Tag Archives: FTC

Sears Petitions FTC to Reopen and Modify 2009 Order Concerning Online Browsing Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comment on a petition by Sears Holding Management requesting that the FTC reopen and modify a 2009 FTC order settling charges that Sears failed to disclose adequately the scope of consumers’ personal information it collected via a downloadable software app. For more information, click here to see our … Continue Reading

To Disclose or Not To Disclose: The FTC’s Dueling Concurrences over Deceptive Omissions in Lenovo

On September 5, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it and 32 state attorneys general had settled charges with Lenovo, Inc., regarding the company’s practice of pre-loading advertising software on its laptops that compromised consumers’ cybersecurity and privacy.1 In many respects, the case was reasonably straightforward: the facts as alleged were clear, and … Continue Reading

Northern District of California Drops FTC Unfairness Claim Against D-Link Systems

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently issued a mixed ruling on D-Link Systems’ motion to dismiss in FTC v. D-Link Sys., Inc.1 D-Link sells routers and Internet protocol (IP) cameras that it markets as having good data security, including “the latest wireless security features to help prevent unauthorized access” and … Continue Reading

FTC Steps Up Scrutiny of Social Media Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled its first-ever complaint against social media influencers for deceptive endorsements.1 According to the FTC’s complaint, Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell, two influencers who have wide followings in the online gaming community, promoted an online gambling service called CSGO Lotto on YouTube and Twitter without disclosing that … Continue Reading

Lenovo Settles FTC Charges Regarding Pre-Installed Software That Compromised Consumers’ Cybersecurity and Privacy

On September 5, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it and 32 state attorneys general had settled charges with Lenovo regarding the company’s practice of pre-loading software on its laptops that compromised consumers’ cybersecurity and privacy. As part of the settlement, Lenovo agreed to pay $3.5 million in penalties to the states, and per an … Continue Reading

Key New Takeaways from Uber’s Privacy and Data Security Settlement with the FTC

On August 15, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had reached an agreement with Uber Technologies to settle allegations that the ride-sharing company had deceived consumers by failing to live up to its privacy and data security promises.1 Specifically, the FTC levied two deception counts against Uber: (1) that the company had … Continue Reading

FTC Cracks Down on Lead Generation Company’s Indiscriminate Sharing of Consumers’ Sensitive Data

On July 3, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had settled charges that defendants Blue Global, an operator of dozens of consumer loan lead generation websites, and its founder and CEO, Christopher Kay, violated the FTC Act. The FTC alleges that the defendants had, among other practices, misled consumers about Blue Global’s … Continue Reading

Hello, Dolly: What You Need to Know About Connected Smart Toys and Privacy

As connected devices become ubiquitous, it comes as no surprise that interactive toys that connect to the internet are more popular than ever. At the same time, regulators have taken note of the privacy and security concerns raised by lawmakers and privacy advocates about the proliferation of smart toys that collect personal information from kids. … Continue Reading

FCC Orders Far-Reaching New Privacy and Data Security Rules

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has handed down sweeping new privacy and security rules for Internet service providers (ISPs). On Thursday, October 27, 2016, a sharply divided commission voted to enact these new rules, which impose strict new requirements for ISPs’ collection, use, sharing, and protection of their customers’ information, including information ISPs … Continue Reading

FTC Increases Maximum Civil Penalties for HSR Act, COPPA, and Other Violations from $16,000 to $40,000

On June 30, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an interim final rule that substantially increases the maximum civil penalties for violations of the competition and consumer protection laws enforced by the FTC that authorize the assessment of civil penalties. The increased amounts will apply to penalties assessed on or after August 1, 2016, even … Continue Reading

WSGR Alert: FTC Brings First Privacy Enforcement Action Against a Mobile Ad Network

On June 22, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it has settled charges that InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising company, deceptively tracked the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers, including children, to deliver geo-targeted advertising, and violated both the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This is the … Continue Reading

