On August 11, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) and announced it was exploring a rulemaking process to “crack down on harmful commercial surveillance” and lax data security. The agency defines commercial surveillance as “the collection, aggregation, analysis, retention, transfer, or monetization of consumer data and the direct derivatives of that … Continue Reading
Unwanted robocalls reportedly totaled 26.3 billion calls in 2018, sparking more and more consumer complaints to the FCC and FTC and increased legislative and regulatory activity to combat the practice. Some automated calls are beneficial, such as school closing announcements, bank fraud warnings, and medical notifications, and some caller ID spoofing is justified, such as … Continue Reading
This month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued guidance on privacy and security best practices for health-related mobile apps, such as fitness apps connected with wearables, diet and weight loss apps, and health insurance portals. At the same time, the FTC unveiled an interactive tool designed to direct health app developers to federal laws and … Continue Reading
Two states – New Jersey and Connecticut – have recently imposed additional legal conditions on electronic messaging to mobile devices. In a few ways, these laws may raise the bar for companies on compliance when sending text messages and possibly other forms of messaging to mobile devices. On October 27, 2015, New Jersey Governor Chris … Continue Reading
The average American today generates more media than they did at any other point in history, and the ease with which our communications, photos, and videos are sent and stored digitally means most of us have more media stored in the cloud or on a single digital device than previous generations would have created in … Continue Reading
In Securities and Exchange Commission v. Huang, the district court held that the Fifth Amendment protected two former employees against having to disclose their personal passcodes for company-issued smartphones to government officials. The decision, likely subject to appellate review, exemplifies the competing interests at play as individuals increasingly use company-issued smartphones for business and personal … Continue Reading
In a move that may strike fear into the hearts of mobile phone owners everywhere, the Sixth Circuit recently ruled that a person’s “pocket dials” – those inadvertent calls made from a person’s mobile phone, generally when the phone is in its owner’s pocket, and alternatively referred to as “butt dials” – may not be … Continue Reading
On Thursday, the Digital Advertising Alliance (“DAA”) announced that it will enforce its previously issued “Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment” (the “Mobile Guidance”) beginning September 1, 2015. Although the Mobile Guidance was initially issued in July 2013, enforcement was delayed pending the DAA’s implementation of an effective choice mechanism for the mobile … Continue Reading
In the largest ever data security enforcement action taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T agreed to pay $25 million to resolve an investigation into consumer privacy violations at its call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines. The FCC announced the settlement on April 8, 2015, stating that phone companies are expected to “zealously guard” their customers’ … Continue Reading
A New Jersey bill which prohibits unwanted text message advertisements has been sent to the Governor for final consideration. A. 617, which passed unanimously in the Assembly June 26 and in the Senate Sept. 22, if signed into law, would make it illegal to send a text message advertisement to a New Jersey resident if it … Continue Reading
Last month, a federal district court in the Northern District of California issued an order that may affect the policies of any company that records telephone conversations with consumers. The trouble began when plaintiff John Lofton began receiving calls from Collecto, Verizon’s third-party collections agency, on his cell phone. The calls were made in error … Continue Reading
We’re all familiar with the ads that pop up on the side of our browsers, personalized to highlight things we might be interested in based on our web browsing activity. Marketers and advertisers regularly track consumers’ online activities, interests and preferences and use the information they collect to create targeted ads, meant to appeal to … Continue Reading
Data use and sharing disclosures on mobile devices need work, the FTC said in a staff report released last week. The report recommends ways that actors in the mobile marketplace—such as mobile operating system providers, application developers, advertising networks, and analytics companies—can inform consumers of data collection and sharing practices. While the FTC tailors recommendations … Continue Reading
On January 17, 2013, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the final omnibus rule that among other things (1) increases patient privacy protections; (2) provides individuals with new rights to receive a copy of their electronic medical record in an electronic form; and (3) provides individuals with the right to … Continue Reading
Ever on the forefront of consumer privacy protection, California is again making news in the privacy world with the California Attorney General’s recent publication of “Privacy on the Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem,” which includes privacy recommendations for app developers, app platform providers, mobile ad networks, makers of operating systems and mobile carriers. With … Continue Reading
As physicians, nurses, therapists and health care providers continue to utilize new smart phones, tablets, and laptops in caring for patients, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has responded with educational videos, worksheets and guidance to help health care providers create a “culture of compliance and awareness” and to protect patients’ Protected Health … Continue Reading
As health care providers, patients, family members, friends, and disaster relief agencies such as the American Red Cross continue to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy it is important to be mindful of privacy regulations and to prepare in advance for the next emergency. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA” … Continue Reading
The FTC published on September 5, 2012 guidelines for mobile application developers to assist them observe truth-in-advertising and basic privacy principles when marketing their applications.… Continue Reading
In March of this year, Taco Bell Corp. joined the ranks of companies that have been sued under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), not for sending an unsolicited text message to a consumer in the first instance, but for sending a confirmatory message when a consumer chose to opt out of receiving future messages. … Continue Reading
The FTC released its final report titled "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Business and Policymakers" which sets forth principles that companies are recommended to follow with respect to their privacy practices.
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On February 22, 2012, California's Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, entered into an agreement with several leading providers of mobile devices and app stores to increase consumer privacy protection for mobile applications or "apps." Under the agreement's terms, these companies have agreed to redesign their app stores to provide a location for app developers to display their privacy policies.
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