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Category Archives: FTC

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FTC Warns Advertisers to Check the Fine Print in “Operation Full Disclosure”; Shot Across the Bow Could Signal Law Enforcement Actions to Come

Posted in FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced this week that it sent warning letters to more than 60 national advertisers regarding the inadequacy of disclosures in their television and print ads. The letters are part of an initiative named “Operation Full Disclosure,” which the FTC implemented to review fine print disclosures and other disclosures that it… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The July Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Terms of Use, UK High Court

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. Welcome to a special privacy issue of Socially Aware, focusing on recent privacy law developments relating to social media and the Internet. In this issue, we analyze a controversial European ruling that strengthens the right to be forgotten; we examine a recent California… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The May Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Litigation, Privacy, SEC, Supreme Court, Terms of Use

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we analyze a groundbreaking FTC complaint alleging deceptive practices online that could turn website Terms of Use into federal law; we summarize a U.S. Supreme… Continue Reading

Snap Judgment: FTC Alleges Snapchat Did Not Keep Its Privacy and Security Promises, But Suggests Broad New Duty in the Process

Posted in FTC, Privacy

Snapchat’s recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) generally provides a comprehensive but not groundbreaking roadmap to the FTC’s privacy and data security expectations in the mobile environment under Section 5 of the FTC Act, with two very notable exceptions: It now appears that companies are required to follow researchers’ blogs and other writings… Continue Reading

Jerked Around? Did the FTC’s “Jerk.com” Complaint Just Turn API Terms Into Federal Law?

Posted in FTC, Litigation, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) announcement that it had filed a complaint against Jerk, LLC and its websites like “jerk.com” (“Jerk”) looks at first glance like a run-of-the-mill FTC Section 5 enforcement action involving allegedly deceptive practices online. But hidden in the facts of Jerk’s alleged misbehavior is a potentially significant expansion of the FTC’s use… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 2: The Old Problem Squared

Posted in Ethics, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Privacy

Cisco estimates that 25 billion devices will be connected in the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020. Analyst firm IDC makes an even bolder prediction: 212 billion connected devices by 2020. This massive increase in connectedness will drive a wave of innovation and could generate up to $19 trillion in… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 1: Brave New World

Posted in FTC, Internet of Things, Privacy

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of everyday physical objects that surround us and are increasingly being embedded with technology to enable those objects to collect and transmit data about their use and surroundings. TVs connected to the Internet and refrigerators connected to online delivery services are just the start of it. In… Continue Reading

A Smart Wallet

Posted in Financial Institutions, FTC, Privacy

Another great post from our sister blog, MoFo Tech: The potential for mobile payments is huge. So are the potential legal and regulatory hurdles. Banks, retailers, and pundits are paying a lot of attention to mobile payments, which typically involve the use of smartphones and tablets to pay for purchases.  But a lack of mobile infrastructure… Continue Reading

New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter Available

Posted in Employment Law, Financial Institutions, First Amendment, FTC, Privacy

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we summarize the FFIEC’s recently-issued final guidance on social media use by financial institutions; we report on a new NLRB decision holding that particularly egregious… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press – New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter

Posted in FTC, Litigation, Online Promotions, Privacy, Wearable Computers

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue, we explore legal concerns raised by Google Glass; we provide an overview of the growing body of case law addressing ownership of business-related social media accounts; we take a look at two circuit court decisions addressing the interplay between social media… Continue Reading

FTC Expands Reach on Conspicuousness of Privacy Disclosures in Settlement with Android Flashlight App

Posted in FTC, Privacy

An FTC settlement with a mobile app over its privacy disclosures alleged to be deceptive may seem to be run-of-the-mill.  After all, the FTC has been settling cases for years with companies whose data collection and use practices are allegedly not consistent with the representations those companies make in their privacy policies. But the FTC’s… Continue Reading

Mobile Apps: No Surprises, Please

Posted in FTC, Privacy

From our sister blog, MoFo Tech: Widely applicable rules regarding consumer privacy disclosures in our increasingly mobile world are only now emerging. Government agencies, individual states, and professional associations are all weighing in on how mobile app developers should disclose how they collect, store, use, and protect the wide range of highly personal data being… Continue Reading

Collaborative Consumption – Is It Good to Share?