CFPB Brings First Data Security Enforcement Action

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently brought its first data security enforcement action, adding itself to the growing list of federal regulators tackling data security issues. The CFPB’s enforcement action was against Dwolla Inc., a Des Moines, Iowa-based online payment platform. The CFPB alleged that Dwolla misrepresented its data security practices, and as a … Continue Reading

WSGR Alert: FTC Settles with Manufacturer of Home Network Routers over Alleged Data Security Flaws

On February 23, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with computer hardware maker ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. (ASUS). The ASUS settlement highlights the FTC’s position regarding security in the connected device market: connected device manufacturers are responsible for security shortcomings in their devices and are expected to promptly update or patch any identified … Continue Reading

FTC Approves Facial Recognition as Method of Obtaining Parental Consent to Collect Children’s Information

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently approved a new method for website operators and mobile application developers (“operators”) to obtain parental consent to collect personal information from children.1 Under this new method, which is the first to use biometric identifiers to verify that a parent is providing consent for a child, the FTC will permit … Continue Reading

FTC Begins “Start with Security” Conference Series

On September 9, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held its first “Start with Security” conference at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. The conference was the first in a series of events hosted by the agency intended to provide additional guidance to businesses regarding how to keep consumers’ … Continue Reading

FTC Closing Letter Confirms the Importance of Implementing Employee Access Controls

Companies have been pressing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for additional guidance on data security, and the agency recently delivered. On August 10, 2015, the FTC issued a public closing letter to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (Morgan Stanley) regarding the agency’s investigation into concerns that the company “fail[ed] to secure, in a reasonable and … Continue Reading

FCC Open Internet Rules Contain Important New Privacy, Data Security, and Transparency Measures

The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) newly promulgated Open Internet rules (2015 rules)—also known as the net neutrality rules—went into effect on June 12, 2015.1 The new rules apply specifically to broadband Internet access service providers, and not to Internet content, application, and device providers (edge providers). Nonetheless, by design, the rules will have a potentially … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Omnibus TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order Addressing Numerous Issues Regarding Calling and Texting Consumers

On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its long-anticipated Declaratory Ruling and Order1 addressing twenty-one petitions and requests seeking clarification of, and relief from, various provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the FCC’s implementing regulations.2 The order provides some much-needed clarity in certain areas, but commentators have generally concluded … Continue Reading

FTC Updates School-Related COPPA Guidance

The use of technology in classrooms across the country has exploded in recent years. This has prompted increased activity by federal and state lawmakers to enact laws to protect student privacy,1 as well as raised numerous questions about how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) applies to schools, the technologies they use, and the … Continue Reading

COPPA Looms Large for Mobile Apps

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prohibits companies from collecting personal information from children under the age of 13 without first providing notice to parents and obtaining their verifiable consent. The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent settlements with Yelp and TinyCo serve as a reminder to mobile app developers that the failure to consider … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Carrier Billing Recommendations to Protect Consumers Against Mobile Cramming

On July 28, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a staff report on “mobile cramming”—the unlawful practice of placing unauthorized third-party charges on mobile phone accounts. The report recommended five best practices primarily directed to mobile carriers but at times also directed to merchants and billing intermediaries. This report follows a number of FTC … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Reduce Barriers to Cyber Threat Information Sharing

Federal regulators released guidance in the first half of 2014 that should provide comfort to businesses that are considering sharing information relating to cybersecurity risks with other companies and the government. Although these advisory opinions are nonbinding and do not carry the force of law, they provide strong indications of the priorities of the U.S. … Continue Reading

FTC Recommends Improved Transparency and Security in Mobile Shopping Apps

In August 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a staff report that evaluates the consumer disclosures made by a number of popular mobile shopping applications and makes recommendations to the providers and users of those apps.1 The FTC staff did not address or find any fault with app platforms, like Google Play or Apple’s … Continue Reading

The Wyndham Rulings and the FTC’s Leadership on Data Security Enforcement

Despite reaching settlements with more than 50 organizations on data security issues since the late 1990s, no organization seriously challenged the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) authority to bring such cases until FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. made headlines in 20121 The case brought rampant speculation from the privacy and data security community on the likely … Continue Reading
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