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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

  • An app for children--wee ones even--to publicize videos of themselves jamming to their favorite tunes.
  • An app that, by default, allows its users to communicate directly with any other users, including wee ones.
  • An app that provides its users a list of other users within a 50-mile radius who they can follow or contact directly (feature removed in 2016).
What could pervert-ibly go wrong? It sounds like the makings of a Law and Order Special Victims Unit episode and I don’t think I need to detail how. Even the most laissez-faire of us cringe at the thought of exposing children in this very public way. If there is a place for online oversight, protecting children from predators stands out as an incontrovertible cause. This is why Congress enacted a children’s online privacy law, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), back in the almost prehistoric Internet days of 1998 (while it has yet to make headway in general privacy legislation some 20 years later). Very generally, COPPA requires websites to provide... Read more

An issue of major importance to cryptocurrency and digital token markets has been whether tokens were all to be considered securities under U.S. law.  The SEC’s frequent admonishments that it would consider ICOs to be securities offerings has caused a dramatic slowdown in the US ICO market.  In one of the first cases to test… Read More

Much excitement surrounds the 2018 Farm Bill – the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 – which President Trump recently signed into law. The hubbub is all about hemp. The new law removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and opens markets across the fifty states to hemp and its many derivatives. Farmers and product manufactures… Read More

Make room Europe: California is taking on the data privacy challenge. For the last year or so, the privacy world has been abuzz with how to implement the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation. The buzz died down once GDPR went into effect in late May. But no rest for the weary. A little over a… Read More

More consumers are adopting cryptocurrency than ever, but regulators are less enthusiastic. As a result, cryptocurrency exchanges spend unnecessary time and resources working to comply with outdated guidelines. Kraken, which oversees $150 million in daily cryptocurrency transactions, is the latest exchange to experience this problem. In an effort to bring itself into compliance with current… Read More

In a ruling announced today, the Supreme Court held that online businesses can be subjected to sales tax even in states where they do not have any brick-and-mortar operations. The case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., overturns longstanding precedent requiring “physical presence” to subject a seller to state sales tax, representing a big change for… Read More

  On June 6, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a landmark ruling in LabMD v. Federal Trade Commission. While the Eleventh Circuit impliedly held that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has authority to take enforcement action against companies whose unfair practices lead to data security incidents that pose… Read More

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… Read More