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

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

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

 In late 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced three settlements in which the agency will collect over $5 million in collective penalties for alleged non-compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). In addition to the monetary penalties, each of the settlements requires compliance with a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), calling for the organizations to invest significant resources toward HIPAA compliance.
Continue Reading HHS Ends 2015 with Three HIPAA Enforcement Settlements

On December 17, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) enforcement actions challenging the use of persistent identifiers to engage in targeted advertising to children. The FTC
Continue Reading WSGR Alert: FTC Brings First Enforcement Actions Against Kids Apps Using Persistent Identifiers for Targeted Advertising

ThinkstockPhotos-516780641-webOn September 17, 2015, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a $33 million settlement with Comcast Corp. to resolve an investigation into Comcast’s publishing of phone numbers that consumers had paid the company not to publish.1 Notably, the settlement is the largest privacy settlement on record to date, surpassing the recent $25 million settlement the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) obtained from AT&T in April 2015.2 The action is also notable for which agency brought it and which agencies did not participate—this was a California state action and not an FCC or Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement proceeding. The FTC has been the leading privacy enforcer over the last twenty years, and the FCC has spent the last two years nipping at the FTC’s heels on privacy enforcement. So, why did the two leading federal privacy regulators apparently sit on the sidelines for the largest privacy settlement on record? This article examines that question and posits some theories on why the other agencies may not have proceeded. Regardless of whether federal regulators decided to act in this case, the Comcast settlement with California offers a stark reminder for companies that failing to protect consumer privacy or misleading consumers about privacy protections can land you in expensive hot water on a wide variety of regulatory fronts.
Continue Reading Comcast Enters into Largest Privacy Settlement on Record with California Attorney General

Making a splash with its first-ever data security enforcement actions, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) entered uncharted waters late last year by aggressively asserting its role in safeguarding consumer information. In the fall of 2014, for the first time, the FCC took administrative enforcement action in two instances against telecommunications carriers that misused data, misrepresented their data security efforts, and failed to appropriately secure customer data. The FCC’s efforts demonstrate that it believes it has a role to play in the wider privacy landscape, even as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has thus far taken the lead on privacy and data security enforcement.1
Continue Reading FCC Dives into Privacy and Data Security Enforcement