Consumer Protection Science, Computers & Technology

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Mobile App Developer Settles with FTC and New Jersey AG Over Virtual Currency Mining

On June 29, a mobile app developer entered into an agreement with the FTC and the New Jersey AG to settle allegations that the developer engaged in deceptive and unfair practices by marketing its rewards app, called “Prized,”...more

Audit reveals U.S. Treasury Dept. security infrastructure is weak

An annual audit conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office of the Fiscal Service Bureau, identified (9) nine new information security weaknesses in the U.S. Treasury Department’s information systems that are used...more

Trump Hotels investigating credit card breach

Trump Hotel Collection, the luxury hotel brand owned and operated by Republican candidate for President Donald Trump, announced this week that it is investigating a credit card breach affecting its properties. It has been...more

As FCC Flexes New Consumer Protection and Privacy Regulatory Enforcement Muscles Against ISPs, Some Call for Expanded Authority...

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has imposed a record $100M forfeiture fine against a global telecommunications company for alleged deceptive data plan promotions. The FCC’s fine comes on the heels of revisions to...more

Alert: FTC Releases New Data Security Guide: 50 Mistakes to Avoid in 10 Lessons

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought over 50 cases against companies that put consumer data at unreasonable risk. On June 30, 2015, the FTC released a guide titled Start with Security that summarizes 10 lessons the...more

Rhode Island Governor signs new comprehensive Identity Theft Protection Act

On June 26, 2015, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed Senate Bill S0134, the Rhode Island Identity Theft Protection Act of 2015, which substantially revises the old law, including breach notification. Specifically,...more

Federal Trade Commission Issues “Start with Security” Guidance

On June 30, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its first guidance document as part of its Start with Security initiative. The initiative, announced by FTC Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich in March, will...more

Second Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling Against Apple in E-Books Price-Fixing Suit, Creating Potential Circuit Split

On June 30, 2015, in a 2-to-1 ruling, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in United States v. Apple, Inc. that Apple and five of the largest book publishers in the U.S. entered into a per se illegal...more

Lessons from FTC Enforcement Actions

The FTC released a guide for businesses based on lessons learned from the more than 50 reported FTC enforcement actions. This new guide, “Start With Security: A Guide For Business” outlines a general “standard of care” for...more

Taxpayer Identity Theft

Recently, there has been a spike in felons filing fraudulent income tax returns seeking refunds. The identity thief merely acquires a taxpayer’s name, address and Social Security Number, and files a return with a different...more

Password Management Company LastPass Discloses Security Breach

We know it’s hard to keep track of passwords. A good security practice is to use different and complex passwords across different platforms, but it is so hard to keep track of all of them. That’s why password management...more

Privacy and Transparency in the Context of Government Data Requests

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently released its fifth annual report evaluating the practices of several online service providers with regard to government access to user data. The report rates the major online...more

FCC Fines AT&T $100,000,000 for Violation of Transparency Rule

In a recent enforcement action, the FCC fined AT&T $100,000,000 for violations of the Open Internet Transparency Rule (“Transparency Rule”). The Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) for Forfeiture and Order stated that AT&T...more

Cybersecurity Standards Apply to Thee, Not Me

“If there is anyone to blame, it is the perpetrators,” said Katherine Archuleta, Director of the federal Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”), to a Senate panel investigating the causes of the recent OPM cyberattack. ...more

FCC Approves New Pro-Consumer TCPA Rules That Will Likely Create Increased Compliance and Litigation Headaches for Businesses

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently adopted a proposal aimed at clarifying certain provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The proposal addresses twenty-one (21) petitions related to the...more

Cyber risks -- Congressional Letter to SEC

On June 18, 2015, Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Jim Himes (D-CT) sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) calling for updated cybersecurity disclosure guidance for publicly traded companies....more

Porter Airlines Pays $150,000 under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

On June 29, 2015, the CRTC announced that Porter Airlines Inc had agreed to pay $150,000 as part of an undertaking in respect of alleged violations of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL). CASL requires consent to send...more

Magistrate Judge Rules LinkedIn’s “Reference Search” Does Not Violate Fair Credit Reporting Act

As we discussed in a previous post, a class action lawsuit (Sweet, et al. v. LinkedIn) was filed last year against LinkedIn in California based on allegations that the reference reports LinkedIn generates for premium...more

The Right to Give One-Star Reviews

Congress has taken a step toward protecting consumers’ rights to post negative reviews on websites like Ripoff Report or Yelp with the introduction, by Representative Darrell E. Issa of California, of the Consumer Review...more

State Breach Notification Laws Continue To Change

State breach notification laws continue to be amended to (1) provide for notification of a state attorney general or regulator about a breach in addition to affected individuals, (2) cover breaches involving personal...more

Guiding Opinions to Promote Healthy and Rapid Development of Cross-Border E-Commerce

The Chinese e-commerce industry is rapidly expanding, and the nation is the world’s second largest online retail market. The business-to-consumer industry in particular is expected to see record growth in the next few years....more

FDA Reports Results of Annual Crack Down on Illegal Internet Pharmacies

Last week, FDA announced that more than 1,050 websites had illegal drugs and devices seized or received warning letters as part of the Eighth Annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA). IIWA is an international...more

Visa And MasterCard: Card Issuers May Disclose Breached Merchant Names

Credit union and other card issuers got clarification from Visa and MasterCard this month on when they are contractually permitted to disclose the identities of merchants involved in data breaches. In substantially similar...more

The EU’s S-L-O-W March Towards a Uniform Data Protection Regime

The European Union (EU), comprised of 28 member states, currently has a patchwork of privacy and data protection laws, based on the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive. This mix of laws has led to inconsistent data...more

Merchants and Processors Beware: FTC Consumer Warning About Use of Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Is a Warning to You Too

The June 22 FTC blog posting warning consumers about the use of bitcoins and other virtual currencies should be a call to action for those accepting or facilitating the acceptance of bitcoin and other virtual currencies in...more

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