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Christine Wilson Sworn In as FTC Commissioner Following Maureen Ohlhausen’s Departure

Yesterday, Christine Wilson was sworn in as FTC Commissioner. Commissioner Wilson – the fifth and final Trump appointee – joins the FTC from Delta Airlines and assumes former Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen’s seat. Commissioner Ohlhausen announced her departure on Tuesday – the day her term ended, concluding over six years of service as Commissioner, including a … Continue Reading

Party of Five: CPSC Has Full Commission and a Republican Majority with Confirmation of Peter Feldman

On Tuesday, in an 80 to 19 vote, the Senate confirmed Peter Feldman as CPSC Commissioner – to finish Commissioner Mohorovic’s term ending October 26, 2019. Today, in a narrow 51 to 49 vote, the Senate confirmed him to a full, seven-year term. As we discussed here, Mr. Feldman previously served as Senior Counsel to … Continue Reading

GDPR SIDEBAR: Should You Be Complying with the New Data Protection Law?

You’ve probably heard of the dreaded four-letter word – GDPR.  Companies around the globe had been preparing for the May 25th implementation date for quite some time.  But U.S.-based companies with no apparent EU presence may not have thought twice about whether the data protection law across the pond even applies to them.  Let’s face … Continue Reading

Data Breach Notification Law Roundup

Just when you think you have it all under control, the data breach notification law landscape changes – again. Over the past few weeks, several data breach notification statutes were updated, including an effective date for Canada’s mandatory breach notification obligations, as well as the adoption of legislation in the two holdout states (Alabama and … