EU to Open San Francisco Office to Advance Its Digital Regulation Agenda

In anticipation of its new powers to regulate the largest digital platforms, the EU is planning to open a San Francisco base to engage with these companies, which are based mostly in Silicon Valley and the broader Bay Area. The EU’s plans to open its first representative office on Californian soil reflects the EU’s intent to remain at the forefront of digital regulation initiatives worldwide. Continue Reading

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Alleges Dark Patterns in Advertising of Financial Products; Files Suit Against TransUnion and Senior Executive for Violating Order

On April 12, 2022, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against TransUnion, two of its subsidiaries, and former TransUnion executive John Danaher in his individual capacity for violating an enforcement order. That order, from January 2017, was part of a settlement in which TransUnion agreed to pay $16.9 million in restitution and civil penalties for deceptively marketing credit scores and credit-related products, such as credit monitoring services. Continue Reading

BBB National Programs’ Center for Industry Self-Regulation Launches Roadmap for Teen Privacy

On April 19, 2022, the BBB National Programs’ Center (BBB NP) for Industry Self-Regulation launched the TeenAge Privacy Program (TAPP) Roadmap, a new operational framework to help companies develop digital products and services attuned to privacy risks facing teenage consumers. In the United States, children 12 and under are protected by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Once these children become teenagers, they age out of COPPA’s protections and, with limited exceptions, are treated as adults online. Yet a growing body of research indicates that these teenage consumers are uniquely affected by privacy risks resulting in harms ranging from cyberbullying, to platform addiction, to amplified insecurities.1 Regulators are increasingly interested in investigating these harms. For instance, in a widely publicized incident, a coalition of state Attorneys General recently opened an investigation into Instagram following news reports of a whistleblower’s allegations that Facebook’s privacy practices harmed teenage users. Despite increased public and regulatory scrutiny, no federal law has been enacted to provide companies with guidance on these issues. While it is not legally binding, the TAPP Roadmap aims to help fill this guidance gap by providing organizations with concrete operational considerations and best practices to address teen privacy risks. Continue Reading

EU Reaches Political Agreement on Additional New Rules for Digital Platforms in the Digital Services Act

The EU is close to finalizing the adoption of the Digital Services Act (DSA), which will impose new obligations on digital platforms regarding content moderation, due diligence for illegal content, and advertising transparency. It will entail significant changes to existing EU law in these areas and will impose substantial new compliance burdens on companies in regard to online content. Continue Reading

Colorado Attorney General Issues Pre-Rulemaking Considerations for the Colorado Privacy Act

On April 12, 2022, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office released “Pre-Rulemaking Considerations for the Colorado Privacy Act,” which provides a series of topics and questions for which the office seeks informal public feedback.1 Here is what you need to know:

  • The Colorado Attorney General’s Office is currently seeking informal input to guide its future rulemaking efforts. While, at this phase, public input will not be considered part of the official rulemaking record, the AG’s office “hopes to hear from a diverse group of stakeholders to guide the drafting of balanced and impactful regulations.”
  • The AG’s office identified eight specific topics—each with several targeted questions—for which “pre-rulemaking feedback will be particularly beneficial.” However, the public is permitted to offer input on any aspect of the upcoming rulemaking.
  • Feedback is being collected through a publicly available comment form and at a series of informal listening sessions.
  • This fall, the AG’s office will begin the formal notice-and-comment rulemaking by providing a notice of rulemaking and accompanying draft regulations.

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Privacy in the Metaverse

Coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 best-selling novelSnow Crash, the term “metaverse” has recently reentered the general public’s lexicon to denote a technology hailed by some as the successor to the mobile internet and the next step in humankind’s technological evolution. Though there is no consensus on the definition’s precise contours, the metaverse has generally been described as an embodied internet where, instead of passively viewing content in two-dimensional space, users are in the content and experiencing it with others. Continue Reading

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