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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

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 engaged in data privacy enforcement through its consumer protection role.
Ohlhausen expressed disappointment that FTC had to step out of ISP oversight in 2015, when the FCC reclassified broadband as a common carrier service (the reclassification means the FCC, no longer the FTC, has authority over privacy and data security enforcement of ISPs).  But she said that the FTC is still active through holding companies to their data privacy policies and claims: “We enforce promises. We hold companies to their promises, even in technologically advanced areas.”  She noted that FTC enforcement actions derive not only from consumer complaints, but that the FTC is getting cases from computer researchers and marketplace competitors.
D.C. Circuit v. FCC – More Pushback to Come?
April 17, 2017

D.C. Circuit v. FCC – More Pushback to Come?

By: Michelle Cohen

Over the past several years, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) took an expansive view of its rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”). The TCPA bars certain calls, texts and faxes without prior express consent and requires disclosures and opt-out procedures.  While the FCC and state attorney generals may enforce the TCPA,… Read More

Online Reviewers Get New Protections
January 12, 2017

Online Reviewers Get New Protections

By: Michelle Cohen

Your business booked a large charity event.  However, the customer contact turns out to be a nightmare. She complains (during and after the event) that the service was slow, the food looked and tasted like a frozen meal, and the drinks were watered down.  She even claims she was overcharged.  You reviewed the situation and,… Read More

Can Your Pacemaker Be Hacked?
January 4, 2017

Can Your Pacemaker Be Hacked?

By: Drew Barnholtz

Tom Kellermann, CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures guest co-authored this post. A famous Homeland episode involved a terrorist gaining access to the Vice-President’s pacemaker.  Accessing medical devices to wreak havoc was one of the motivations behind certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (aka the DMCA).  The DMCA makes it “illegal to circumvent technological… Read More

In January 2017, the Obama Administration will transfer power to the incoming Trump Administration, and Congress will convene with a Republican majority in both houses. Predictions abound as to what legislative and regulatory changes will transpire under the new administration. Earlier this month, WSJ Pro hosted a live video event to discuss how the election… Read More

How The FTC Guides Businesses Through Data Breaches
November 10, 2016

How The FTC Guides Businesses Through Data Breaches

By: Michelle Cohen

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently released a data breach guide for businesses, along with a video and blog to help companies following the immediate aftermath of a data breach.  The FTC also provides a model data breach letter to notify individuals of a breach.  The agency – which views itself as the nation’s primary… Read More

As Halloween has people thinking of ghosts and ghouls, creative plaintiffs’ attorneys have turned an arcane New Jersey law into a true source of fright for virtually anybody who offers services that are even potentially available within the Garden State. The law at issue is the New Jersey Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice… Read More

The Blacklisting Rules Are Coming: What Federal Contractors Need to Know
October 13, 2016

The Blacklisting Rules Are Coming: What Federal Contractors Need to Know

By: Jessica Feil and George Calhoun

The Federal Acquisition Regulation final rule implementing the “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order 13673 was issued on August 25, 2016, and the rule goes into effect on October 25, 2016. This new regulation presents a significant change – and potential challenge – for major government contractors. President Obama signed Executive Order 13673, often… Read More

What the Payday Proposal Would Do
June 3, 2016

What the Payday Proposal Would Do

By: Jessica Feil

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a new rule to regulate payday lending and auto-title loan companies. Right now, it is merely a proposal, meant to undergo the notice and comment period until September 14, 2016. But if the rule goes into effect, it would be a significant imposition on the lending business…. Read More

CFPB Scare Tactics: The New Arbitration Rules
May 5, 2016

CFPB Scare Tactics: The New Arbitration Rules

By: George Calhoun

Recently, I wrote about the CFPB’s plans to issue new regulations restricting arbitration clauses in certain consumer contracts.  Today, the agency announced those new rules and CFPB Director Richard Cordray is expected to discuss them at the agency’s field hearing in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  As expected, the new rules eliminate the use of class action… Read More