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Tracy Marshall

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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

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

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

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

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

FCC Grants TCPA Relief to Energy Utilities and Schools

Posted in Data Security, Privacy
On August 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Declaratory Ruling granting in part two separate petitions that were filed last year – one by the Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association, and another by Blackboard, Inc. – regarding application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) to certain types… Continue Reading
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