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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

In the eyes of federal investigators, when is a payment processor considered a benevolent alternative to traditional banks, and when is it viewed as a shady facilitator of all things criminal?  In other words, is the client another Paypal or Venmo, or are we looking at a potential WireCard AG prosecution? We have noticed in recent cases that prosecutors are across the board in their treatment of payment processors they pursue for wrongdoing, charging some with criminal liability and others with civil liability only. “Why the difference?” Unfortunately, the answer is not entirely clear: Unlike other areas of federal prosecution, there is no definitive guidance for prosecutors on how to treat payment processors; nor is there an obvious checklist for clients to consider for avoiding government scrutiny. There are, however, some common considerations and assumptions that accompany these types of cases, and while they hardly form a comprehensive playbook to study, it’s at least a start. In deciphering Department of Justice (“DOJ”) priorities, policies, and practices, we typically look first to... Read more

The privacy world is abuzz about the European Court of Justice’s July 16, 2020 decision in Schrems II: Europe’s highest court invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield framework. The Privacy Shield provides a streamlined mechanism to facilitate personal data transfers from Europe to the U.S. It was implemented in 2016 following the invalidation of an earlier… Read More

On July 6, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with gaming app developer Miniclip S.A. The settlement addresses allegations that Miniclip falsely claimed membership in a Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) safe harbor program for the last several years. Miniclip boasts more than 1 billion downloads of its 45 “high-quality mobile games”… Read More

The FTC recently announced its settlement with Tapplock, Inc., a maker of smart padlocks (Internet-connected fingerprint-enabled padlocks that you can use in lieu of old-fashioned combo locks). The FTC investigated the Canadian-based company for its allegedly false claims that its Internet-connected smart locks were designed to be “unbreakable” and that the company took reasonable steps… Read More

Does your company’s privacy policy include a claim that it is Privacy-Shield certified? If so, you should ensure that it is, in fact, certified and that the certification has not lapsed. Failures in this area are low-hanging fruit for government enforcement actions.   A little background on the Privacy Shield Framework.  The U.S. Privacy Shield framework… Read More

Telemarketing Restrictions During State of Emergency
April 7, 2020

Telemarketing Restrictions During State of Emergency

By: Nicole Kardell

  If part of your marketing plan involves calls to consumers, please be aware of additional telemarketing restrictions in some states (presently New York and Louisiana) during a state of emergency.   New York New York recently enacted a law to prohibit unsolicited telemarketing calls during a state of emergency. Since New York Governor Andrew Cuomo… Read More

As businesses that make telemarketing or automated/prerecorded phone calls and send text messages and telemarketing faxes are well aware, the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) imposes certain restrictions on communications sent without the recipient’s express consent or permission.  Many courts view the “prior express consent” or permission requirement quite broadly.  And just this week,… Read More

Work got a lot more personal when it moved in with my family. For people used to keeping a healthy divide between their business and personal lives, the new telework dynamic can be particularly stressful. That “healthy divide” can crumble under the weight of quarantine as tiny voices (kids and pets) infiltrate teleconference and video… Read More