On May 17, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a proposed settlement agreement (in the form of a stipulated order)1 with Easy Healthcare Corporation, which operates the Premom fertility tracking app (Premom). The

Continue Reading FTC Announces Proposed Settlement with Premom Fertility Tracking App for Privacy Practices

On June 3, 2022, members of the U.S. Congress released a bipartisan, bicameral discussion draft of a comprehensive national data privacy and data security framework. The draft is notable in that it reflects a compromise on the two issues that have for years vexed lawmakers angling for federal privacy legislation: preemption and private right of action. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has announced a hearing for June 14 to discuss the draft.

The discussion draft has become widely known as the “three corners” bill, because it has the support of three of the four “corners” of the relevant committees: the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee. Notably, the fourth “corner,” Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell, is circulating her own draft.[1] While there are similarities between the two drafts, the differences reflect the likely sticking points among the negotiators.Continue Reading Privacy Legislation Update: The “Three Corners” Bill and the Cantwell Draft

On May 19, 2022, at an open commission meeting, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted unanimously to: 1) release a new policy statement on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) indicating that the FTC will prioritize enforcement of COPPA’s substantive provisions and closely scrutinize EdTech providers; and 2) publish a request for public comment on proposed amendments to the Endorsement Guides (the guides) that are intended to bring them in line with current advertising practices. This was the first open commission meeting for Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya, whose confirmation on May 11 broke the FTC’s months-long 2-2 split along party lines.
Continue Reading FTC Votes Unanimously to Release New COPPA Policy Statement and Proposed Amendments to the Endorsement Guides

As a fintech company, platform offering payment services, or a cryptocurrency business, you may be used to operating in uncharted waters; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), however, is ready to start drawing some maps. It has announced that it will begin to exercise its supervisory authority over non-bank consumer financial entities that the CFPB has reason to believe pose risks to consumers. It also announced a new procedural rule to govern when CFPB decisions related to these supervisory actions will be made available to the public.
Continue Reading CFPB and Fintech Companies: Charting a New Course on Regulatory Supervision

On February 16, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a proposed settlement order in federal court in its case against WW International, Inc (formerly known as Weight Watchers International, Inc.) and its subsidiary Kurbo, Inc. (Kurbo) to resolve allegations that the defendants violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and its implementing rules (COPPA).1 The FTC alleged that the defendants violated COPPA by failing to provide required notices and obtain verifiable parental consent prior to collecting, using, and disclosing personal information from children using their weight loss app. As part of the proposed settlement, the defendants are required to, among other things: 1) update their procedures to ensure that they obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children, 2) destroy all of the personal information they obtained in violation of COPPA as well as any models or algorithms based on that information, and 3) pay a civil penalty of $1.5 million.
Continue Reading FTC Settles with Weight Watchers in First Children’s Privacy Case Requiring Deletion of Algorithms

So you’re a fintech startup, buying a fintech company, or expanding the technical capabilities of your financial business. Or you’re a tech company that is getting into the payments space. Where do you start when it comes to figuring out what consumer protection laws apply to you? You should be aware that, for the past several years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have been actively enforcing consumer protection laws in the fintech space. For example, the FTC has recently brought cases involving an online lender that allegedly charged undisclosed fees, a mobile banking app that falsely promised high interest rates and 24/7 access to funds, promoters of cryptocurrency money-making schemes, and tech platforms offering in-app purchases. The CFPB most recently shuttered a VC-backed online lender for false advertising related to interest rates and loan amounts. Earlier last year, the CFPB had obtained refunds and a civil penalty against a fintech company for enabling merchants to obtain loans for consumers without their authorization.
Continue Reading Fintech and Financial Privacy: Regulatory Developments on the Use of Financial Data