News & Analysis as of

Big Data Series: Part 1: Privacy - “Big Data is not a game played by different rules”

Big data is now big business. In recent years, due to the exponential growth in the capability of technology to undertake data analytics on a massive scale, organisations have started to appreciate the potential hidden value...more

Publix to Pay $6.8 Million Settlement over Noncompliant Background Check Forms

If your company’s background check disclosure form includes a release of liability, take it out. Less than a year after a federal district court in Pennsylvania ruled that Closetmaid violated the Fair Credit Reporting...more

Advertising Law - October 2014 #3

Permanent Ban From Prize Promotion Business After Sweepstakes Scam - A sweepstakes operator agreed to a permanent ban from the prize promotion business pursuant to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission after...more

Using Information from Data Brokers? Beware the FCRA and the FTC …

As sellers and Internet service providers gather increasing amounts of consumer information, the data broker industry has expanded. Identifying themselves as "market research" firms, data brokers buy, analyze, sort,...more

Background Checks: Back to Basics

Recently two federal agencies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), issued joint guidance on job applicant and employee background checks and "What Employers Need to Know."...more

Advertising Law - June 2014

Auto Lender Pays $5.5M Over FDCPA, FCRA, and FTC Act Charges - More than $5.5 million was required to settle the Federal Trade Commission’s charges against Consumer Portfolio Services, a California-based auto lender...more

FTC Report Seeks Congressional Review of Data Broker Industry

As the advent of “big data” increasingly takes center stage in the data and privacy sphere, data brokers—companies that compile and resell or share consumers’ personal data—have come under increased scrutiny. On May 27, 2014,...more

FTC Announces Consent Order with Subprime Auto Lender for Alleged Violations of FDCPA, FCRA

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a consent order with a subprime auto lender for alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and the Fair...more

FTC Calls for Action on Big Data

Following an 18-month investigation into the practices and operations of data brokers, the Federal Trade Commission has issued a voluminous report calling for legislation to regulate the industry in the interests of consumer...more

Employment Background Checks: Tips Employers Should Know to Comply With Federal Laws

Many employers rely on background checks to screen job applicants and employees when making important personnel decisions, including hiring, retention, and promotion. In March, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

The Evolution of FTC Privacy Enforcement

The FTC has recently undertaken further reviews of specific security practices past its historical boundaries - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has asserted its enforcement authority as “the chief federal agency on...more

FTC Announces Settlements with Data Brokers over Alleged FCRA Violations

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced two more settlements with data brokers for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The settlements with Instant Checkmate, Inc., InfoTrack Information...more

Using Background Checks to Check Into Your Employees' History? The EEOC and FTC May Soon Be Checking Into You Too

If you're an employer that runs background checks on employees or applicants, you need to be aware of some recent government activity about the practice. Two federal agencies — the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

The FTC Takes a Closer Look at Alternative Scoring Products

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted a panel discussion, in late March on “Alternative Scoring Products” as part its 2014 Spring Privacy Series, signaling the Commission’s increased attention on this burgeoning...more

What’s New with the EEOC?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued two new Guidance documents in March. Use of Background Checks - The EEOC and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which enforces the Fair Credit...more

Did You Know...Background Checks – Buyer [Employer] Beware!

As we recently reported at our annual employment law seminar and underscored in “Did You Know…New Informal Guidance From EEOC & FTC Re Background Checks,” background checks are not only the focus of the EEOC and FTC, but also...more

FTC and EEOC Issue Joint Guidance on Employer Use of Background Checks

A new joint publication of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) serves as a reminder to employers of the risks that come with the use of background information when making...more

Background Check Guidance from the FTC and EEOC

On March 10, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") jointly issued two short guides on the use of background checks in hiring and personnel decisions. Generally...more

Background Check Forms Face Increased Scrutiny in Federal Court

Businesses should check their background check consent forms and their pre-adverse action waiting periods, after a recent federal court decision out of Pennsylvania. ...more

FTC Continues Aggressive FCRA Enforcement against Data Brokers

The Federal Trade Commission continues to aggressively enforce the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) against data brokers, as shown by its recent settlement with TeleCheck Services, Inc. The settlement requires TeleCheck to...more

FTC Settles with National Consumer Reporting Agency for Alleged Violations of FCRA

The FTC reached a settlement with a national consumer reporting agency and its debt collection affiliate for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Section 5 of the FTC Act. FCRA imposes obligations on consumer...more

Careful! Your Company May Be a Defacto Data Broker: Are Privacy Regulators Going for Broke(rs) as part of the 2014 Legislative and...

Concerns about privacy practices in the data broker industry, and the privacy implications about the lack of transparency “behind-the-scenes,” will remain a topic of intense regulatory and legislative focus in 2014. The...more

FTC Settles First FCRA Risk-Based Pricing Notice Enforcement Action

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced the settlement of its first enforcement action for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) risk-based pricing rule (Rule). The settlement demonstrates that...more

Litigating in the Gap Between Theory and Reality - Reseller Liability Under Section 1681e(b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

One of the most significant sources of litigation risks for niche businesses occurs when the statutory laws governing their conduct fail to reflect the real-world context of the industries in which they operate. Because even...more

CFPB, FTC Join In FCRA Amicus Brief

On October 4, the CFPB and the FTC filed an amicus brief in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) case pending in the Ninth Circuit. The brief argues that the seven-year period during which a criminal arrest can be reported...more

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