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Tag Archives: FTC

FTC Green Lights TRUSTe’s Proposed Safe Harbor Program Modifications

Posted in Data Security
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved changes TRUSTe proposed to its safe harbor program several months ago under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. The approved modifications include a new requirement that program participants conduct an annual internal assessment of third-parties’ collection of personal information from children on their websites or online… Continue Reading

Internal Reforms Announced for FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection

Posted in Privacy
The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection is about to undergo reform, according to FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen. In a press release issued on July 17, the FTC stated that the changes are part of an ongoing initiative to simplify information requests and improve transparency that began last April, when Ohlhausen announced new… Continue Reading

Regulatory Reforms Afoot at the FTC: Now’s Your Chance to Weigh in

Posted in Regulations
As part of Acting Chair Maureen K. Ohlhausen’s regulatory reform initiative, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is asking for the public’s input on the Picture Tube, Textile, Energy Labeling, and CAN-SPAM Rules. The comments will inform the Commission’s decision on whether to update these rules. The Textile Rule obliges marketers of textiles to label their goods properly… 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

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

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

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

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

The Scrutiny Continues: Social Media Activities Continue to Draw Consumers and Consumer Protection Enforcement Alike

Posted in Advertising, Enforcement
Since we last wrote about how marketers can craft social media policies to offer engaging promotions while meeting the scrutiny of regulators, social media has continued to be a popular venue for marketers to reach consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also kept the spotlight on compliance with the FTC Guides Concerning Use of… Continue Reading

Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative Launched

Posted in Advertising
The newly launched Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI), modeled on the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) and its Core Principles, is the latest food industry self-regulatory announcement under which participants agree to limit advertising to children under 12 or in elementary schools (from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade). The Council of Better Business Bureaus… Continue Reading

FTC Extends Comment Deadline on Proposed Changes to Jewelry Guides

Posted in Advertising, Labeling, Regulations
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) announced that it will extend the period for the public to comment on its proposed update to the Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries (the Jewelry Guides, published in 16 C.F.R. Part 23). Comments are now due June 3, 2016, instead of April 4, 2016.… Continue Reading

Brain-Training App Maker to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC False Ad Claims

Posted in Advertising, Litigation
Lumosity, an online site and smartphone app, is supposed to help its users train their brains so they can achieve their “full potential in every aspect of life.” Unfortunately, the company was unenlightened when it came to avoiding false advertising claims. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the company claimed that using its products… Continue Reading

FTC Issues Enforcement Policy Statement and Guidance on “Native Advertising”

Posted in Advertising
“Native Advertising” has been on the radar screen for several years, with consumer groups, businesses and regulators alike considering what the rules of the game should be to avoid deception as the nature of publishing and advertising continue to evolve at a dizzying pace. Those rules became clearer on December 22, 2015, when the Federal… Continue Reading

Two App Developers Agree on COPPA Settlement with FTC

Posted in Advertising, Privacy
Two app developers have settled complaints from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that they allowed third parties to collect information, including persistent identifiers, through their apps, and allowed third parties to serve advertising to children, in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC’s announcement was released the same day it announced… Continue Reading

False Advertising Contempt Suit Costs LifeLock $100 Million

Posted in Data Security, Litigation, Privacy
On December 17, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Lifelock, Inc. (LifeLock), agreed to pay a record-breaking $100 million to settle charges that it violated an earlier consent agreement related to flawed data security practices issued in March 2010. The LifeLock settlements implicate both the “fairness” of the company’s data security practices and… Continue Reading

In Commission Win, Appeals Court Agrees that FTC Can Regulate Business Data Security Practices Under Unfairness Authority

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Security, Privacy
In a closely watched case where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pursued Wyndham Worldwide Corporation for several data breaches that led to millions of dollars in fraudulent charges on customers’ payment cards, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Monday agreed with the Commission’s broad interpretation of its “unfairness” authority (opinion here).… Continue Reading

FTC Issues Antitrust Enforcement Policy Statement

Posted in Antitrust, Regulations
In a 4–1 vote, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued its long-awaited Statement of Enforcement Principles outlining the Commission’s approach to “unfair methods of competition” prohibited by Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) but not necessarily by the Sherman or Clayton Act. The statement is brief, and those awaiting the type… Continue Reading

Is Your Device ID “Personal”? Federal Appeals Court to Decide Under VPPA

Posted in Litigation, Privacy
A federal appellate court will consider early next month whether the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) makes an “Android ID” – a device identifier used in Google’s smartphones –personally identifiable information (PII). The Eleventh Circuit has scheduled oral argument in the case, Ellis v. Cartoon Network, Inc., for June 3, 2015. The plaintiff in the… Continue Reading

FTC Brings First Action Against Retail Tracking Company

Posted in Privacy, Regulations
On April 23, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that retail tracking company Nomi Technologies has agreed to settle FTC charges that it misled consumers. The FTC alleged that the company, which develops technology to allow retailers to track consumers’ movements through their stores, misled consumers by failing to uphold promises to provide a mechanism… Continue Reading
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