Mobile Apps Federal Trade Commission

News & Analysis as of

Federal Court Finds Amazon Liable for Kids’ In-App Purchases

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Amazon is liable for permitting unauthorized in-app purchases incurred by children. Amazon is the last in a series of actions brought by the FTC against third-party platforms related to...more

Regulators Offer Guidance on Privacy and Security for Health App Developers

This month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued guidance on privacy and security best practices for health-related mobile apps, such as fitness apps connected with wearables, diet and weight loss apps, and health...more

A New Tool for Health App Developers to Navigate a Crowded Regulatory Field

As regulators seek to define their authority and the scope of their enforcement power, more health apps will continue to flood the marketplace and transform how patients are treated. As mobile health applications...more

Have a Health App? Consider these FTC Best Practices

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) partnered with HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), along with the Food and Drug Administration...more

FTC Releases Mobile Health Apps Interactive Tool

Consider this: A 42-year-old man arrives at the emergency room showing signs of a heart attack. The ER doctors, using the patient’s activity tracker—in this case, a Fitbit® —are able to pinpoint when the patient’s normal...more

Think Before You App: FTC Releases Compliance Tools for Health App Developers

The Federal Trade Commission furthered its outreach to the mobile app developer community last week by issuing new guidance for integrating privacy and security into mobile health apps, as well as an interactive online tool...more

“Multi-Agency Interactive Tool” Available for Developers of Health Apps

It seems as though 2016 may become the year that industry receives a plethora of helpful interactive portals from Federal Agencies. My colleague Matt Cohen recently reported on the existence of a new CPSC tool called The...more

FTC, ONC, OCR and FDA release online tool for mobile health app developers

While attending the International Association of Privacy Professionals annual global event, and listening to Chairwoman Edith Ramirez discuss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) concerns about consumer privacy, the FTC, the...more

New Interactive Tool Will Assist Health-Related App Developers

Health-related apps are growing quickly in number, raising many interconnected legal questions. In an effort to eliminate confusion, the federal government has stepped in to offer guidance. On April 6, 2016, while speaking at...more

Advertising Law - March 2016 #4

FCC Releases Privacy Regime for ISPs - Creating a storm of controversy, the Federal Communications Commission released information about its privacy proposal for Internet service providers. Pursuant to the plan,...more

The Federal Trade Commission Issues Warning Letters To App Developers

On March 17, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced it had issued warning letters to twelve application (“app”) developers who installed in their apps software created by the company SilverPush that is capable...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

Advertising Law - March 2016

Tech Company Settles With FTC Over Installation of Apps Without Permission - A technology company that allegedly replaced a Web browser game with a program that installed apps on mobile devices without permission has...more

Socially Aware: The Social Media Law Update Volume 7, Issue 2

Welcome to the newest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award winning guide to the law and business of social media. In this edition, we offer tips for a successful—and legal—advertising campaign; we examine a New York...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

FTC Announces COPPA Settlements Based on Persistent Identifiers

The COPPA Rule requires website and online service operators to give notice to parents and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting children’s “personal information” online. 16 CFR §§ 312.4, 312.5. The...more

Rep. Johnson Introduces Mobile App, Data Broker Privacy Bills

Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) introduced two bills on February 10 targeting digital information privacy. The first, the “Application Privacy, Protection, and Security Act of 2016” (H.R. 4517) (the “Apps Act”), would...more

FTC Continues To Crack Down On App Developers

On February 5, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it reached a settlement with the San Francisco company General Workings Inc., also doing business as Vulcun, and its founders. The FTC brought a...more

FTC settles case against Vulcun for installing apps on users’ phones without permission

On February 5, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it has agreed to settle its case against Vulcun alleging that it “unfairly replaced a popular web browser game with a program that installed applications...more

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hit with a hefty FTC fine

Two developers of mobile apps for children recently learned an expensive lesson about their legal responsibilities when it comes to protecting children’s privacy. Together, the companies will pay a total of $360,000 in...more

Serious Games Require Serious Attention to Marketing Statements

Lumos Labs recently paid $2 million to the FTC to settle claims that it deceived consumers about its brain training application’s ability to increase cognitive function. According to the FTC, the company alleged that its...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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