Recently the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (“ASA”) issued a decision regarding paid influencers’ use of post-production techniques (such as in-camera filters or Photoshop) that embellish an advertised product’s effectiveness or appearance (with or without the intention to do so). The decision has broad reach to domestic advertisers, as it highlights certain tenets of U.S. … Continue Reading
What Have Retailers Been “Up To” In New Jersey? The last few years have been quite interesting for retailers, with a number of different pricing and advertising related legal issues coming to the forefront. Recently, another new front in this battle opened in New Jersey where a national clothing retailer became the subject of a … Continue Reading
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has wasted no time in bringing an action against an advertiser for allegedly deceptive native advertising. The FTC released its Enforcement Policy on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements (“Native Advertising Guidelines”) in late December 2015 (which we blogged about here) and last week the FTC concluded an enforcement action against Lord & … Continue Reading
Just before 2015 came to an end, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released its much anticipated Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements (“Policy Statement”) along with informal, practical guidance for businesses titled “Native Advertising: A Guide for Businesses” (“Business Guides”). The FTC first began considering native advertising in a December 2013 workshop. Native advertising … Continue Reading
On Thursday, a bankruptcy judge granted final approval of the sale of RadioShack Corporation (“RadioShack”) assets to General Wireless Operations Inc. (“General Wireless”), which included customers’ personal information. In the order, the Delaware bankruptcy judge stated “ . . . no showing was made that the sale of personally identifiable information (the “PII”)(as defined in … Continue Reading
The FTC started 2015 by showing its continued attention to advertising concerning kids and testimonial issues, as well as an advertiser’s purchase of search terms. In a recent case brought against a manufacturer of children’s supplements, the FTC had concerns about its advertising claims, use of testimonials, and lack of disclosures, as well as its … Continue Reading
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been very active in its enforcement efforts in the past couple of months. In addition to other actions which we have blogged about, the FTC recently sent dozens of warning letters to advertisers in two separate efforts. In September, the FTC sent letters admonishing companies for their failure to … Continue Reading
Last week, the FTC released a study it conducted in connection with price-comparison apps, deal apps and apps that allow people to pay for purchases using their mobile device while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. The newly released study is the latest commentary from the FTC in a long line of workshops and reports that started in 2012 … Continue Reading
Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission released its long awaited report on the data brokerage industry – Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability. This report is the culmination of approximately two years of information collection, public workshops, and analysis by the FTC staff. Notably, the Report recommends that Congress enact legislation to … Continue Reading
Recently, a publisher’s article about its own branded products was caught in the headlights of a decision by the National Advertising Division (NAD). An article in Shape magazine discussed the health benefits of staying hydrated and described attributes of Shape-branded products called “Shape Water Boosters.” NAD, a division of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council administered by … Continue Reading
The act of using editorial content for promotional and marketing purposes, or what has come to be known as “native advertising,” is a burgeoning and profitable area of advertising. And not surprisingly, the practice has caught the eye of regulators as a potentially deceptive trade practice. In recent weeks, the National Advertising Division (NAD), a … Continue Reading
For years, the generally accepted principle at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) and the National Advertising Division (“NAD”) has been that an “Up To Claim” (i.e. ‘save up to 50%’ or ‘experience up to a 50% difference’) is substantiated if approximately ten percent of consumers actually experience the touted results. … Continue Reading
Late last week the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it filed eight complaints against various affiliate marketers that had allegedly sent millions of unwanted text messages to consumers. The more than 180 million unwanted text messages invited consumers to websites promising “free” gift cards, “free” merchandise, and other gifts and prizes. The FTC filed … Continue Reading
On December 10, 2012, the FTC released a follow-up to its February 2012 report on mobile apps for kids. The February 2012 report found that little or no information was available to parents about the privacy practices of the mobile apps the FTC surveyed on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market. The FTC’s follow-up report finds … Continue Reading
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with Artist Arena LLC (“Artist Arena”), a company that operates pop star fan websites targeting the Tween set. In the complaint against Artist Arena, the FTC alleged that Artist Arena violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”) by failing to provide notice … Continue Reading
Co-Authored by Shannon Harell Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released aFederal Register notice (“Notice”) seeking public comments on additional proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”). As we blogged in September 2011, the FTC initially issued proposed revisions to the COPPA Rule and requested comments on September 15, 2011 (“2011 Notice”). The … Continue Reading
If you haven’t noticed, the FTC has had a monster year announcing or significantly moving forward various reviews of long-standing FTC interpretations, rules and guides. According to a report issued by the FTC in September of this year, the FTC is accelerating its typical 10-year review cycle for a number of rules and guides, in … Continue Reading
On September 15, 2011 the FTC issued proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (the “COPPA Rule”), which imposes requirements on web sites that are directed at and/or collect personal information from children younger than 13 years old. According to the FTC, the revisions are to “ensure that the Rule continues to protect … Continue Reading
The Federal Trade Commission announced today that Teletrack, Inc. has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle charges that the company sold credit reports for marketing purposes, in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). According to the FTC's complaint, Teletrack sells credit reports and other services to businesses that mainly serve financially distressed consumers. Teletrack's business customers include pay day lenders, rental purchase stores and non-prime rate auto lenders. These businesses use Teletrack's credit reports to decide whether and on what terms to extend credit to their customers.
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On May 10, 2011 the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law held a hearing entitled Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphone, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy. The hearing focused on the privacy concerns raised by mobile devices, location-based mobile services, and check-in applications.… Continue Reading
On May 3, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Ceridian Corporation and Lookout Services, Inc. agreed to settle the FTC's allegations that the companies failed to safeguard their business customers' employee personal information. Ceridian's services include payroll processing, payroll-related tax filing, benefits administration and other human resource services for business customers. Lookout provides a web-based computer product that is designed to help employers comply with their obligations under federal law to complete and maintain a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-9 about each employee in order to verify that the employee is eligible to work in the United States.
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The Google Buzz settlement that the Federal Trade Commission announced on March 30, 2011 is the latest in the line of the Commission's numerous Section 5 actions related to privacy and data security violations. The Google Buzz settlement, however, is unique in several important ways. The settlement represents (i) the first FTC settlement order has requires a company to implement a comprehensive privacy program to protect the privacy of consumers' information, and (ii) the Commission's first substantive U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework enforcement action. Let's dive in (make sure to read the "Action Item" at the conclusion of the post!).
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As we have previously reported on our blog, 2011 has seen a whirlwind of privacy enforcement activity. The FTC, NLRB, EEOC, HHS and FINRA have all taken privacy enforcement actions this year. This March, the FTC has announced privacy settlements with Chitika and Twitter.
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This month, federal agencies and FINRA have announced significant privacy enforcement actions that have resulted in millions of dollars in fines. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) imposed a $4.3M fine on a health plan for violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule; the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled with several resellers of consumer reports allegations that the resellers failed to adequately safeguard consumer information; and FINRA imposed a $600K fine on two securities firms for failure to safeguard access to customer records. Here are the details:
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