Section 5

News & Analysis as of

FTC Workshop on New Drone Technologies Raises Familiar Privacy Issues

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent workshop on drones raised familiar issues related to the privacy implications of a new and evolving technology. While the many potential innovations and consumer benefits of drone...more

FTC Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals

On October 20, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division (together the Agencies) released Guidance for Human Resource Professionals on how antitrust laws applies to...more

Advertising Law - October 2016 #3

YouTube Adds Sponsored Content Notification Feature - To help influencers achieve compliance with the necessary disclosures about their relationships with advertisers, YouTube has unveiled a new tool to provide notice to...more

FTC Testifies Before Senate Commerce Committee About Data Security Approach

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the three active commissioners at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or the “Commission”) testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation regarding the...more

FTC: NIST Framework Not Automatic Compliance

In a recent blogpost the Federal Trade Commission made clear that a company does not necessarily meet its information obligations arising from Section 5 of the FTC Act through use of the National Institute of Standards and...more

Senate Commerce Committee Members Air Laundry List of Pressing Issues Including Privacy, Data Security, and FTC Enforcement

On September 27th, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a general oversight hearing of the FTC, which covered a multitude of major policy issues and included testimony from Chairwoman Edith...more

Second Circuit Denies Section 230 Immunity for Acts of Affiliate Marketers

The Second Circuit became the third federal appellate court ever to deny immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, which provides broad protection for content supplied to websites by their users....more

UPDATE: Got Data? Actual Harm Not Required for FTC Enforcement Action for Lax Security Measures

As anticipated, things are getting even more exciting with the case previously covered in Password Protected. Specifically, LabMD is appealing the landmark data security case between it and the Federal Trade Commission...more

Murky Media: How Companies and Celebrities May Fall Short of the FTC’s “Clear and Conspicuous” Standard

Social media has become a must-have medium for most companies and celebrities. The medium provides an easy, inexpensive and instantaneous connection to customers and fans. However, as social media marketing continues to...more

House of Representatives Passes Consumer Review Fairness Act and Better Online Ticket Sales Acts

The House of Representatives passed two bills last week relevant to the advertising industry: the Consumer Review Fairness Act and the Better On-line Ticket Sales Act (“BOTS Act”). The Consumer Review Fairness Act is...more

FTC Makes Clear that NIST Cyber Framework is Not a Cure-All

Last week, the FTC published a blog post titled The NIST Cybersecurity Framework and the FTC, in which the agency issued a nuanced answer to an oft-asked question: “If I comply with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, am I...more

Ninth Circuit Removes FTC From The Beat: Agency Lacks Authority To Police Common Carriers Engaged In Non-Common Carrier Activities

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) asserted broad regulatory authority over the Internet and broadband Internet service providers when it reclassified Internet access service as a “common carrier” service under...more

Ninth Circuit Strips FTC of ‘Activities-Based’ Jurisdiction over Common Carriers

The FTC has no jurisdiction over common carriers even when they engage in non-common carrier activity, according to a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opinion. In FTC v. AT&T Mobility, No. 15-16585 (9th...more

Of “Lunch Stands and Merry-Go-Rounds”: Ninth Circuit’s Rejection of FTC Authority Over “Throttling” Could Have Far Reaching...

On August 29th, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously held that the FTC has no power to challenge “throttling” of unlimited data plan customers by mobile broadband providers as an “unfair or deceptive act.” The panel found that...more

Fortiline LLC: Invitations to Collude in Dual Distribution Systems

Fortiline LLC distributes ductile iron pipe. It competes with the manufacturer which somewhat regularly undercuts its distributor in the market. Fortiline on several occasions asked the manufacturer not to do so. Fortiline...more

One Less Sheriff In Town: Ninth Circuit Rules that Communications Common Carriers are Exempt from FTC Enforcement

On August 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a major decision restructuring how common carriers are regulated at the federal level. The Ninth Circuit interpreted Section 5 of the FTC Act, which...more

Advertising Law - August 2016 #3

ANA, 4As Battle Over Transparency Guidance - Two industry groups are engaging in a public battle over transparency. The dispute began when a joint task force was formed between the American Association of...more

LabMD Seeks Stay of FTC’s Final Order Pending Appeal

Not surprisingly, on August 30, 2016, LabMD filed its Application for a Stay of the Final Order of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pending review of the order by the appellate court. But since the matter is still pending...more

Ninth Circuit Rules All Common Carriers Beyond Reach of FTC’s Consumer Protection Authority

In a decision that could significantly impact the scope of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on August 29, 2016,...more

FTC Complaint Counsels Caution When Settling Disputes With Competitors

The Federal Trade Commission recently sued 1-800 Contacts, Inc., the largest contact lens retailer in the United States, charging it with restraining competition in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act,...more

Ninth Circuit Decision in AT&T “Throttling” Case May Reset Boundaries Between FTC and FCC Jurisdiction

On Monday, August 29, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that may dramatically alter the boundaries between the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority...more

FTC Reverses Its ALJ and Finds LabMD Section 5 Violation

The Federal Trade Commission recently vacated the decision of its Chief Administrative Law Judge and on July 29, 2016 entered a final order against LabMD potentially expanding previous interpretations of what constitutes...more

FTC Overturns ALJ’s LabMD Decision and Reasserts its Role as a Data Security Enforcer

On July 29, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) reversed an FTC administrative law judge’s (“ALJ”) opinion which had ruled against the FTC, finding that the Commission had failed to show that LabMD’s...more

FTC Scrutinizes Dual Distributor Communications

A dual distribution relationship does not protect against Section 5 liability for an invitation to collude. For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged a company with violating Section 5 of the FTC...more

FTC Finds Laboratory Security Practices Caused Consumer Harm

On July 28, 2016, a panel (the “FTC Panel”) of three acting Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) commissioners issued an opinion that found that LabMD, Inc. (“LabMD”) failed to implement reasonable security measures to protect...more

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