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Sheila Millar

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11 States Sue Department of Energy over Inaction on Efficiency Standards

Posted in Uncategorized
Eleven states, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and including the city of New York, a Pennsylvania regulator, and three nonprofit groups, have jointly filed suit in federal court to sue the Department of Energy (DOE). The lawsuit seeks to compel implementation of new and updated energy efficiency standards for air… Continue Reading

CPSC Issues Safety Warning for LayZBoard Hoverboards

Posted in Product Safety
It is no secret that hoverboards – two-wheeled, battery-powered, self-balancing scooters – have proved enormously popular with kids and teenagers. But allegations regarding defective battery packs have triggered recalls. The latest hoverboard incident was associated with a fatal fire in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last March. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) started an investigation into… Continue Reading

Kawasaki Settles with CSPC for $5.2 Million for Alleged Failure to Report Defects

Posted in Product Safety
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., of Japan; Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., of Foothill Ranch, California; and Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A., of Lincoln, Nebraska, agreed to pay a $5.2 million civil penalty over allegations that Kawasaki failed to report floorboards cracking during normal operation of various Teryx4 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) during two separate periods, which… Continue Reading

CPSC Staff Recommends Rejecting Organohalogen Petition

Posted in Product Safety, Regulations
In 2015, a group of non-government organizations (NGOs) filed a petition with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), asking CPSC to categorically ban additive organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) from the market in the U.S. in many significant consumer product categories. OFRs include a very broad set of diverse chemical compounds added to consumer products to… Continue Reading

FTC Announces Date for PrivacyCon 2018 and Call for Presentations

Posted in Privacy
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that its third annual PrivacyCon will take place in Washington, D.C., on February 28, 2018.  The conference will bring together researchers, academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates, and government representatives to explore an array of consumer privacy and data security issues, with a particular focus on emerging technologies, such… Continue Reading

White House Issues New Cybersecurity Executive Order

Posted in Cybersecurity
On May 11, President Trump issued Executive Order Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure, which centers on federal networks, critical infrastructure, and the nation’s overall cybersecurity. The order largely expands on cybersecurity recommendations developed during the Obama administration. The order calls for a review of vulnerabilities and preparedness by the Secretary of… Continue Reading

Are Your Security Tools Up to Date?

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Security, Privacy
The effects of the massive cyberattack using ransomware known as “Wanna Cry” are still being felt all over the world. Tens of thousands of organizations have been infected, including the UK’s National Health Service, which ran some services on an emergency-only basis the day the attack began in earnest. Some security experts surmise that the… Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to TRUSTE’s COPPA Safe Harbor Program

Posted in Privacy
In a Federal Register notice, the FTC has asked for comments on intended changes to TRUSTe’s existing safe harbor program under the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). TRUSTe proposed the changes following its settlement earlier this month with the New York Attorney General over allegations that the compliance and security company did not adequately… Continue Reading

FTC Warns Influencers to be Clear About Endorsements on Social Media

Posted in Advertising
Everyone who is anyone is on Instagram these days, apparently. But not all posts on the photo-sharing platform are purely organic; some result from material connections between influencer or celebrity posters and the brands or products they are endorsing. This connection is not always made clear to viewers, however, according to the Federal Trade Commission… Continue Reading

TRUSTe Settles COPPA Safe Harbor Enforcement Action with NYAG

Posted in Privacy
TRUSTe has settled allegations by the New York Attorney General that it did not adequately assess whether companies certified under its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Safe Harbor seal program allowed third party sites to track children. TRUSTe agreed to pay $100,000 and will be required to adopt new procedures to make its COPPA… Continue Reading

Government Agencies to be Rated on Cybersecurity Using NIST Framework

Posted in Cybersecurity
The Trump administration has announced that it will impose new metrics on federal agencies related to cybersecurity.  Agencies and departments will be required to comply with the framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and report back to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB),… Continue Reading

