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Tracy Marshall

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FTC’s 2018 Data Privacy and Security Update Highlights Enforcement

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Security, Enforcement
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released its annual report highlighting its work on privacy and data security during 2018. The FTC initiated five enforcement actions arising out of data breaches and nine data privacy enforcement actions in 2018, including cases against online payment system Venmo and mobile phone maker BLU for misrepresenting their privacy… Continue Reading

Significant Changes Ahead for COPPA?

Posted in Cybersecurity, Privacy
As expected, 2019 is shaping up to be the year for privacy reforms, including possible amendments to the 20-year old Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) have introduced legislation that would expand COPPA’s scope to offer new protections to minors age 13-15, establish new limitations on collecting… Continue Reading

California Consumer Privacy Act: Your at-a-glance guide to key business obligations

Posted in Privacy
The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) gives California residents new rights and imposes new obligations on companies doing business in California, effective January 1, 2020. Keller and Heckman LLP Privacy and Security Partners Sheila Millar and Tracy Marshall have provided an overview to help businesses understand the new requirements. Since publication of the… Continue Reading

Supplement Company Settles with FTC Over Diabetes Pill Marketing Claims

Posted in Advertising
Any product purporting to be a panacea for a serious health issue needs serious evidence to back up such a promise. Take Nobetes, a dietary supplement touted as “the miracle product [diabetics have] been waiting for.” The company and its two principal officers claimed Nobetes lowered blood sugar and reduced the need for insulin. They… Continue Reading

FTC Releases Cybersecurity Resources for Small Businesses

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Security, Privacy
Small businesses face the same cybersecurity risks as large multinationals but lack a large IT infrastructure to help protect themselves. At the direction of former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen, the FTC launched a new cybersecurity campaign aimed at helping small businesses navigate the ever-evolving cyber landscape, coordinated with the Department of… Continue Reading

Agency Comings and Goings

Posted in Data Security, Privacy, Product Safety
This week has seen several significant changes at the Commission level at both the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). CPSC After several months of stasis, the Senate voted to confirm Peter Feldman as a Commissioner on the CPSC, with a term expiring October 26, 2019. Feldman takes the place… Continue Reading

NIST Launches Development of Voluntary Privacy Risk Management Framework

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Security, Privacy
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has launched a collaborative effort to develop a voluntary framework that will help organizations manage privacy risks and protect consumer privacy when developing and using innovative technologies. According to NIST, a robust cybersecurity program can help manage risks, but organizations need customizable tools for addressing the challenges… Continue Reading

FTC Approves ESRB’s Updated COPPA Safe Harbor Program

Posted in Data Security, Privacy
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved modifications to the video game industry’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) program. Earlier this year, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) proposed several substantive changes intended to take account of recent FTC COPPA rules and guidance. To receive FTC approval, COPPA safe harbor programs must “implement substantially similar… Continue Reading

California Company Settles with FTC over Alleged Privacy Shield Misrepresentations

Posted in Data Security, Privacy
If a company claims to be certified under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework when it hasn’t even completed the paperwork, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) isn’t likely to let it slide. ReadyTech, a California-based online training services company, made such a claim on its website, in violation of the FTC Act’s prohibition against deceptive acts… Continue Reading

State Data Breach Notification Laws – Overview of Requirements for Responding to a Data Breach – Updated July 2018

Posted in Data Security, Privacy
With the ever-changing complexity of state data breach notification laws, companies facing a data breach need resources that will help them understand the issues. This summary provides an overview of the similarities and differences in data breach laws adopted in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and includes laws enacted since our… Continue Reading

Online Talent Company Settles with FTC Over Alleged COPPA Violations

Posted in Data Security, Privacy
Online talent search company Explore Talent just landed in the spotlight of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Vegas-based company was charged with violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires that companies collecting information online must obtain informed, verifiable parental consent before collecting any information from a child under 13. The company… Continue Reading

European Court of Justice Throws Out Class Action in Latest Schrems Battle

Posted in Data Security, Privacy
In the latest round of the ongoing battle between Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems and Facebook, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruled that Schrems did not have standing to bring claims on behalf of Austrian consumers over Facebook’s alleged violations of users’ privacy rights. The court did, however, allow for Schrems to continue with… Continue Reading

Senate Bill Would Give FTC Enforcement Power Over Credit Bureaus

Posted in Data Security
In response to the Equifax data breach last September, when hackers gained access to the personal information of 143 million consumers, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) have introduced a bill, The Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act of 2018, that would ultimately impose security obligations on credit reporting agencies (CRAs).  The bill… Continue Reading

FTC and FCC Enter into MOU For Broadband Enforcement

Posted in Uncategorized
In furtherance of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order that was adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 14, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and FCC have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that lays out how the agencies will coordinate consumer protection efforts and manage enforcement actions. The MOU will take… Continue Reading

Sears Seeks to Modify FTC Order on Online Tracking

Posted in Cybersecurity
In 2009, Sears Holding Management settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations that the company’s online tracking activity exceeded what they told consumers. Now, Sears has submitted a petition requesting that the FTC reopen and modify its settlement order, arguing that changing technology since 2009 has made the order’s definition of “tracking applications”… Continue Reading

FDA Issues Final Guidance on Interoperable Medical Devices

Posted in Connected Products, Product Safety
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized its recommendations on September 6, 2017 on how to secure interoperable medical devices’ interactions with other devices and information systems. The FDA’s initial guidance, drafted in January 2016, was designed to help manufacturers develop safe, secure information exchange systems in connected medical devices. The updated guidance incorporates… Continue Reading

First FTC Complaint Against Social Media Influencers Settles

Posted in Regulations
When two celebrity gamers endorsed an online lotto service, they didn’t gamble on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) insistence they tell their fans they actually owned the business they were promoting. Now, Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell, and their company, CSGO Lotto, Inc., have settled charges of deceptive advertising. This is the first case the… Continue Reading

Dietary Supplement Company and its Endorsers Settle with FTC Over Deceptive Marketing Claims

Posted in Advertising
Remember those ads from the 80s where an actor would start a medicine endorsement with the disclaimer: “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV”? A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement order relating to the marketing of the dietary supplements CogniPrin and FlexiPrin is a good reminder about the importance of using… Continue Reading

Cybersecurity Update

Posted in Cybersecurity
As connected products are increasingly integrated into everyday life, measures to address the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices continue to evolve. Some of the latest initiatives include the following. NTIA issues guidance on cybersecurity communications Last month, as part of an ongoing multi-stakeholder initiative, a working group of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued guidance… 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 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
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