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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

A public service announcement of yesteryear posed the following question to parents: “It’s 8:00. Do you know where your children are?” Today’s technology allows parents to answer that question regardless of the time of day. That technology, however, has recently drawn scrutiny for violating the parental notice and consent provisions of the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC’s”) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA”). Last week, the FTC sent two warning letters to companies whose products collect children’s geolocation. Reading between the lines of those letters, it is clear much more is at stake than the fate of those two companies. Indeed, the letters evidence that the FTC may be positioning itself to place app stores like Google’s Play Store and Apple’s iTunes within the reach of its COPPA Rule.   By way of background, the COPPA Rule requires companies collecting personal information from children under the age of 13 to post clear privacy policies and, with limited exceptions, to notify parents and get their consent before collecting, using or sharing personal information from... Read more

The FTC is reported to be joining state and international regulators in examining Cambridge Analytica’s actions with data accessed from Facebook, including how the data analytics company obtained the information, what it did with the information, and whether Facebook complied with existing obligations, including a 2012 FTC consent decree. The situation underscores the importance of… Read More

Full Metal Cryptojacket
February 28, 2018

Full Metal Cryptojacket

By: James Trusty

In retrospect, it all seems so predictable. International capitalism creates virtual currencies. Banks are avoided. Millennials hail a new world order of anonymous or nearly untraceable market transactions. Numerous parties and exchanges hold on to large quantities of virtual currencies. But then the bad guys show up. And I’m not talking about the regulators. Last month, in what looks like the… Read More

Coming Soon: Digital Asset Regulation
February 20, 2018

Coming Soon: Digital Asset Regulation

By: George Calhoun

In January, Bitcoin dropped to approximately 50% of its 2017 peak price.  Other digital currencies saw similar declines. Most market observers blamed these massive price fluctuations on related events: (i) widespread reports of fraud and price manipulation, and (ii) increasing prospects for the regulation of digital assets and currencies. Indeed, 2018 has brought us federal… Read More

The Extraordinary Reach of FTC Ex Parte
February 6, 2018

The Extraordinary Reach of FTC Ex Parte

By: Ifrah Law

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is granted extraordinary authority to participate in ex parte discussions with judges, conduct investigations and enact enforcement actions like asset freezes and TROs without notice to the parties it is targeting. Often the first time a company learns it is under investigation is when it is served a subpoena and… Read More

In a paradox of sorts, cryptocurrency’s continued survival may hinge on its submission to greater regulatory oversight. Such a notion is paradoxical in the sense that cryptocurrency’s origins can be traced to a “stick it to the man” mentality in which currency is decentralized and not tied to any one governmental body. Thus, submitting to… Read More

Assert Your FTC Defense Before It’s Too Late
February 1, 2018

Assert Your FTC Defense Before It’s Too Late

By: Ifrah Law

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is granted extraordinary authority to conduct investigations without giving notice to the companies in its sightlines, and the agency can enact sudden and unforeseen enforcement actions like asset freezes and TROs which take its targets completely by surprise. Often a company’s first clue it is under investigation is when it… Read More

2018: The End of Cryptocurrencies?
January 22, 2018

2018: The End of Cryptocurrencies?

By: Steven Eichorn

Cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin) took the broader public by storm in 2017 and had a breakout year. There were outsized and even unprecedented returns, along with extreme volatility and even more extreme volatility.  The question for 2018 is whether cryptocurrencies had their “fifteen minutes of fame” or they are here to stay? Blockchain technology (which is… Read More

No one likes being on the receiving end of an immunization shot, but many of us submit to a flu shot each fall or winter.  David Latner, a patient of the Mount Sinai Health System’s West Park Medical facility, apparently found a single text from West Park reminding him about flu shots to be alarming… Read More

The first of the year is a good time to make assessments, resolutions and predictions. We have some recommendations for companies that store and process consumer data: It is a good time to assess the strength of your data security measures and resolve to meet industry standards where you fall behind, because we predict continued… Read More

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