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

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

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

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

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,

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

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 parties.

THE FTC’S COMPLAINT

Goldenshores Technologies, LLC advertises and distributes the “Brightest Flashlight Free” mobile application (“Brightest Flashlight App” or App) developed for Google’s Android operating system. One of the most popular Apps for Android devices, the Brightest Flashlight App activates all lights on mobile devices to provide outward-facing illumination. In this matter, the FTC claimed that, neither the company’s promotional material for the App, nor the company’s privacy policy and end-user agreement, disclosed that the App transmitted certain types of personal information to third parties, including third party advertising networks.  The FTC charged that this material omission deceived consumers about (1) the extent to which device data is transmitted, and  (2) the extent to which users can exercise control over the transmission of device data. The FTC deemed the company’s actions “deceptive” under Section 5 of the FTC Act.


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

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

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

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