Crystal N. Skelton

Crystal N. Skelton

Crystal Skelton is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

Subscribe to all posts by Crystal N. Skelton

Indiana Amends Telemarketing Law, Bringing New Disclosure Requirements and DNC Vicarious Liability

Last month, the Indiana Governor signed into law House Bill No. 1444, which amends Indiana’s “do not call” statute and extends liability beyond the telephone solicitor, to individuals or entities that “directly or indirectly control” the telephone solicitor. The amendments take effect July 1, 2017 and affect entities that target Indiana consumers via telephone solicitation, … Continue Reading

Judge Upholds FTC Staff Opinion that Avatar Calls are Prerecorded Messages under TSR

Yesterday, a D.C. district court upheld a recent opinion letter issued by FTC staff that extended robocalling restrictions to telemarketing calls that use so-called soundboard technology or “avatars.”  This technology generally allows a live agent to communicate with a call recipient by playing recorded audio snippets instead of using his or her own live voice. … Continue Reading

California Last State to Join Multistate Settlement of Western Union Fraud Schemes

Last week, California became the 50th state to join the multistate settlement with Western Union over its alleged complicity in fraud-induced wire transfers.  This followed Western Union’s $5 million agreement with 49 state and the District of Columbia for costs and fees in January, not to mention a whopping $586 million in settlement agreements with the … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Website Accessibility Suit Over Lack of Connection to Store

As we noted earlier this week, a handful of law firms have filed hundreds of lawsuits – and sent many hundreds of letters threatening lawsuits – over website accessibility issues. This has been a lucrative business for these firms. Many of these suits and letters are essentially cut-and-paste jobs, and the recipients often decide to … Continue Reading

Court Relies on Due Process Argument to Dismiss Website Accessibility Suit

Over the past few years, a handful of law firms have filed hundreds of lawsuits – and sent many hundreds of letters threatening lawsuits – over website accessibility issues. This has been a lucrative business for these firms. Many of these suits and letters are essentially cut-and-paste jobs, and the recipients often decide to quickly … Continue Reading

FTC Staff Report Details Best Practices for Cross-Device Tracking

The ubiquitous use of multiple devices by consumers has created new opportunities for mobile apps, platforms, providers, and publishers alike to capture more, and more accurate, consumer data.  This practice – known as cross-device tracking – serves many purposes but is particularly valuable to advertisers. On January 23, 2017, FTC staff released a report entitled … Continue Reading

Avoiding the Enforcement Crosshairs of Cross-Device Tracking

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) recently announced that enforcement of its guidance on cross-device tracking (the “Application of the DAA Principles of Transparency and Control to Data Used Across Devices”) is set to begin on February 1, 2017. Originally published in November 2015, the guidance was intended to clarify how the DAA’s Core Principles of … Continue Reading

Health Claim Substantiation Has Not Gone to the Dogs

The FTC announced a settlement with Mars Petcare U.S. concerning allegations that the company did not have proper substantiation to support quantified health benefit claims for its Eukanuba brand dog food. The FTC’s complaint alleges that a 2015 ad campaign for Eukanuba expressly or impliedly claimed that the dog food could increase the lifespan of … Continue Reading

FTC Updates Consumer Guidance for Online Tracking

On June 23, the FTC updated its consumer information page to provide updated guidance on “Online Tracking.”  The updated guidance is intended to provide consumers with information on different methods of tracking, how they work, and how consumers can control such tracking.  While directed to consumers, updates to this page can also help businesses understand … Continue Reading

Going Geo-Loco: FTC Settles with Mobile Ad Network over Geolocation Collection

The FTC announced a settlement on Wednesday with mobile advertising company, InMobi Pte Ltd., concerning allegations that the company deceptively tracked the geolocation of hundreds of millions of unknowing consumers, including children, to serve them geo-targeted advertising.  As part of the settlement, InMobi will pay $950,000 in civil penalties relating to violations of the Children’s … Continue Reading

8th Circuit Upholds Data Breach Coverage for Bank Loss Following Hacker’s Fraudulent Transfer

Last week, the Eighth Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling in State Bank of Bellingham v. BancInsure Inc., finding that a bank employee’s negligence in securing its computer network did not preclude coverage for a data breach resulting in a fraudulent funds transfer.  The decision affirms the lower court’s ruling granting summary judgment in favor of … Continue Reading

Surprise!? DOJ Delays Web Accessibility Rulemaking (Yet Again)

