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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

February 22, 2012

Developers of New Apps Need to Consider Privacy Issues

By: Nicole Kardell
There’s been much talk of Google’s upcoming streamlined privacy policy. Now come new demands for cleaner, user-friendly data collection and usage disclosures in the mobile app world. Two recent events highlight changes that online advertisers and app developers need to prepare for: (1) a letter from Congressmen Henry Waxman and G.K. Butterfield to Apple regarding the security of user address books and contacts stored on iOS devices and (2) an FTC report regarding privacy disclosures for mobile apps directed at children. The Congressmen’s letter is in response to the recent Path address book fiasco in which Path acknowledged – and apologized for – its collection of consumer address book information without notifying users. News surrounding Path’s activities led to Congressional concerns over the extent to which consumer data, especially contact information, is being collected and stored for future harvesting, all without the consumer’s knowledge or permission. The Waxman-Butterfield letter quotes the Guardian: “there’s a quiet understanding among many iOS app developers that it is acceptable to... Read more

There has been much noise over Google’s new privacy policy, which is slated to take effect on March 1. It has been a cacophony of cheers and protestations. Some think the new policy brings clarity and transparency, while others complain it leaves consumers without control over their information. Above the hubbub, one thing is clear:… Read More

The FTC is building up its army of watchdogs to police online marketing content and practices.  Who those watchdogs are – and their relationship to the industry – might surprise you. Earlier this month, the agency entered into a settlement agreement with Central Coast Nutraceuticals, an Internet marketer of weight-loss and health products.  The agreement… Read More

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January 8, 2012

HCG Marketers Face Hot Pursuit by FDA, FTC

By: Nicole Kardell

Putting a snag in New Year’s resolutions for pound-shedding, the FDA and the FTC recently sent out warning letters to several companies that sell HCG-based diet products online. (These companies include Nutri-Fusion Systems LLC, Natural Medical Supply, HCG Platinum, LLC, theoriginalhcgdrops.com, HCG Diet Direct, LLC, and Hcg-miracleweightloss.com.) The warning letters, which came at the outset… Read More

Speaking at a Dec. 15 Capitol Hill forum on children’s and teens’ online privacy, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said that the agency is recommending that the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) expand the definition of personally identifiable information. Leibowitz explained that he supports expanding the definition of “personally identifiable information” to include geolocation… Read More

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December 6, 2011

Ifrah Law Blog Wrap-Up for November 2011

By: Jeff Ifrah

In November 2011, we at Ifrah Law expressed our views on a number of current issues in our blogs, Crime in the Suites and FTC Beat. This post summarizes and wraps up our thoughts from the month. ACLU Wins FOIA Appeal on Prosecutors’ Use of Cell Phone Location Data The Justice Department must turn over… Read More

Google, Yahoo! and Bing have suspended their accounts with hundreds of advertisers and agents associated with mortgage programs under federal investigation. The move by Google and Microsoft (Microsoft powers Bing and Yahoo!) has basically shut down these businesses: Without the vehicle of the search engines, these sites cannot effectively generate traffic. Why did Google and… Read More

The online advertising industry is inching its way to more comprehensive policies regarding the collection of consumer data. Several announcements this month by different self-regulatory groups show that pressure from government agencies and consumer watchdog groups concerned about consumer privacy is taking effect . . . slowly but surely. The most recent pronouncement comes from… Read More

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October 19, 2011

Inside the Privacy Event Keynoted By FTC Chair Leibowitz

By: Nicole Kardell

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz delivered the keynote speech at a forum on Internet privacy on Oct. 11, 2011. He was part of a panel that discussed the protection of consumer data and the tracking of online consumer behavior. The Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society also released a study the same… Read More

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And pink is everywhere – all over the shelves of retail stores like Wal-Mart and adorning the backs of NFL linemen. We’ve been trained to know that the color pink represents a supporter of breast cancer awareness or research. So sporting a pink ribbon, jersey, or band should demonstrate… Read More

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