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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

In a recent case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the district court held that the plaintiff’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claim should be dismissed. The court ruled that the plaintiff gave prior express consent when she agreed to the terms of her health insurance plan, which stated that the company could share her number with other businesses who work for the plan. The plaintiff Suzy Elkins enrolled to receive prescription benefit management services through a group plan offered by her employer. The plaintiff then reenrolled after her employer changed plans to receive prescription management services from the Defendant, Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (“Medco”) through Coventry Health of Missouri (“Coventry”). On the reenrollment form, Elkins provided her cell phone number as her home phone number and certified that the information she provided was true and accurate. Ms. Elkins refilled several prescriptions using Medco’s retail pharmacy network. Elkins filed a complaint alleging that the automated and prerecorded calls she received from Medco through her enrollment in... Read more

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) continues to make significant progress with its implementation of the New generic Top–Level Domain (gTLD) Program. Under the new program, ICANN has added more than 250 new gTLDs to the Domain Name System (DNS) and could add hundreds more in the next several years. ICANN is… Read More

In an effort that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials say was motivated by the (Big Brother?) desire “to correct a misperception by consumers that tobacco products not regulated by FDA are safe alternatives to currently regulated tobacco products,” the FDA released proposed regulations this morning that would regulate the rapidly growing e-cigarette market. (The… Read More

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April 17, 2014

Don’t be a Jerk

By: Ifrah Law

Last week the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charged the operators of Jerk.com with harvesting personal information from Facebook to create profiles for more than an estimated 73 million people, where they could be labeled a “Jerk” or “not a Jerk.” In the complaint, the FTC charged the defendants, Jerk, LLC and the operator of the… Read More

After recovering from high-profile data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus, signing up for free credit monitoring and analyzing our credit reports, a new Internet villain recently emerged:  the “Heartbleed Bug.”  The Heartbleed Bug is a security flaw present on Open SSL, popular software run on most webservers.  This open source software is widely used… Read More

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April 10, 2014

TCPA Litigation Explosion Leads to Rule Clarifications

By: Michelle Cohen and Ifrah Law

Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing, fax marketing, and prerecorded/auto-dialed phone calls. Recently, there has been an explosion in TCPA litigation, including class action litigation. In response, several parties have asked the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to clarify certain of the agency’s TCPA rules to provide relief… Read More

Mobile payments have become so commonplace that consumers rarely stop to think about whether their online payment is secure. Mobile app developers can fall into a similar trap of assuming that the necessary security measures are enabled without performing the necessary audits to assure security on a regular basis. A recent settlement between the FTC… Read More

For many, the announcement two weeks ago that the Federal Trade Commission has commenced a formal investigation into Herbalife was not terribly interesting.  After all, nutritional supplement company Herbalife has been the focus of intermittent media attention since December 2012 when Wall Street hedge fund manager Bill Ackman claimed that it was  an illegal pyramid… Read More

After the FTC secured a $163MM judgment against Kristy Ross in the US District Court of Maryland, the 4th Circuit affirmed, and so ends the FTC’s six-year “scareware” enforcement action. From beginning to end, this odyssey has been quite colorful, to say the least. The nine-figure judgment against Ross is no exception. Originally, there were… Read More

Advertisements for electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes,” are increasingly drawing scrutiny from consumer advocates and public health groups who are calling for the federal government to regulate these advertisements in the same manner that traditional cigarette advertisements are regulated. The e-cigarette industry is growing at a rapid pace, particularly among younger people. Last year, the industry… Read More

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