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Category Archives: Federal Trade Commission

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Wyndham Hits a Wall in Challenge to FTC Data Breach Authority

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
Earlier this week, a federal district court in New Jersey issued an opinion ruling on Wyndham Worldwide Corporation’s and three of its subsidiaries’ (collectively “Wyndham’s”) motion to dismiss, finding for the FTC on all grounds.  While the court noted that the “decision does not give the FTC a blank check to sustain a lawsuit against every … Continue Reading

Senate Overwhelmingly Confirms Terrell McSweeny to FTC

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission
On Wednesday, the Senate, in a 95-1 vote (with Senator David Vitter (R-LA) abstaining), confirmed Terrell McSweeny as FTC Commissioner. Commissioner McSweeny testified before the Senate Commerce Committee in September 2013, but the Committee did not vote to present her nomination to the full Senate until November, due in part to the government shutdown. She … Continue Reading

FTC Charges with “Jerk-Like” Practices

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it is charging the operators of the so-called social-networking personal reputation site “” for engaging in deceptive representations in violation of the FTC Act. According to the FTC’s administrative complaint, and its owner, Napster cofounder John Fanning, misled consumers into believing that profiles, labeling people … Continue Reading

Mobile Enforcement Continues to be APPealing to the FTC

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
On March 28, 2014, the FTC announced two new mobile app settlements – with Fandango and Credit Karma – based on allegations that the companies failed to secure the transmission of consumers’ sensitive personal information collected via their mobile apps and misrepresented the security precautions that the companies took for each app. Specifically, the FTC … Continue Reading

FTC Highlights Alternative Scoring Products in Privacy Seminar

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted a panel discussion on Alternative Scoring Products examining the scope and effects of predictive scores. The discussion highlighted growing concerns over the use and accuracy of predictive analytics to determine consumers’ access to products and offers. In the context of alternative scores, predictive analytics involve techniques to … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Changes to Textile Labeling Rules

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission
The FTC recently announced updates to the Textile Labeling Rules, several of which are designed to harmonize the textile labeling requirements with related provisions, including U.S. Customs standards for country of origin. The Commission adopted the following changes from the proposed rule: incorporate the updated International Organization for Standardization standard – ISO 2076:2010(E), ‘‘Textiles—Man-made fibres—Generic … Continue Reading

FTC Judgment Adds to Growing Number of Medical Food Regulatory Actions

Posted in Advertising, FDA, Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission announced recently that it obtained a $2.2 million judgment against Wellness Support Network, Inc., and its two principals.  The company claimed that its products, Diabetes Pack and Insulin Resistance Pack, could treat diabetes, insulin resistance, and various metabolic disorders.  The FTC alleged that although Wellness Support Network touted their products as … Continue Reading

FTC Holds Seminar on Mobile Device Tracking

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Promotions Marketing
On February 19, 2014, the FTC hosted a public seminar on mobile device tracking, the first event in the FTC’s Spring Privacy Series on emerging consumer privacy issues.  The seminar included a tutorial on how retail tracking technology works, along with a panel featuring representatives from consumer groups, and the retail, marketing, and technology industries, … Continue Reading

Kelley Drye to Host Discussion With Key Leaders on Advertising and Marketing Products for Children

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety, Federal Trade Commission, Kelley Drye, Privacy and Information Security
On March 13, 2014, the DC office of Kelley Drye will host a policy discussion on the special considerations in legislative, regulatory, and enforcement initiatives designed to protect children. The discussion will focus on the established and emerging issues in product safety and advertising and marketing products for children. Kelley Drye is delighted to have … Continue Reading

Plastic Lumber Company Nailed Over “Green” Claims

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Green Marketing
The FTC announced last week that it had reached a settlement with N.E.W. Plastics Corp., d/b/a Renew Plastics, over allegedly improper recyclability and recycled content claims.  The company manufactures plastic lumber products – including its Evolve and Trimax brands – used primarily in outdoor decking and furniture.  According to the FTC’s complaint, the company claimed … Continue Reading

FTC Approves kidSAFE as Safe Harbor Program Under COPPA

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission approved the kidSAFE Seal Program as a safe harbor program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and FTC’s COPPA Rule.  The FTC’s revised COPPA Rule (effective July 2013) restricts the ways that child-directed sites and their third-party affiliates can collect and use personal information from children under … Continue Reading

FTC Continues Safe Harbor Privacy Enforcement

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
The FTC announced this week that it has reached a settlement with, which operates a multiplayer online role-playing game directed at children ages 6 to 16 years old.  The FTC alleges that from June 2012 through January 2014,’s representation on its online privacy policy that it was U.S.-EU Safe Harbor-compliant was false and … Continue Reading

