Monthly Archives: June 2011

Appeals Court Rejects Effort to Stop Debit Fee Rule

Earlier this week, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal trial court decision denying TCF National Bank’s motion to preliminarily enjoin enforcement of the Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. As reported in an earlier post, in April a federal district court in South Dakota rebuffed TCF’s attempt to halt the … Continue Reading

Data Security and Data Breach Notification Bills Circulating in Congress

In early June, a slew of new bills began circulating in Congress that, if enacted, would impose uniform national data security and data breach notification requirements on entities that collect sensitive personal information. On June 7, 2011, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act (S. 1151), which was followed on … Continue Reading

Non-Profit Sues 34 Sellers of “Organic” Cosmetics

Last week, the Center for Environmental Health, a non-profit organization, filed a complaint in California Superior Court alleging that 34 cosmetics companies violated the California Organic Products Act of 2003 (“COPA”) by selling, labeling, or marketing cosmetic products containing less than 70% organic ingredients as “organic.” The Center seeks an order enjoining the defendants from … Continue Reading

New Rhode Island Law Prohibits Businesses from Requesting Social Security Number Information

Last week, Rhode Island enacted a new law that prohibits businesses from requesting any part of a customer’s social security number during a sales transaction. Section 6-13-17 of the Rhode Island Consumer Empowerment and Identity Theft Prevention Act, which became effective immediately, modifies a previous state law provision that permitted businesses to request a portion … Continue Reading

Health Canada Issues Guidance Clarifying Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Requirements

On June 20, 2011, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (“CCPSA”) became effective, imposing incident reporting, testing, recall, and recordkeeping requirements on entities that manufacture, import, or sell consumer products in Canada. As previously noted, many of Canada’s new requirements may be more stringent than current U.S. consumer product safety laws, especially with regard to … Continue Reading

Sens. Hatch and Harkin Send Letter to FDA in Anticipation of NDI Guidance

Senators Hatch and Harkin, the principle architects of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) (amending the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA)), submitted a letter yesterday to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg "exress[ing] their support for the upcoming new dietary ingredients (NDI) guidance." The Senators stated that the guidance should reflect the intent … Continue Reading

Flood of Geolocational Privacy Legislation Introduced in June

June has seen a flood of activity on Capitol Hill seeking to protect consumer geolocational privacy. Within a few days of one another, three bills were introduced that, if enacted, would require consumer consent before geolocation information attained through mobile devices can be collected, used or disclosed to third parties. On June 14, 2011, Rep. … Continue Reading

Senate Declines to Delay Cap on Debit Fees

On June 8, the Senate fell six votes short of the 60 votes needed to postpone for one year the implementation of a ceiling on the debit fees which banks charge to merchants. The Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation would cap these fees, and Senator Durbin notes that a final rule is … Continue Reading

President Obama Considers Former Banker to Head Up New Consumer Bureau

In a change of course, President Obama is considering Raj Date, rather than the current chief architect Elizabeth Warren, to head the newly-formed and soon to be empowered Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Mr. Date has over 10 years of experience as a banker and as a consultant to financial institutions. Since February he has … Continue Reading

FTC Sues Infomercial Company and Settles with Consumer Over False Testimonial

Last week, the FTC and the Colorado Attorney General filed a lawsuit against a company that sells a wealth-building program through infomercials. The infomercials included various claims that consumers could make large amounts of money by using the company’s program, as well as testimonials from consumers who purportedly made money through the program. Fine print … Continue Reading

Privacy Point-of-Sale Alert: Massachusetts Class Action Argues that Zip Codes Are PII

Last month, a class action lawsuit was filed against Michael Stores, Inc., accusing the arts and crafts retailer of violating a Massachusetts consumer protection statute when it collects and records zip codes during consumer credit card transactions. The lawsuit, Tyler v. Michaels Stores, Inc. filed in Massachusetts District Court, comes several months after the California … Continue Reading

Sony and Epsilon on the ‘Hot Seat’: House Commerce Subcommittee Investigates ‘Historic’ Data Breaches

On June 2, 2011, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a hearing examining threats posed to data security and the much publicized data breaches at Sony and Epsilon. The hearing, “Sony and Epsilon: Lessons for Data Security Legislation” focused on the recent Epsilon and Sony data breaches and the … Continue Reading