The Federal Trade Commission announced the creation of a new task force that is dedicated to monitoring competition in the U.S. technology industry. This Technology Task Force will coordinate and consult with 17 staff attorneys throughout the FTC who have experience in complex product and service markets, including the markets for online advertising, social networking, … Continue Reading
In a prior post we noted the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) intention, late last year, to begin enforcement of the Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment (Mobile App Guidelines), which apply to all participants in the mobile advertising ecosystem. The DAA recently followed through on this promise by issuing its inaugural enforcement decision … Continue Reading
By now, you have probably heard about the FTC’s recent settlement with Snapchat, the popular mobile photo and video messaging service, over allegations that it deceived consumers with promises about the disappearing nature of messages sent through its service. It did not take long for major media outlets to cover the story, highlighting both consumer … Continue Reading
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published on February 6, 2014 courtesy of iMedia Connection’s Blog. It is repurposed with permission. Remember that scene from Minority Report? The one where John Anderton (Tom Cruise) takes a trip to GAP, virtual billboards call out his name and bombard him with offers as he walks through … Continue Reading
The Federal Trade Commission announced its sizeable settlement agreement with Apple, Inc. on Wednesday, over allegations that the company had violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act by billing consumers millions of dollars for in-app purchases made by children on Apple devices without parental consent. Apple agreed to fully refund affected consumers, paying … Continue Reading
Authored by: Benjamin Pergament On June 3, 2013, BakerHostetler’s IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property blog wrote about the new COPPA requirements coming into effect starting July 1, including a variety of requirements intended to keep up with advances in technology and how children interact with mobile apps and websites. These have now come into … Continue Reading
At a press conference this morning, outgoing FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz announced an $800,000 settlement of its recent enforcement action against Path, the operator of a social networking app. The Path mobile app allowed users, including children, to create and share journals across their social network. The FTC had alleged violations of the Children’s Online … Continue Reading
Fifteen months after releasing its preliminary report, the Federal Trade Commission released its final Report, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Business and Policymakers.” The much anticipated final report went further than the preliminary report by now calling for Congress to enact general privacy, data security and breach … Continue Reading
The Attorney General of California (“AG”) released a Joint Statement of Principles (“Joint Statement“) among itself and Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Research In Motion Limited and other companies (collectively the “Mobile App Market Companies”) describing the terms of a settlement relating to the AG’s review of mobile application marketplace privacy protections. The … Continue Reading
The end of 2010 featured the Department of Commerce citing the need for a Privacy Bill of Rights in its green paper and the FTC's preliminary online privacy report discussing the need for a Do Not Track mechanism. The momentum generated by these reports led to the introduction of multiple versions of Do Not Track and comprehensive privacy rights bills in early 2011. By mid-2011, at least five different data security and breach notification proposals were circulating in the wake of high profile data breaches. Reports about location based tracking led to the introduction of geolocation privacy and surveillance bills. Proposed amendments to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and Video Privacy Protection Act were also made. And by the end of 2011, several cybersecurity bills designed to protect critical infrastructure had been introduced. Even though Congress held hearings on privacy issues, subcommittees approved several bills, and there was support from the Obama administration for comprehensive privacy legislation, as many expected, however, none of these bills were enacted when the first session of the 112th Congress adjourned December 18.
The safe prediction for 2012 is more of the same--a lot of proposals but no consensus. It is certainly possible that another high profile data breach or cyberattack against a utility or government contractor could create enough urgency to force a consensus. However, numerous high profile breaches (Epsilon, Sony, Citi, RSA, Lockheed Martin and several health care providers), hactivist attacks against government security contractors (IRC Federal and HBGary), and reports about how the "weaponized" Stuxnet virus caused centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear facility to spin wildly out of control were not enough in 2011. We certainly expect to see data breach notification, comprehensive privacy, and cybersecurity bills addressed again in 2012. We may also see narrower bills aimed at online and location based tracking as well as Children's privacy. Emerging technology, including mobile payments and facial recognition, may also garner legislative attention.
Below is a round-up of the 2011 privacy and data security legislative proposals, including links to more detailed analysis from our blog posts during the year.… Continue Reading