FCC Takes Initial Step to Give Privacy, Security Authority Back to FTC

Posted in Privacy
On March 1, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a temporary stay of one of the broadband privacy rules adopted in October of last year. That rule, which pertains to data security, would otherwise take effect on March 2. Newly installed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Acting Chair Maureen Ohlhausen issued… Continue Reading

Sealed: Three IT Companies Settle FTC Deceptive APEC Privacy Claims

Posted in Advertising, Privacy
If a business advertises it is a member of a privacy program, even a voluntary one, it had better be, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In separate but related complaints, the FTC alleged that three businesses – software provider Sentinel Labs Inc., private messaging app developer SpyChatter Inc., and cybersecurity software company Vir2us… Continue Reading

FTC Finds Water Company Claims Are All Washed Up

Posted in Advertising
The push to “Buy American” aims to encourage consumers and businesses to support homegrown industry.  So, when a water filter maker’s claims of “buil[t] in the U.S.” didn’t hold water, the company quickly found itself in a sea of trouble with the FTC. Georgia-based iSpring advertised and sold its water filter to consumers on its… Continue Reading

Smart TV Tracking Without Permission? Not So Clever

Posted in Privacy
Have you ever had the niggling suspicion your television was watching you?  Apparently, if it was made by smart technology manufacturer VIZIO, it very well may have been.  In a $2.2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New Jersey Attorney General, VIZIO acknowledged that it collected and sold data from 11… Continue Reading

NIST Issues New Update to Cybersecurity Framework

Posted in Cybersecurity
On January 10, 2017, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released an update to its Cybersecurity Framework, first issued in 2014. The Framework focuses on using business drivers to guide cybersecurity activities and considering cybersecurity risks as part of the organization’s risk management processes. The new draft provides details on managing cyber supply… Continue Reading

Turn, Inc. Settles with FTC Over Deceptive Consumer Tracking

Posted in Privacy
In 2015, Verizon found itself in hot water over charges it was using a “super cookie” that continued to operate even when users believed they had opted out of mobile phone data tracking. Verizon allegedly then sent the data obtained to a third party for targeted advertising purposes without its customers’ consent. Verizon settled with… Continue Reading

California Department of Toxic Substances Control Releases Draft Alternatives Analysis Guide

Posted in Product Safety
On December 12, 2016, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released a draft Alternatives Analysis (AA) Guide under the state’s green chemistry program, Safer Consumer Products (SCP). Under the SCP program, product designers and manufacturers are encouraged to reduce or eliminate the use of certain targeted chemicals in their products, and the Guide… Continue Reading

Avoid Being Held Hostage: FTC Releases Ransomware Guidance

Posted in Cybersecurity
New research from security company Kaspersky Labs suggests that the use of ransomware is now so widespread that nearly every moment, a ransomware attack is being launched somewhere in the world on businesses and consumers. Ransomware, or malicious software that infiltrates computer systems and uses tools like encryption to deny access or hold data “hostage”… Continue Reading

Best Buy Agrees to Pay $3.8 Million for Selling Recalled Products

Posted in Product Safety, Regulations
Mega-retailer Best Buy agreed to pay $3.8 million to settle allegations that the company distributed and sold recalled products, a violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) after the 2008 amendments. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff alleged that the retailer sold more than 600 recalled units, including over 400 Canon cameras, to… Continue Reading

Another State AG Weighs in on Children’s Privacy

Posted in Privacy
Texas Attorney General (AG) Ken Paxton announced a settlement with an app developer over concerns that the developer’s apps infringed children’s privacy. The developer, Juxta Labs, Inc., offers a range of mobile apps and games.  According to the AG’s press release, the company’s apps and social media were easy for children of any age to… Continue Reading

NTIA Announces Multistakeholder Workshop on IoT Security Patching

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Security
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced it is convening a series of multistakeholder meetings concerning Internet of Things (IoT) Security Upgradability and Patching. The initial meeting will be held in Austin, Texas, on October 19, 2016. An associated Federal Register notice (expected to be published September 19, 2016) describes the short-term goal… Continue Reading
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