Officials from both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and European Union (EU) recently called for enhancements to the Obama administration’s proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

The White House’s proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights seeks to provide “a baseline of clear protections for consumers and greater certainty for companies.”  The guiding principles of

On December 31, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it approved a final order settling charges against Snapchat.

In its complaint, the FTC charged Snapchat with deceiving consumers over the amount of personal data that it collected and the security measures in place to protect the data from disclosure and misuse.

The settlement order

More often than not companies are realizing that they have a consumer provide her information after she has previously opted-out of marketing. For example, a company collects contact information online, sends a consumer email marketing its services, and she opts-out of further email marketing by following the “opt-out” procedures in that email. Six months later the same consumer participates in a survey sponsored by the same company, the terms of which state that by participating in the survey the consumer consents to receive further marketing communications from the company. Is the company bound by the prior opt-out by the consumer, or does her participation in the survey under the rules permitting marketing override the original opt-out?
Continue Reading When a Consumer Gives Personal Information After Opting-Out

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it settled charges against a health billing company and its former CEO that they misled consumers who had signed up for their online billing portal by failing to inform them that the company would seek detailed medical information from pharmacies, medical labs and insurance companies.

The Atlanta-based medical

This week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined TRUSTe, a company that endorses the data privacy practices of businesses, for misrepresenting its certification programs to consumers. TRUSTe offers Certified Privacy Seals, representing TRUSTe’s guarantee that e-commerce websites, mobile apps, cloud-based services, and child-centric websites are compliant with applicable regulatory mandates and employ best practices in

On January 21, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California announced a significant ruling for plaintiffs in data breach cases (Case No. 3:11-02258).  Although the Court dismissed 43 of the Plaintiffs’ 51 claims, the Court allowed certain claims based upon state consumer protection statutes to proceed.  Unlike the rulings in

On Friday, September 27, 2013, Governor Brown signed California Assembly Bill 370 (AB 370), an amendment aimed at strengthening the state’s Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA), into law. AB 370 requires websites and online services that collect personally identifiable information to disclose how they respond to users’ “do not track” requests. We recommend that our

The FTCannounced yesterday a settlement with Epic Marketplace, an online advertising network, which prohibits Epic from further collection of data obtained by “browser sniffing” the surfing history of Internet users and requires Epic to destroy all previously collected data. The FTC did NOT ban “browser sniffing.”
Continue Reading FTC “History Sniffing” Settlement Meaningless or the Start of Something Bigger

 With the ever-growing popularity of social networking sites, and with so many employees exercising poor judgment online, it’s easy to understand why employers are concerned about the messages and images that that their employees are disseminating on these websites.

For employers, the costs are real: Poor choices by their employees can bring with it

We just wrote about the recent privacy SNAFU by Facebook and other mega-social media site that was reported on by the Wall Street Journal. If you want to hear some really smart people, plus me, talk about the issue, you should check out this brief podcast.
Continue Reading Don’t Want to Read About the Latest Facebook Privacy Problem? Then Listen to It