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Ad Law Access

Updates on consumer protection trends, issues, & developments

Category Archives: Mobile Marketing

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FTC Holds Privacy Seminar on Health Data, Emphasizes Transparency

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
Last week, the FTC held its third and final spring privacy seminar on the implications of consumer generated and controlled health data. The seminar featured presentations by Latanya Sweeney, the FTC’s Chief Technologist, and Jared Ho, an attorney in the FTC’s Mobile Technology Unit, and a panel discussion with representatives from the Department of Health … Continue Reading

Buffalo Bills to Pay $3 Million to Settle Text Message Suit

Posted in Mobile Marketing
When companies advertise text message programs, the Mobile Marketing Association requires them to disclose, among other things, the number of messages subscribers may receive. Although that may seem like a straightforward requirement, it has caused a lot of trouble for some companies. For example, we previously posted about a lawsuit in which a plaintiff argued … 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

Lawsuit Filed Against Google Over Kids’ In-App Purchases

Posted in Class Action Litigation, Mobile Marketing
A class action lawsuit was filed last week in California against Google Inc., alleging that many apps in Google’s app marketplace permit children to make virtual purchases within the game without a parents’ knowledge or consent. The complaint alleges that Google offers free and paid apps through its “Google Play” store, and that many are … 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

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

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

Express Written Consent Requirement for Telemarketing Calls and Texts to Take Effect October 16, 2013

Posted in Federal Communications Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security, Telemarketing and Call Center Operations
New rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") last year are about to take effect. These rules will make it more difficult for businesses to make telemarketing calls and texts to wireless customers and to certain residential customers by requiring express written consent (1) to make telemarketing calls using an autodialer or prerecorded message … Continue Reading

Delta Cleared for Takeoff: Wins Dismissal of California AG Mobile App Privacy Action

Posted in Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
In December 2012, the California Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines, Inc. (“Delta”) alleging that Delta violated California’s Online Privacy Protection Act by failing to post a privacy policy within its Fly Delta mobile app.  It was the first mobile app enforcement action brought by the California Attorney General and closely followed the … Continue Reading

Common Sense Rules in LA Lakers Text Message Suit

Posted in Mobile Marketing
Most marketers know they are legally required to get permission before sending text messages to consumers. Despite this, the number of lawsuits involving (allegedly) unsolicited text messages keeps growing, as does the cost of settling these suits. Although the first cases in this area involved practices that were clearly unlawful — such as sending text … Continue Reading

Handy Health Tracking Mobile App…Or Regulated Medical Device?

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
The use of mobile apps for health purposes has created new questions for users, developers, and regulators regarding the balance between convenience, expanded health care, and public safety. The line between apps that are useful tools for accessing health information and those that are considered medical devices can be unclear but is very important for … Continue Reading

FTC Updates .com Disclosures Guide to Address Mobile Viewing and Space-Constrained Ads

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Kelley Drye, Mobile Marketing
On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced final revisions to the guidance it gives to advertisers on how to keep endorsement, testimonial, and other digital ads in compliance with the FTC Act, ".com Disclosures, How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising." The Revised Guide expands on the initial version released in 2000 by providing … Continue Reading

NAI Releases 2012 Compliance Report for Online Behavioral Advertising

Posted in Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
On February 7, 2013, the Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”) released its 2012 Annual Compliance Report addressing member organizations’ adherence to the NAI Code. The NAI Code is one of the leading industry self-regulatory codes of conduct governing online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) for third party digital advertising companies (such as advertising networks). The 2012 Compliance Report … Continue Reading

FTC Continues to Scrutinize Children’s Mobile Apps and Concludes Privacy Disclosures Are Insufficient

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
On December 10, the FTC issued the staff report, “Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade.” The report describes the results of a recent survey by FTC staff that examined the privacy disclosures and practices associated with 400 mobile apps targeted to children. The report follows up on a similar FTC staff … Continue Reading

FCC Permits Confirmatory Opt-Out Texts Under TCPA

Posted in Mobile Marketing
When consumers sign up to receive text messages and later request to opt-out, companies typically send a final message to confirm they’ve honored the request. Although that confirmation is a good practice and required by the Mobile Marketing Association, several plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed lawsuits arguing that the confirmation messages violate the Telephone Consumer Protection … Continue Reading

Watch Kelley Drye’s “Smartphone Revolution” Webinar On Demand

Posted in Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Kelley Drye, Mobile Marketing, Promotions Marketing, Social Media
Mobile marketing, sweepstakes and services, including location-based services, are governed by an alphabet soup of statutes and regulations: TCPA, COPPA, CAN-SPAM, CPNI, etc. To complicate compliance even further, numerous class action lawsuits in state and federal courts have addressed issues and nuances that the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and state regulatory agencies or … Continue Reading

Papa John’s Sued for $250 Million in Text Message Class Action

Posted in Mobile Marketing
Plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against Papa John’s, arguing that a text message campaign conducted by the company’s franchises violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. According to the complaint, the franchisees sent text messages to customers without their consent, in violation of the TCPA. Under the law, a plaintiff can recover between $500 to … Continue Reading

Mobile App Developers Targeted By The California Attorney General’s Office

Posted in Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
Yesterday, the California Attorney General announced that it has started sending notices of non-compliance to numerous mobile app developers, notifying them that their mobile apps were not compliant with California’s Online Privacy Protection Act, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 22575-22579. The law requires operators of online sites and services that collect personal information about … Continue Reading

FTC Publishes Guide for Mobile App Developers

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
Yesterday, the FTC published a guide designed to help mobile app developers comply with advertising and privacy laws when marketing mobile apps. The guide doesn’t include new requirements — instead, it synthesizes many of the things the FTC has said about mobile apps in previous settlements, workshops, and policy documents. The guide focuses on two … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Suit Over Text Message Opt-Out Confirmations

Posted in Mobile Marketing
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of lawsuits involving text message campaigns. Although the first lawsuits typically involved unsolicited messages, now plaintiffs’ lawyers are also targeting legitimate campaigns. For example, as we posted last year, a consumer filed a lawsuit when a company sent him a message confirming … Continue Reading

Consumer Files Lawsuit Over Pittsburgh Penguins Text Message Campaign

Posted in Mobile Marketing
A consumer recently filed a class action lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Penguins alleging that the team’s text message campaign violates federal law. The consumer claims that when he signed up to receive text messages, the terms and conditions governing the promotion stated: “By subscribing, you consent to receiving, from time to time, further text messages … Continue Reading

Free Cup of coffee!* FTC Workshop on Advertising and Privacy Disclosures Explores Dot Com Updates

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security, Social Media
Last week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held an information gathering workshop titled “In Short: Advertising and Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World”. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the need for updated guidance for web and mobile advertisers regarding disclosures and privacy practices. FTC issued the current guidance, known as the “Dot … Continue Reading

Paul Ohm to Serve as Senior Adviser to FTC on Internet, Privacy and Mobile Markets

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Privacy and Information Security
Professor Paul Ohm, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Law School, will be joining the FTC as a senior policy adviser for consumer protection and competition issues in the Internet and mobile market space this August. Ohm’s legal career has focused on information privacy and cyberlaw matters. He is the author of numerous law review articles … Continue Reading