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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

Following a change of heart from a top Securities and Exchange Commission regulator, public companies will likely soon face new guidelines for how they report cybersecurity breaches to investors. SEC Corporate Finance Division Director Bill Hinman was quoted as saying that when Chairman Jay Clayton first asked him if the existing SEC guidance needed to be refreshed, he did not think so. Hinman changed his mind, however, after considering the disclosure (or lack thereof) surrounding recent data hacks. Companies are advised to get ahead of the curve and take the necessary steps to evaluate their own breach response procedures. While these guidelines do not carry the full force of regulations, companies should not ignore them because the SEC has the authority to bring an enforcement action against a company that provides misleading information to investors about a material cybersecurity risk or hack. The current SEC cybersecurity guidelines were issued in October 2011 and can best be described as “principles-based.” These guidelines do not explicitly say when a cyber-intrusion requires disclosure to... Read more

Bitcoin and a host of cryptocurrencies have taken both Wall Street and Main Street by storm in 2017.  The nearly continuous gains in the price of Bitcoin have spawned numerous imitators and led a number of companies to raise critical start-up funds by selling their own token/cryptocurrency in a process similar to an initial public… Read More

The unregulated nature of virtual currencies like Bitcoin plays a big role in their appeal. However, wild swings in prices in addition to the perception that these markets are subject to manipulation, make it difficult—if not impossible—for the average person to rely heavily on Bitcoin and other virtual currencies as a currency, much less as… Read More

Cryptocurrency is the latest trend to be embraced by celebrities, so much so that the federal government this month issued a warning about the possible risks involved.  Both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have made clear that if a celebrity is being paid to promote a product… Read More

Deadline Fast Approaches for Final DMCA Registration
November 7, 2017

Deadline Fast Approaches for Final DMCA Registration

By: Steven Eichorn

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor from copyright infringement liability for online service providers. While not a particularly famous law, it is a critical law because it enables websites to accommodate user-generated content without being concerned for copyright infringement claims by hosting that content. However, in order to preserve their safe… Read More

Congress Saves Consumer Arbitration
October 25, 2017

Congress Saves Consumer Arbitration

By: George Calhoun

In July 2017, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“CPFB”) announced a new rule broadly barring arbitration provisions in a wide swath of consumer contracts.  See 12 CFR part 1040.  To go into effect next Spring, the final rule would have prohibited providers of certain consumer financial products and services from using an agreement with… Read More

GDPR D-Day:  If Not Prepared, It Could Cost You Europe
September 26, 2017

GDPR D-Day: If Not Prepared, It Could Cost You Europe

By: Nicole Kardell

GDPR D-Day: May 25, 2018. If you are not prepared, the results could cost you Europe. In the U.S., we’ve had a pretty business-friendly approach to consumer data protection. And while federal and state authorities have their respective consumer protection laws, there is no single federal law that clearly defines U.S. policy on how consumer… Read More

ICOs: Proceed with Caution
July 25, 2017

ICOs: Proceed with Caution

By: Steven Eichorn and Jessica Feil

Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued an investor bulletin and an investigative report. The investigative report found that companies involved in sales of digital assets via distributed ledger or blockchain technology may be engaged in conduct subject to federal securities laws. While this report is the first of its kind to address initial… Read More

The FTC’s Role in Privacy
April 22, 2017

The FTC’s Role in Privacy

By: Nicole Kardell

Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Maureen Ohlhausen, answered questions about the FTC’s current role in data privacy before a crowded audience at the April 2017 IAPP Global Privacy Summit in D.C.  Below are some take-aways we wanted to share from Commissioner Ohlhausen’s talk: Even if out of ISP oversight, the FTC is actively… Read More

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