Communications & Media Consumer Protection Science, Computers & Technology

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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DAA Guidance for Cross Device Data Collection

On the same day that the Federal Trade Commission was holding a workshop on cross-device tracking, the privacy self-regulatory group Digital Advertising Alliance released guidance related to the cross-device collection and...more

FDA Seems Ready to Weigh In on “Natural” Food Labeling

In 1960, Judge Friendly famously began an opinion by asking, “What is chicken?” Today, the question is, “What is ‘natural’?” Courts today are filled with cases claiming that foods labeled as “natural” are misleading...more

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act Overview

The TCPA has been a source of significant class action activity in recent years as businesses seek to navigate the law and plaintiffs’ lawyers seek to exploit its many ambiguities....more

Treasury Discusses Online Marketplace Lending

Why it matters - Regulatory oversight of online marketplace lending is moving forward, with representatives from the Department of the Treasury sharing six "central themes" drawn from comments on the agency's Request for...more

FCC and FTC Announce Consumer Protection Memorandum of Understanding

On Monday, the FCC and FTC published a Memorandum of Understanding in which the two agencies agreed to engage in greater coordination and collaboration on consumer protection issues, with greater respect for each agency’s...more

FCC Settles Data Breach Investigation with Cox Communications

Recently, the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) entered into a settlement with Cox Communications (Cox) resolving an investigation into whether the cable operator failed to properly protect its...more

Defining the Lines on Consumer Protection in the Broadband Era: What the Consumer Watchdog Order and the FCC-FTC Sign MOU Mean

In the last few weeks, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the “Commission”) has taken two significant steps to further clarify its role as an agency charged with protecting consumers. The first instance was a...more

DOJ continues crack down on dietary supplement industry

In October, Life Sciences Decoded described the increased state and federal scrutiny against the dietary supplement industry, including a lawsuit that the Oregon Attorney General filed against GNC. This scrutiny and...more

The FTC Pressures Press Interactions, Defies Commercial Speech Doctrine

On Tuesday, the FTC joined the Department of Justice and several other federal agencies in announcing numerous recent and ongoing actions against dietary supplement marketers. The FTC, in its discussions, highlighted a case...more

Commission Examines Privacy and Cybersecurity Issues Associated With Emerging Cross-Device Tracking Technology

On Monday, November 16, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop that examined the key privacy and security issues raised by emerging technologies that track users across their various devices, such as smartphones,...more

FDA to Accept Comments on “Natural” in Food Labelling

In a surprising shift, the Food and Drug Administration has announced that it is soliciting public comments concerning how the term “natural” may be used in food labeling. As we reported in a January 2014 alert, three federal...more

TCPA Connect - November 2015

SPECIAL FOCUS: FTC Conducts Workshop on Consumer Protection Issues in Lead Generation - On Friday, October 30, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission hosted a full-day public workshop to explore consumer protection issues...more

Recent Cases Highlight Importance of Compliance with Hong Kong Privacy Law

The use of personal data in direct marketing without the customer’s consent and without fulfilling legal prerequisites has resulted fines issued by the Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Personal Data (“PCPD”)....more

Appetite for Litigation: Why Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Hunger for Food-Labeling Lawsuits

The food industry has become a fertile ground for class action lawsuits over the last few years and shows no signs of slowing down. New cases are decided daily. There are several factors that drive this trend and that are...more

Delaware Enacts Comprehensive Online Privacy Protection Law

On January 1, 2016, the Delaware Online Privacy and Protection Act (“DOPPA”) will go into force, a law that provides strong online privacy protection for its residents. The new law targets three areas of compliance: (1)...more

FCC settles data security enforcement action with Cox

In what had been touted as the first data security enforcement action with a cable operator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has agreed to settle an enforcement action following a data breach with Cox...more

FCC Settles with Company Over Alleged Data Protection Failures

On November 5, the FCC resolved its first ever data security action against a cable company with a $595,000 settlement. According to the FCC, the company did not have adequate data security measures in place for employees and...more

CFPB Reports on Underserved Consumers’ Use of Mobile Financial Services

On November 5, the CFPB published a report titled “Mobile Financial Services” to summarize the results of its June 2014 Request for Information on the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of mobile financial...more

“And That’s the End!” 11th Circuit Ends VPPA Action in Ellis, But Leaves the Question of What is PII Unresolved

Digital content and media providers got some good news from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in October when the court held that plaintiffs must be “subscribers” and not just users of a provider’s service to...more

FDA Requests Public Comments on “Natural” Food Labeling

On November 10, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is seeking public comments on use of the term “natural” on food labeling. FDA, “Natural” on Food Labeling (Nov. 10, 2015). The agency explained...more

Parental consent by selfie?

As a general rule, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires operators of websites (including mobile apps) directed to children under the age of 13 to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting...more

Google seeks dismissal or stay of email scanning litigation

Google has recently asked a California federal court to dismiss a proposed class action alleging that the company’s practice of scanning Gmail users e-mail for marketing data violates federal and state privacy laws, primarily...more

FDA Requests Comment on Term “Natural” in Food Labeling

On November 10, 2015, the FDA announced that it will be soliciting public comments on the use of the term “natural” in food labeling. The comment period will open on November 12, 2015 and is expected to close on February 10,...more

Sprint Agrees to Pay FTC $2.95 Million to Settle Risk-Based Pricing Rule Charges Under the FCRA

Mobile service providers frequently look at their customers’ credit reports and scores to determine the best pricing plans for those customers. But asa recent settlement between Sprint Corporation and the Federal Trade...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms That Users of Free Mobile Applications Are Not Subscribers Under the Video Privacy Protection Act

The Video Privacy Protection Act was enacted in 1988 following the publication of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s family video rental records. The Act generally prohibits “video tape service providers” from knowingly...more

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