Audio Conference Event: Tips for Reducing Class Action Litigation Risk following Regulatory Enforcement

Posted in Advertising, Advertising Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug, NAD
The number of consumer class actions filed following regulatory enforcement by the FTC, FDA, or NAD have skyrocketed in recent years.  Consumer products companies – particularly food, dietary supplement, and cosmetic manufacturers – now must consider not just how to respond to a federal or state regulator who is seeking information about their marketing campaign, … Continue Reading

Members of Congress Target Outlet Mall Pricing

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission
Last Thursday, four members of Congress sent a letter to the FTC Chairwoman expressing concerns that consumers are being deceived by pricing at outlet stores and asking the FTC to investigate potential violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the FTC’s Guides Against Deceptive Pricing. They noted that, unlike the historical practice of using outlets to … Continue Reading

New FTC Settlement and Cal. AG Lawsuit Reflect Continued Focus on Consumer Data Protection

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
Two new actions announced in the past week indicate that federal and state regulators will continue to aggressively enforce data security and consumer protection laws in the wake of recent high profile consumer data breaches. Today, the FTC announced a settlement with GMR Transcription Services, Inc. (“GMR”), a provider of medical transcription services, along with two … Continue Reading

FTC Targets Multiple Industries in International Safe Harbor Enforcement Actions

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
The FTC recently announced settlements with twelve U.S. companies regarding alleged false claims of compliance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor and the Swiss Safe Harbor (collectively the “Safe Harbors”).  The Safe Harbors are agreements that allow certified organizations to transfer personal data between the EU or Switzerland and the U.S. in compliance with European data … Continue Reading

FTC Cries Foul Over Green Diaper Claims

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Green Marketing
The FTC recently announced that it had reached a settlement with Down to Earth Designs, d/b/a gDiapers, regarding composition, biodegradability, compostability, and disposability claims featured on the company’s infant diaper products.   gDiapers markets and sells baby wipes (gWipes), disposable diaper liners (gRefills), and reusable diaper shells (gPants). According to the FTC’s complaint, the company advertised … Continue Reading

Apple to Pay at Least $32.5 Million in Refunds for Unauthorized In-App Purchases

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
Today, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) announced a settlement with technology giant Apple Inc., which will require the company to pay at least $32.5 million in refunds to consumers that the Commission alleges were billed for unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children playing popular mobile games. The Commission approved the proposed consent order … Continue Reading

Patent Troll Sues FTC for Accusing it of Being a Patent Troll?

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Intellectual Property
Yesterday, a suspected “patent troll” filed suit in Texas federal court against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that the FTC unlawfully interfered with its constitutional right to identify and seek redress for patent infringement. Just last month, the FTC sent MPHJ Technology Investments LLC (MPHJ) a draft complaint accusing the company of engaging in … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Settlement with Makers of “Genetically Customized” Dietary Supplements and Skin Serums

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
The FTC earlier this week announced settlements with two companies that sold “genetically customized” dietary supplements and skin serums through multilevel marketing.  According to the FTC, distributors sent potential customers free at-home genetic tests, and based on testing results, the companies recommended specific products from their offerings.  The companies’ marketing materials – according to the … Continue Reading

In Pricing Case, California Court Determines Meaning of “Free” Shipping

Posted in Advertising, Advertising Litigation, Federal Trade Commission
In the case described in the post yesterday, the plaintiff also argued that Overstock’s representations that shipping was “free” or “only $2.95” violated California’s False Advertising Law because the company factored the full cost of shipping into the underlying product price. The court ruled in Overstock’s favor, determining that the claim was “nonsensical,” and … Continue Reading

FTC Settles With Android Mobile App Developer Over Material Omission About Data Collection

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
Yesterday, the FTC announced yet another privacy law enforcement action in the mobile arena. An Android mobile application developer has agreed to settle the Commission’s claims alleging that the application, which allows a device to be used as a flashlight, deceived consumers about how their precise geolocation information would be collected and shared with third … Continue Reading

FTC Attempts to Sharpen the Blurred Lines of Native Ads at Workshop

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Social Media
Yesterday, the FTC held a workshop to discuss legal issues surrounding the blending of ads with other content in digital media — sometimes called “native advertising” or “sponsored content.” From a marketing perspective, one benefit of this strategy is that ads may look more like content and, therefore, attract more consumer attention. But many regulators … Continue Reading