Data Collection Federal Trade Commission

News & Analysis as of

Mobile Advertising Company Settles FTC Charges It Tracked Consumers’ Locations Without Permission

InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising company that allegedly tracked the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers – including children – without consent, will pay $950,000 in civil penalties and implement a...more

Going Geo-Loco: FTC Settles with Mobile Ad Network over Geolocation Collection

The FTC announced a settlement on Wednesday with mobile advertising company, InMobi Pte Ltd., concerning allegations that the company deceptively tracked the geolocation of hundreds of millions of unknowing consumers,...more

How to Comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

There are relatively few restrictions on collecting information from children offline. Efforts to collect information from children over the internet, however, are regulated by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act...more

FTC Settles Case against Vulcun for Force-Installing Apps

On May 10, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it had approved an order with General Workings, Inc., d/b/a “Vulcun,” settling charges that the company violated the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) when it...more

Children's Privacy Online: The Interplay Between Mobile Applications and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

The activities of children on the internet, whether via computers, smart phones, or tablets, have grown exponentially in recent history. As internet access for children increased, parents began losing control of the amount...more

Privacy Tip # 33 – Shopper tracking billboards

I have commented before on the use of location based services on mobile telephones and that apps (and your telecommunications provider) use and sell your location data for all sorts of purposes without your knowledge. The...more

FTC Guidance: Update Privacy Disclosures to Keep Pace with Advances in Online Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission recognizes that many people benefit from companies’ online tracking by getting advertising that is more targeted to their preferences. However, as the technologies and techniques used by companies...more

Social Media-Based Screening and FCRA

By now, most employers are familiar with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and understand how it impacts background checks and applicant screening. In short, FCRA says that if an employer uses a third...more

FTC issues warning to app developers about use of microphone software—it monitors consumers’ TV use without their knowledge

Most people don’t think about the microphone on their mobile phone unless it isn’t working. Most people don’t know that if it is on, it is working all of the time and is capturing private data that it has access to....more

Can You Hear Me Now? Audio Snooping Triggers FTC Warning to Mobile App Developers

This week, a dozen mobile app developers received warning letters from the FTC concerning audio monitoring software used in their apps, but not clearly disclosed to consumers. The app developers allegedly used software...more

Biometrics: A Fingerprint for Privacy Compliance, Part I

In just the last week, the New York State DMV announced an upgrade to facial recognition software to catch identity thieves trying to obtain fraudulent driver’s licenses, and the Scottish Professional Football League was...more

Mobile Applications that Track User Information Have the FTC’s Attention

Similar to website browsers, many mobile applications collect a variety of information from the user, including, the user’s identity, usage history, past log-ins, and location. This enables the application to provide various...more

Geolocation Privacy Concerns Likely Raised as Billboards Used to Track Consumer Data

Yesterday, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (Clear Channel), one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, announced the launch of “Clear Channel Outdoor RADAR,” a new data and analytics tool designed to assist...more

Data brokers settle with FTC for selling consumers’ information to scammers

SiteSearch, John Ayers, LeapLab and Leads Company (the defendants) settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for “knowingly provid[ing] scammers with hundreds of thousands of consumers’ sensitive personal information.”...more

FTC Settles Claims Against Group Of Data Brokers Dealing In Personal Information

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced on February 18 that it has reached settlements with three affiliated companies accused of selling the financial and other personal information of “hundreds of thousands” of...more

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Consumers can expect many benefits from their cars’ increased data collection programs, running the gamut from simple location services like GPS and OnStar to “networked” cars that can communicate their location with other...more

FTC’s PrivacyCon Highlights Consumer Privacy Perceptions and Targeting

The Federal Trade Commission is currently the most aggressive enforcement agency on privacy and data security. The agency kicked off 2016 with PrivacyCon on January 14, which put the spotlight on academic research on consumer...more

FTC Report on Big Data Outlines Usage Limitations Under Federal Law

On January 6, 2016 the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued the report Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues (“Report”), based on prior workshops and subsequent public comments on Big Data...more

Federal Trade Commission PrivacyCon 2016 Recap: Insights into the FTC’s Perspective on Privacy and Data Security

The Federal Trade Commission’s PrivacyCon event brings together the FTC, researchers and academics to discuss the latest research and trends related to consumer privacy and data security. Much of the discussion today...more

FTC Warns Big Data Brings Big Consequences in New Report

The FTC unveiled a lengthy report, Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues, warning companies about commercial uses of big data and the discriminatory impact it may have on low-income and...more

FTC Prosecutes Serving of Behavior Ads on Kids’ Apps

The Federal Trade Commission reminded publishers and advertisers recently that the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prohibits data collection, absent verified parental consent, for behavioral (interest-based)...more

Two mobile app developers collect persistent identifiers and pay out $360,000 in fines for COPPA violations

LAI Systems, LLC (LAI) and Retro Dreamer agreed to pay civil penalties of a combined $360,000 to settle charges issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that they violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act...more

FTC Takes Action against App Developers on COPPA Allegations Involving Persistent Identifiers

The FTC has announced enforcement actions against two app developers that allegedly violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by using persistent identifiers to serve advertising to children. The...more

The FTC Won’t Let Them Be: Enforcement Action Brought Against App Developers for Violation of Children’s Privacy Law Presents New...

In a recent show of force—which some believe is the tip of the iceberg—the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought an enforcement action against two mobile application (app) developers for violating the Children’s Online...more

Long and Wyndham Road: The Federal Trade Commission Extends Section 5 Unfairness to Regulate Data Security

In a surprising development, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation settled a long running dispute last week with the Federal Trade Commission that arose from three data breaches Wyndham suffered between 2008-2010. After an...more

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