Data Collection Mobile Apps

News & Analysis as of

Self-Regulatory Actions Signal Warning for Mobile Apps that Allow Third Parties to Collect Information for Interest-Based...

Recent actions against two prominent mobile app developers serve as a warning for companies that authorize third parties to collect and use information over time for advertising in mobile apps (known as interest-based...more

Privacy Tip #44 – The flashlight app’s collection of your data

When you start needing longer arms to read restaurant menus in the candlelight, you might consider downloading a flashlight app to use with your reading glasses. But before you download it, first be aware that your...more

Learning from Venmo’s Compliance Issues: How to Avoid Inadequate Privacy Disclosures

PayPal, the company responsible for the popular mobile payments app, Venmo, recently agreed to voluntarily bolster its privacy and security disclosures—and pay a $175,000 penalty—in response to an enforcement action brought...more

Pokémon Go: Catching More Than Just Users

Since its release on July 6, 2016, Pokémon Go has unofficially become the most successful mobile app to date. Generating over 2 million dollars in revenue per day, it already has more daily users than Twitter, and the...more

Privacy Tip #43 – Pokémon players: Beware

Pokémon GO has been downloaded 7.5 million times in the U.S. alone. It has been reported that it has surpassed Twitter. If you are enjoying the game, you should know how it is collecting and using your information....more

Does Your Organization Collect Geo-Location Information?

Smartphones, smartphone apps, websites, and other connected devices (e.g., “wearables”) increasingly request that consumers provide their geo-location information. Geo-location information can refer to general information...more

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

Connecticut governor signs student privacy act into law

On June 9, 2016, Governor Dannel Malloy, who continues to show his commitment to data privacy, signed An Act Concerning Student Data Privacy into law, effective October 1, 2016. The law requires any local or regional...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

First Circuit Decision Creates Ambiguity in Consumer VPPA Class Actions

The vast majority of courts confronted with “free app” cases under the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) have dismissed those claims.  A recent First Circuit decision, however, signals a change in that trend.  ...more

Mobile apps under close watch of the Kong Kong Privacy Commissioner

The Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner has taken a keen interest in promoting and ensuring the privacy compliance and security of mobile apps. On 21 April 2016, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (the PCPD)...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

DAA Issues Inaugural Enforcement Action for Compliance with Mobile App Guidelines

In a prior post we noted the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) intention, late last year, to begin enforcement of the Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment (Mobile App Guidelines), which apply...more

Consumer VPPA Class Action Against CNN Dismissed

The Northern District of Georgia recently granted CNN’s motion to dismiss a consumer class action that alleged CNN committed a violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”), 18 U.S.C. § 2710. Perry v. Cable News...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

First Circuit Opens New World of Potential Liability for Video Producers

You may be too young for this to have been a big thing to you, but almost 30 years ago, D.C. Circuit Judge Robert Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court, and Washington, D.C. went into a tizzy. Coming as it did just a year...more

The Top Three Privacy Takeaways of the New Delaware Online Privacy and Protection Act

Delaware’s New Privacy Policy Requirements - Effective January 1, 2016, Delaware became the second state in the U.S., joining California, to require operators of commercial websites that collect personally...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

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

Will free apps soon be dead in Europe?

As we’ve discussed previously, the GDPR significantly limits user consent as a basis for processing personal data. One interesting question is whether the new rules on consent will kill free apps in Europe. Free apps...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

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