by BakerHostetler

In This Issue:

  • “Save the Babies!” Cries International Computer Science
  • Hat Company, FTC Settle “Made in USA” Suit
  • FTC Takes a Bite out of Tooth Scammers
  • YouTube Celeb Accuses Former Collaborator of Abuse
“Save the Babies!” Cries International Computer Science Institute

New study claims to reveal rampant COPPA failures in free kids’ apps

Children and Apps

In a recently published paper − humorously titled “‘Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?’ Examining COPPA Compliance at Scale” − the International Computer Science Institute analyzes the behavior of more than 5,800 Android apps that are offered free to children. The paper purports to measure how well this group of applications complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The findings, if correct, should give every app developer pause − even if they’ve engaged protective measures.


The paper discusses a new method for analyzing these mobile applications. Previously, analysts who attempted to delve into the behaviors of apps would examine the underlying code and attempt to predict the application’s potential future behaviors. In this study, the authors claim to rely on a different, more dynamic method that tracks app behavior in a simulated user environment.

From late 2016 until 2018, their testing platform “scraped” free apps from the Google Play Store and focused on the most popular available apps in the Store. They then winnowed this group down to apps that were enrolled in Google’s “Designed for Families” (DFF) program − a voluntary initiative that identifies apps that target an under-13 audience and attests to the COPPA compliance of those apps.


In the paper, the authors claimed that most of the apps in the DFF program potentially violate COPPA. The study attributes this to third-party software development kits (SDKs) that companies use to put their apps together. The authors claim that COPPA-compliant options in these SDKs are available, but are simply not used, or in some cases are not properly distributed during development.

The authors also claim that nearly 20 percent of the tested apps gather personal information through the use of SDKs that are identified as being inappropriate for children’s applications.

Interestingly, 28 percent of the apps enrolled in the DFF program, according to the authors, access sensitive data normally protected by Android permissions. Moreover, 73 percent of the apps transmitted sensitive data over the internet. In both groups, parental permission was not requested or given.

The Takeaway

This study also sheds light on compliance issues for some “Safe Harbor” programs, which are agreements in which companies submit apps to industry organizations for review and certification. Companies working within Safe Harbor programs are partially shielded from direct FTC enforcement actions based on their implementation of self-regulatory guidelines.

According to the study, the current roster of apps approved for Safe Harbor programs do not fare well. The paper stated that 41.7 percent of the apps in one Safe Harbor group transmitted location and contact information, such as phone numbers and email addresses, and nearly 46 percent of the first Safe Harbor group did not use encryption to protect the data. In another Safe Harbor group, 77.2 percent of apps transmitted persistent identifiers, which are unique tags identifying users across different websites and services.

The authors end their study by explaining the importance of their new test platform to end users who want to learn more about the apps their kids use and how developers could benefit from testing their apps before release.

Companies and developers creating apps under COPPA’s purview should review the Safe Harbor program requirements as well as COPPA requirements when developing an app. Regulators will continue to analyze apps’ functionalities with respect to children under the age of 13 and will undoubtedly hold companies with violations accountable.

Hat Company, FTC Settle "Made in USA" Suit

“America’s Oldest Hat Maker” doffs patriotic tag lines

The Spat Re: The Hat

In late January 2018, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the Bollman Hat Co. In the complaint, the FTC took aim at the United States-based company and claimed that, despite its frequent use of patriotic ad slogans and made-in-the-USA claims, the company was selling hats that were manufactured outside the United States.

The FTC also took notice of a seal developed by the company that included the statement “American Made Matters,” which the company licensed for other companies wishing to make “Made in USA” claims for their products. The problem, the FTC maintained, was that requirements to license the seal were too easy to make the claim meaningful. Aside from a nominal fee, any company that “had a United States-based manufacturing factory, or at least one product with a U.S.-origin label” could use the seal.

The Takeaway

In April 2018, Bollman reached a settlement with the FTC. First, the “American Made Matters” certification − or any similar certification the company wanted to create − would have to undergo “an independent and objective evaluation, audit, or verification check” to ensure that it met the standards set up by Bollman. Failing that, the company would have to note in promotional materials that the labeled products might be self-certified.

The settlement stated that the Bollman Hat Co. is prohibited from misrepresenting U.S.-origin claims and prohibited from misrepresenting certifications. It is another example of the FTC taking action against companies who purport to manufacture products in the USA to pander to individuals who favor domestic-based manufacturing companies. This settlement is also a reminder to companies that claims made on products and licensed to other companies must be substantiated and not misleading in order to protect consumers and prevent FTC enforcement actions.