Posted in Employment Law, FTC, Privacy

Peer-to-peer (“P2P”) business models based on the Internet and technology platforms have become increasingly innovative.  As such models have proliferated, they frequently result in clashes with regulators or established market competitors using existing laws as a defensive tactic.  The legal battles that result illustrate the need for proactive planning and consideration of the likely legal… Continue Reading

Mobile Apps Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives

Posted in FTC, Privacy

Article courtesy of Morrison & Foerster’s Mobile Payments Practice Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., continue to show interest in understanding and developing regulatory proposals relating to mobile apps. The interest appears to be driven, at least in part, by policymakers’ concerns about consumer privacy when using mobile phones and other smart hand-held devices. The issue of… Continue Reading

European Privacy Regulator Issues Important Opinion on the Use of Apps

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On February 27, 2013, the European Article 29 Working Party (a group comprising representatives from all of the data protection authorities of the EU Member States, referred to in this articles as “WP29”) issued an Opinion on the privacy and data protection implications of the use of apps on mobile devices (“the Opinion”). The Opinion… Continue Reading

FTC Updates Its “Dot Com Disclosures” With a Focus on Social Media Advertising

Posted in FTC

On March 12, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an important update to its “Dot Com Disclosures” guide to advertisers on making effective online disclosures. In doing so, the FTC has driven home the points that: The consumer protection laws apply to all advertisers, regardless of the medium used—and including social media, even where there… Continue Reading

FTC Announces Important Settlement With Social Networking App and Releases New Mobile App Report

Posted in FTC, Litigation, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a potentially groundbreaking settlement with the social networking app Path and released an important new staff report on Mobile Privacy Disclosures late last week. The FTC’s Settlement with Path suggests a new standard may be on the near-term horizon: out-of-policy, just-in-time notice and express consent for the collection of… Continue Reading

New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter Now Available

Posted in Employment Law, FCC, FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Section 230 Safe Harbor, Statistics, Terms of Use, Trademark

In the latest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we look at recent First Amendment, intellectual property, labor and privacy law developments affecting corporate users of social media and the Internet. We also recap major events from 2012 that have had a substantial impact on… Continue Reading

FTC Issues Substantially Revised COPPA Rule, Effective July 1, 2013: Review of Changes and Compliance Tips

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On December 19, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) announced long-awaited amendments to its rule implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“Rule”). The changes—which take effect on July 1, 2013—are significant. They alter the scope and obligations of the Rule in a number of ways. We discuss the revisions in greater detail below. The… Continue Reading

FTC Snuffs Out Online “History Sniffing”

Posted in FTC, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cracked down on a company that was engaged in “history sniffing,” a means of online tracking that digs up information embedded in web browsers to reveal the websites that users have visited. In a proposed settlement with Epic Marketplace, Inc. and Epic Media Group (together, “EMG”) announced on December… Continue Reading

California A.G. Makes Good on Promise to Pursue Apps That Don’t Comply With the State’s Privacy Policy Law

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On October 30, 2012, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that her office would begin notifying the developers of as many as 100 mobile apps that their apps do not comply with the state’s Online Privacy Protection Act (OPPA) and that they have 30 days to bring them into compliance. The announcement does not come… Continue Reading

FTC Issues Guidance for Mobile App Privacy and Advertising; Signals More Enforcement Coming

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On September 5, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a brief guide to assist developers of mobile applications, both large and small, in complying with truth-in-advertising, privacy, and data security principles. In publishing this advice, the FTC makes clear that its Section 5 enforcement powers against unfair or deceptive acts or practices apply in… Continue Reading

The FTC’s Spokeo Settlement Highlights Social Media-Related Legal Risks

Posted in FTC, Litigation

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reached an $800,000 settlement with the data broker Spokeo, Inc. (“Spokeo”).  The FTC’s complaint alleged violations not normally seen together:  First, that Spokeo distributed personal information for background checks by employers in ways that failed to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and, second, that Spokeo’s employees… Continue Reading