News & Analysis as of

Breaking News: The COPPA Enforcement Actions Are Here!

As we predicted in prior blog posts, the Federal Trade Commission has begun its vigorous enforcement of the Amended COPPA Rule. And one of the players is not a child-related site, so read on. The Commission just announced ...more

App-Laudable Disclosures: GPEN Releases Mobile App Privacy Results

Members of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) have released the results of its May 2014 privacy sweep. A common theme is the need for greater transparency regarding data collection and use prior to the downloading...more

COPPA’s “Safe Harbor” Grows with FTC’s Approval of iKeepSafe’s Self-Regulating Framework

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it approved iKeepSafe’s Safe Harbor Program application, allowing the company’s self-regulating framework to serve as a safe harbor under the Children’s Online Privacy...more

Week in Review

Move over World Cup. Discipline based on employee social media activities is taking center stage this week. Well, maybe the World Cup has a few more headlines, but you can follow the links below to read four articles from...more

New CA Privacy Disclosure Requirements Clarified By AG

California has a number of privacy notice requirements for businesses collecting data from California residents, including as of January 1 of this year a requirement that websites, mobile apps and online services make certain...more

Snapchat Settles FTC Charges of Misrepresenting Privacy and Security Features

Snapchat, a mobile app that lets users send photos and videos that self-destruct within ten seconds, settled FTC charges relating to the app's ephemeral message feature and the app's data collection and security features....more

Eight Key Takeaways from FTC's Settlement with Snapchat

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Snapchat, the young mobile messaging company. The complaint alleges misrepresentations about functionality and related security as well as privacy...more

WhatsApp plus Facebook, what data protection issues?

Adding 450 million monthly users to 1.3 bn monthly users costs $19 bn according to Facebook, but also means that the buyer will be able to know about (and benefit from) much more information on its users to be potentially...more

Eye on Privacy - January 2014

In this issue: - FTC Settlement with Flashlight App Requires Extensive Disclosures Outside of the Privacy Policy to Collect and Share Geolocation Information - GAO and Senate Commerce Committee Release Studies...more

Advertising Law - December 31, 2013

FTC Shines a Light on Flashlight App’s Geolocation Data Sharing - In the agency’s first action involving geolocation data, Goldenshores Technologies, LLC, settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission that the...more

California says you can track online, but you can't hide your tracking

California law will soon require website and mobile app operators to disclose additional information in their privacy policies. Because the law applies to operators of websites and online services (including mobile apps) that...more

On the Eighth Day of Privacy, my Mobile Apps Know Everything About Me . . .

Of all the “Days of Privacy” looking forward to 2014, we believe that the issues surrounding mobile applications and privacy will see some of the most intense regulatory focus …. read on, and be prepared…....more

FTC says app developers must shine more light on how they use data

When your own flashlight is spying on you, something is wrong. That, at any rate, is the Federal Trade Commission’s thinking in a case that illustrates how, in today’s electronic world, privacy concerns can lurk in the most...more

On the Third Day of Privacy, My Smartphone Followed Me…

In 2013 geolocation and biometrics were hot topics. Apple included a fingerprint reader on the new iPhone which was either really cool or an epic fail depending on your viewpoint, and Google and the NSA are tracking our...more

Mobile Apps Remain Regulatory Focus as FTC Enforces Data Privacy of Popular Program

The provider of the immensely popular “Brightest Flashlight Free” mobile app for Android reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that it collected sensitive personal information, including...more

Europe: Mobile apps rarely compliant with basic EU data protection consent rules

Mobile apps may, and frequently do, have access to a lot of personal information. This personal information can include one’s contact list, location, calendar and photos. Through social network integration, this includes...more

New Self-Regulatory Rules For Mobile Apps: What Your Company Needs To Know

Even as efforts to achieve industry-wide consensus on Do Not Track appear to be stalling, self-regulatory associations are forging ahead with their own rules governing online and mobile data collection....more

Digital Advertising Alliance Releases Guidance on the Application of Its Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment...

On July 24, 2013, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), comprised of the largest media and marketing trade associations in the U.S., released new guidance regarding mobile and other devices (Mobile Guidance). The Mobile...more

Privacy and Mobile Applications

If you develop or have a mobile application and think the limited space of mobile devices gives you a pass on privacy disclosures, think again. The Federal Trade Commission – the nation’s Chief Privacy Agency – believes it is...more

Privacy Monday - July 1st, 2013

Privacy Tidbits to start your week - The Risk-Benefit Analysis of BYOD: As we have written in the past, the proliferation of the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend is a high-wire balancing act for IT and...more

Mobile Apps Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., continue to show interest in understanding and developing regulatory proposals relating to mobile apps. The interest appears to be driven, at least in part, by policymakers’ concerns about...more

Advertising Law -- May 31, 2013

A Friendly Reminder from the FTC: You May Be in Trouble - Continuing the countdown to the effective date of the amended Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule, the Federal Trade Commission sent “educational...more

Selected Highlights from the FTC's COPPA FAQs

The FTC posted on its website an updated version of its COPPA FAQs. (The FTC amended its COPPA Rule in December 2012, which we summarized in this Alert.) The deadline for complying with the amended COPPA Rule is July 1, 2013....more

Privacy Regulators Take to the Web in Search of Deficient Privacy Policies

Regulators have historically taken a reactive approach to privacy and information security issues related to websites and mobile apps, often waiting to take action until a potential violation has been brought to their...more

FTC Serves Notice on App Developers About Children’s Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission has made it quite clear that it is serious about advising mobile app developers that the rules of the road will be changing very soon. Since 2011, the Commission has been working to update the...more

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