FTC Takes a Bite out of Tooth Scammers

Commish: Online marketing operation was shining bottom line with negative option agreements

False Teeth

Back in July 2017, the Federal Trade Commission launched a suit in the United States District Court of Nevada against three individuals who operated a massive network of more than 75 companies, which, in turn, boasted more than 80 websites and numerous bank accounts. The defendant list alone takes up more than eight pages of the complaint.

The entire business scheme, the FTC maintains, centered on the sale of personal care products, including tooth-whitening “systems.” The products were allegedly pushed through a draconian negative-option scheme, starting at a low “trial” price of around $1 and ballooning up to as much as $200 if cancellations did not take place within a few days.

According to the FTC, the group misled consumers with the aforementioned array of websites, which received streams of traffic from affiliate networks piggybacking on blog posts and surveys. In some cases, the affiliates would create applications that purported to be “customer satisfaction surveys” for well-known vendors. The potential consumer target was offered the discounted first offer for the whitening product, which would lead the consumer into the negative option scheme.

The Takeaway

The defendants were charged with misrepresenting the price of trial offers, violations of the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) and illegal negative option marketing.

On April 16, 2018, the individual defendants − company officer Danielle Foss, officer Jennifer Johnson and company owner Blair McNea − settled the charges with the FTC. McNea’s settlement encompassed his charges with the charges of the corporate entities under his control. The individual defendants have been ordered to cease negative-option sales or assisting others in such endeavors. As part of the settlement, the defendants agreed to a fine upwards of $92 million − roughly the amount lost by consumers.

This FTC action and subsequent settlement is another example of the FTC’s attention to ROSCA and potentially misleading negative option cases. Companies seeking to use negative option marketing should always follow the FTC’s guidance by conspicuously disclosing all material terms of the transaction before collecting the consumer’s billing information, obtaining the consumer’s express informed consent to be charged, and providing a simple mechanism to stop recurring charges.

You Tube Celeb Accuses Former Collaborator of Abuse, Theft of Persona

Musician Mars Argo claims that ex-beau Titanic Sinclair is trying to build

Peas in a Pod

Argo (real name Brittany Alexandria Sheets) and her beau Titanic Sinclair (real name Corey Mixter) met in Michigan in 2008. From an initial romance, they became creative collaborators, eventually moving to Los Angeles and starting up their own YouTube channel to spotlight their music and video projects.

Between 2009 and 2014, Sinclair and Argo posted 90 videos to their YouTube channel. Today, the content on the channel has been winnowed down to just three videos. The clips feature an odd, deadpan delivery, hipstery couture, ominous atmospheric backing tracks and surreal jumps in topic and tone. Here’s an exchange from one of the remaining videos, “Delete Your Facebook:”

ARGO: “Ambien’s a sleeping pill.”

SINCLAIR: “Tune in next week when we re-enact the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.”

ARGO: “Why aren’t we doing that right now?”.

Poppy − Copy?

By Argo’s account, she began building a music career off the popularity of the video series, becoming a recording artist and touring the nation. However, Argo alleges that her relationship with Sinclair had deteriorated by 2014, and the couple split. At that point, she claims, Sinclair began to “harass, stalk, threaten, and abuse” her, leading up to full-on physical assault. She eventually stopped posting content as Mars Argo and left Los Angeles altogether.

The complaint alleged that in 2014, Sinclair began grooming another woman, Moriah Rose Pereira, known as “ThatPoppy” or “Poppy,” as a double of Ms. Argo’s persona through a new eponymous YouTube channel. She claims that Poppy’s presence was a deliberate attempt to copy Argo’s “identity, likeness, expression of ideas, sound, style, and aesthetic.” Points of similarity included Poppy’s platinum blonde hair, clothing, distinctive speaking voice, odd poses, shooting backgrounds and formats, and even specific topics and concepts (the Poppy channel also features a video called “Delete Your Facebook,” for example).

The Takeaway

Argo filed suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California in April 2018, seeking damages for copyright infringement, violations of right to publicity, violation of the California Business and Professions Code, and domestic violence.

The questions raised by Argo’s lawsuit are fascinating: How much of Argo’s identity was the product of collaboration with Sinclair? How does collaboration affect the right of publicity? Are the similarities between the two separate personas enough to outweigh the differences, and why? How closely related are claims of domestic abuse and violations of right of publicity when the victim is an artist? Can mimicry be a form of abuse?

This decision will be important in determining how courts are interpreting the right of publicity in the age of social media and sharing of digital content on a worldwide platform. Furthermore, the court’s decision regarding potential copyright infringement claims will be important for individuals seeking to parody and satire other original works.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© BakerHostetler | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


BakerHostetler on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at:

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.