Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

In a series of recent statements and releases, Lina Khan, the Chair of the FTC, made clear the Commission’s intention to revamp its oversight of consumer data privacy and establish more substantive limits on commercial data collection and processing activities. This plan is motivated in part by the increased adoption of workplace surveillance technologies as well as the “growing recognition that the ‘notice-and-consent’ framework” traditionally used by U.S. businesses may not be sufficient to protect consumer and employee rights. Chairperson Khan hopes to obtain additional funding to help recruit the talent required to develop this new framework, which is designed to bring the FTC “in line with similar agencies internationally.” However, the FTC plans to update its approach to “keep pace with new learning and technological shifts” regardless of whether funding is ultimately obtained. 
Continue Reading  FTC Chair Announces New Privacy Approach

On September 15, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a policy statement affirming the applicability of its Health Breach Notification Rule (the “Rule”), 16 CFR Part 318, to health apps and connected devices that are not subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) but are capable of drawing information from multiple sources.
Continue Reading  FTC Guidance Affirms Breach Notification Obligations for Health Apps and Connected Devices

On April 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a virtual workshop, entitled “Bringing Dark Patterns to Light,” to examine “dark patterns.” In her opening remarks, Acting FTC Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter broadly described “dark patterns” as “user interface designs that manipulate consumers into taking unintended actions that may not be in their interest.” Chairwoman Slaughter highlighted several examples of dark patterns, including confusing cancellation procedures that force users to navigate multiple screens, online applications that hide the material terms of a product or service through the use of inconspicuous drop down links and auto-scroll features, and the addition of products to users’ shopping carts without their knowledge or consent.
Continue Reading  FTC Workshop Signals Increased Regulatory Focus on Dark Patterns

On September 22nd, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted an event, “Data To Go: An FTC Workshop on Data Portability,” to examine the potential benefits and challenges to consumers and competition raised by data portability. Data portability means giving consumers the ability to receive a copy of their data for their own use

Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a $10 million settlement with the online learning company ABCmouse for allegedly violating the FTC Act as well as the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA). The FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affective commerce. ROSCA makes it illegal to automatically

On July 13, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop titled “Information Security and Financial Institutions: FTC Workshop to Examine Safeguards Rule.” This workshop discussed the proposed amendments to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s (GLBA) Safeguards Rule, which requires financial institutions to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program. The GLBA Safeguards Rule

On April 30th, U.S. Senators from across multiple committees joined together to announce legislation that would protect consumer privacy rights in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation,

With the ongoing covid crisis leaving businesses of all sizes concerned about the short and medium term future, the intimidating task of considering a liquidation or restructuring is inevitably starting to become a reality.  Although privacy in the bankruptcy context is nothing new—especially in the context of personally identifiable information (“PII”) held by a company—it

The widespread use of social media platforms make them ideal for companies trying to reach a large audience.  Pharmaceutical and consumer products industries frequently maintain their own social media accounts and partner with celebrities, physicians, patients, and “influencers”—i.e., individuals who have achieved online celebrity and whose posts reach a wide audience—to endorse their