progressive Leasing, a company that markets virtual rent-to-own payment plans to retail stores nationwide. Unlike traditional rent-to-own companies, Progressive does not operate its own brick-and-mortar stores. Instead, Progressive markets its rent-to-own payment plans to consumers who shop at certain retail stores or websites, primarily those in … Continue Reading

Vermont Attorney General brings first data broker enforcement action

On March 10, 2020, Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan initiated an enforcement action based on Vermont’s new data broker law against Clearview AI, Inc. Vermont’s data broker law, which became effective January 1, 2019, governs data brokers, which it defines as companies that collect and sell or license to third parties the personal information of … Continue Reading

Georgia AG, FTC and US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform discuss “crazy quilt patchwork” of privacy laws in the US

On March 2, 2020, Reed Smith and the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) presented a panel discussion on 2020 privacy laws and trends featuring Attorney General Christopher Carr of Georgia; Linda Holleran Kopp of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); and Oriana Senatore, … Continue Reading

New key features of FTC data security orders highlighted by Consumer Protection Bureau Director

On January 6, 2020, the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) Bureau of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, published a blog post highlighting recent changes to the Commission’s enforcement orders relating to data security. Industry leaders, law practitioners, Congress, and even the courts have been critical of aspects of the Commission’s data security orders.  In … Continue Reading

$5 billion Federal Trade Commission settlement with Facebook represents largest privacy enforcement penalty ever

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent $5 billion settlement with Facebook is unprecedented in multiple respects: The $5 billion penalty represents the largest privacy and data security settlement in history – it is almost 20 times larger than the recent Equifax Inc. settlement and dwarfs recent EU data protection enforcement actions. As part of the … Continue Reading

FTC and state law enforcement officials step up efforts against illegal telemarketing

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a joint state-and-federal initiative, “Operation Call It Quits,” which targets illegal telemarketing practices that violate the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The TSR, which applies to interstate telephonic marketing communications intended to “induce the purchase of goods or services or a charitable contribution,” makes it illegal to engage in “abusive” acts and … Continue Reading

FTC settlement and warning letters over cross-border personal data transfers

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recently announced settlement with background check provider SecurTest, Inc. shows the agency remains vigilant regarding businesses’ claims that they comply with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework (Privacy Shield). Privacy Shield provides U.S. businesses with a legally recognized mechanism for receiving personal data in the United States from the EU. In … Continue Reading

Transparency requirements for influencers in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States

They are the stars of the young generation, brand ambassadors for organizations and leaders on social media: influencers. With their strong presence on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, influencers have a power that pays off. Thousands of users follow the day-to-day posts of their role models. Influencers are becoming increasingly important … Continue Reading

Algorithmic Accountability Act proposed by U.S. lawmakers

On April 10, U.S. lawmakers introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act (the AAA). The AAA empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to promulgate regulations requiring covered entities to conduct impact assessments of algorithmic “automated decision systems” (including machine learning and artificial intelligence) to evaluate their “accuracy, fairness, bias, discrimination, privacy and security.” The bill is evocative … Continue Reading

In privacy we (anti)trust: Regulators worldwide consider competition law as tool for consumer protection

On February 26, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Competition announced a new Technology Task Force, which will monitor anticompetitive conduct in U.S. technology markets “to ensure consumers benefit from free and fair competition.” With the consumer protection agency already a chief arbiter of privacy enforcement in the tech sector, the new task … Continue Reading

Rise of AI poses new regulatory challenges

Companies that employ algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in their day-to-day business may face increased attention from federal antitrust and consumer protection regulators in the future. On November 13–14,  the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) addressed this topic in their hearings on “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.” The panelists, an assembly … Continue Reading

FTC continues aggressive enforcement of Privacy Shield

On Thursday, September 27, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced settlements with four companies, IDmission, LLC, mResource LLC (doing business as Loop Works, LLC), SmartStart Employment Screening, Inc., and VenPath, Inc., following allegations that the companies falsely claimed to be certified under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. Specifically, the FTC alleged that IDmission, LLC misrepresented participation … Continue Reading

AGs emphasize consumer protection and privacy expertise in FTC comments

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be holding a series of hearings this fall on “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century,” with the goal of reflecting on the agency’s powers, and state attorneys general (AGs) want to make sure their voices are heard. A bipartisan group of 29 state AGs filed comments with … Continue Reading

FTC report looks to improve mobile device security for businesses

On February 28, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report about security update practices for businesses providing mobile phones and other connected devices. The report recommends that manufacturers and carriers provide security updates that are consistent with consumer expectations, provide better information regarding their security practices and educate consumers on their role in … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit calls common carrier exception “activity-based”

On February 26, 2018, an en banc federal appeals court held that the common carrier exception in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act that preempts FTC jurisdiction is “activity-based” rather than “status-based” and therefore applies only to the extent an entity engages in common-carrier services. See FTC v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 15-16585, D.C. No. … Continue Reading

Utah AG and FTC Associate Director discuss emerging regulatory and enforcement trends at Reed Smith

The International Association of Privacy Professionals and Reed Smith’s Washington, D.C. office co-hosted the Association’s KnowledgeNet Chapter meeting, “Key Federal and State Regulatory and Enforcement Trends in Privacy to Watch in 2018 – Direct from the Regulators” on February 27, 2018. Reed Smith partner Divonne Smoyer moderated a panel discussion featuring Utah Attorney General Sean … Continue Reading

The FTC’s black-box determination of information’s sensitivity imperils First Amendment and due-process rights

A Washington Legal Foundation legal opinion titled “The FTC’s Black-Box Determination of Information’s Sensitivity Imperils First Amendment and Due-Process Rights” and written by Gerry Stegmaier, Wendell Bartnick, and Kelley Chittenden illustrates the troubling fact that although businesses are tasked with implementing “reasonable” data security that hinges, in part, on the sensitivity of information, the Federal … Continue Reading

Warning light: The FTC is monitoring the connected car marketplace

In a recently published “Staff Perspective,” the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears to be staying true to the regulatory humility approach Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen underscored in her opening remarks to the connected cars and autonomous vehicles workshop the FTC co-hosted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last summer. The Consumer Protection … Continue Reading
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