Website accessibility seems to be the Wild, Wild, West of the World Wide Web, and it is not going to get tamer anytime soon. Since July 2010, the DOJ has sought to issue a proposed rulemaking setting standards for website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  After numerous delays, we thought we had … Continue Reading

Federal Court Finds Amazon Liable for Kids’ In-App Purchases

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Amazon is liable for permitting unauthorized in-app purchases incurred by children.  Amazon is the last in a series of actions brought by the FTC against third-party platforms related to kids’ in-app charges (we previously blogged about the other two actions against Apple and Google here and here, which resulted in … Continue Reading

Are You Covered? Fourth Circuit Finds CGL Insurance Coverage for Data Breach

As data breaches have continued to grow over the past few years, interest in cyber insurance coverage has grown along with it.  This week, the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling in Travelers Indemnity Co. of America v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, LLC, finding that a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy covered the cost … Continue Reading

‘Smart’ Ways To Avoid FTC Internet Of Things Scrutiny

Connected devices have existed in the marketplace in one form or another for decades (think vending machines or weather sensors). Yet, a confluence of forces in recent years has helped spur a mass proliferation of technology in the “Internet of Things,” and with it, the collection and analytics of big data. Demand is high to … Continue Reading

From Big Data to Bacon to Bots: Who will be Under FTC’s Watchful Eye Next?

At last week’s Strata + Hadoop Worldwide Big Data Conference those “in the know” about all things Silicon Valley prophesized that “data is the new bacon.”  Witty comparisons aside, there is no question that big data has matured.  Companies across all industry types are clamoring to leverage every possible gigabyte of available consumer data.  As … Continue Reading

California Court Grants Summary Judgment in Website Accessibility Case

As we’ve noted in previous posts, there has been an increase in lawsuits alleging companies have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because their websites aren’t accessible to the blind. This week, a California court granted summary judgement in one of these suits. Last year, a plaintiff filed a suit against Colorado Bag’N Baggage, arguing … Continue Reading

Can You Hear Me Now? Audio Snooping Triggers FTC Warning to Mobile App Developers

This week, a dozen mobile app developers received warning letters from the FTC concerning audio monitoring software used in their apps, but not clearly disclosed to consumers. The app developers allegedly used software development kits created by a company called SilverPush.  The warning letters explain that SilverPush makes a “Unique Audio Beacon” technology available for … Continue Reading

FTC Requests Auditors’ Data on PCI Data Security Assessments

Earlier this week, the FTC issued orders to nine credit card and payment security auditors in an effort to gain insight into data security compliance auditing and its role in protecting consumers’ information and privacy. The orders contain detailed questions concerning the assessment process for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”) compliance, including the policies … Continue Reading

Scalia’s Death Leaves High Court in Limbo on Three Key Consumer Class Actions

While the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia creates an immediate vacancy on the bench, it also likely leaves the high court’s docket in limbo on a number of key consumer class actions awaiting the Court’s decision. Many predict that President Obama will not be able to replace Scalia before the 2016 Presidential … Continue Reading

App Developers Settle COPPA Violations Relating to Third-Party Ad Network Practices

This week, the FTC announced settlements with two mobile app developers – LAI Systems, LLC and Retro Dreamer (including two of its principals) – concerning allegations that their apps collected childrens’ personal information without obtaining parental consent in violation of COPPA.  These cases are the first in which the FTC has held a company liable … Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Will Continue to Drive Website Accessibility as DOJ Delays Rulemaking

Since July 2010, the DOJ has sought to issue a proposed rulemaking addressing the applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to private retailers offering goods and services to the public online.  The rulemaking has been delayed several times, and was most recently scheduled for a Spring 2016 publication. However, on November 19, 2015, … Continue Reading

Cookies, Promises, and California: Why the 3rd Circuit Revived Privacy Claims Against Google

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit revived several privacy claims against Google pertaining to the Internet company’s practice of side-stepping “cookie blockers” on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari browsers. The Third Circuit found that Google intentionally circumvented “cookie blockers” on Internet browsers by exploiting loopholes found in the cookie … Continue Reading

Highlights from the FTC’s Second “Start With Security” Initiative

On November 5, the FTC hosted its second “Start With Security” event in Austin, Texas in an effort to provide companies with practical tips and strategies for implementing effective data security. FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny opened the event discussing the FTC’s “Start With Security” business initiative and guidance document, which provides “best practices” (and not … Continue Reading
LexBlog