Tag Archives: FTC

State Attorneys General Gather to Discuss Privacy Enforcement

A panel at a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General highlighted data breaches and privacy in the context of new technology, signalling that state regulators are focused on consumer protection in this area. The panel at the Southern Regional Meeting in Charlottesville on April 4 was devoted to emerging technologies, privacy concerns, and … Continue Reading

Vizio Settlement with FTC May Signal Future Direction of Agency Enforcement

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent settlement with VIZIO, Inc., may have created a new definition of “sensitive information” that includes viewing data, but the opinion of Acting Chairperson Maureen Ohlhausen may provide further insight on how the agency will act under the new administration. On February 6, the FTC settled charges with VIZIO, one of the … Continue Reading

Facebook Implements Additional Measures to Prevent Discriminatory Practices in Targeted Advertisements

Responding to news reports that journalists were able to purchase advertising on Facebook targeted to ethnic groups, Facebook announced several new changes to the company’s advertising products. The move highlights heightened scrutiny of advertising practices surrounding the increasing use of big data in many aspects of marketing and advertising. Facebook’s response grew out of a … Continue Reading

The FCC’s Broadband Privacy Proposal – Hit from All Sides

Initial comments are due on May 27, 2016 regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) released last month by the FCC in its broadband privacy proceeding. The rules proposed in the NPRM have already been the subject of contentious discussions throughout the federal government and the communications industry. Those discussions included a hearing earlier this month … Continue Reading

Following its Settlement with Wyndham, the FTC Launches Wide Scale Inquiry Into PCI Compliance Audits

In December 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled a drawn-out civil action it brought against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (Wyndham) for multiple data breaches involving cardholder data (i.e., information on credit and debit cards). In a departure from dozens of prior FTC settlements that mandated broad security measures for all consumer data, the Wyndham consent … 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

FTC Warns Big Data Brings Big Consequences in New Report

The FTC unveiled a lengthy report, Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues, warning companies about commercial uses of big data and the discriminatory impact it may have on low-income and underserved populations. “Big data” refers to the ubiquitous collection of massive amounts of consumer information by companies, which may be … Continue Reading

The FTC Clarifies Native Advertising Enforcement Guidance

As publishers increasingly rely on more modern methods of native advertising – that is, ads designed to look and feel similar to a platform’s editorial content – as a source of revenue, the FTC has taken steps to clarify when native advertising may cross the line and become deceptive to consumers. Recently, the FTC published … Continue Reading

ALJ Dismisses FTC’s Data Security Suit Against LabMD for Failure to Prove ‘Substantial Injury’ to Consumers

In a landmark decision, an administrative law judge dismissed the FTC’s long-running data security lawsuit against Atlanta-based cancer screening laboratory, LabMD Inc., following an alleged data breach. Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell (the “ALJ”) ruled in his Initial Decision that the FTC had failed to prove that the laboratory’s alleged conduct harmed, or … Continue Reading

San Francisco Launches First “Internet of Things” Wireless Network in United States

With the onslaught of smart watches, smart thermostats, and even smart refrigerators that allow you to Tweet hangry messages to your followers, it’s only natural that a “smart city” would follow. This week, San Francisco city officials agreed to run a one-year pilot project with Sigfox – an FCC certified French start-up that builds low-power … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Upholds FTC’s Authority in Wyndham Case

On August 24, 2015, the Third Circuit, in a highly anticipated ruling, upheld a 2014 New Jersey District Court decision that the FTC has authority under section 5 of the FTC Act to regulate “unfair” data security practices without engaging in formal rulemaking.  As we have previously discussed, the implications of the lower court ruling, … Continue Reading

FTC Workshop on Big Data: Focus on Data Brokers

On September 15, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop entitled “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” FTC Commissioner Julie Brill took the opportunity to discuss an industry that she has consistently maintained requires more regulation and scrutiny: data brokers. Commissioner Brill stressed first that the FTC is very focused on entities regulated … Continue Reading

FTC Settlement with Snapchat – What Happens on Snapchat Stays on Snapchat?

Last Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that messaging app Snapchat agreed to settle charges that it deceived consumers with promises about the disappearing nature of messages sent through the app. The FTC case also alleged that the company deceived consumers over the amount of personal data the app collected, and the security measures … Continue Reading

Update on Federal Trade Commission v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp.: FTC Allowed To Proceed with Data Security Suit, Rejects Fundamental Challenge to FTC Authority

A New Jersey federal court is allowing the FTC’s case against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation to go forward, denying Wyndham’s Motion to Dismiss on both the unfairness and deception counts.  In this closely watched case, the court emphasized that in denying Wyndham’s request for dismissal, it was not providing the FTC with a “blank check to … Continue Reading

UK Information Commissioner’s Office and U.S. Federal Trade Commission sign Memorandum of Understanding

At the beginning of March, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit. The memorandum is aimed at increasing cooperation between the agencies, with UK Information Commissioner Graham stating that the arrangement would be “to the benefit of … Continue Reading

The Federal Trade Commission and Irish Data Protection Commissioner sign a memorandum of understanding

This post was written by Cynthia O’Donoghue. In June 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a mutual assistance and information exchange program to secure compliance with data protection and privacy laws on both sides of the Atlantic. The privacy and data … Continue Reading

FTC Brings Its First Enforcement Action for ‘Internet of Things’

This post was also written by Frederick Lah. Earlier this year, we wrote about the FTC’s plan to hold a November 2013 public workshop over concerns with the “Internet of Things,” the dramatically growing capacity of smart devices to communicate information through the Internet. In advance of the workshop, the FTC has entered into a consent … Continue Reading

Commissioner Brill Suggests ‘Reclaim Your Name’ Initiative for Consumer Control Over Big Data: FTC Signals Intent To Continue Debate Over Safeguards for Predictive Analytics

While the national conversation on data collection in the United States has been dominated recently by issues of national security, the FTC remains determined to push consumer privacy. In her keynote address at the recent Computers Freedom and Privacy Conference, Commissioner Julie Brill reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to address so-called data brokers in a systematic … Continue Reading
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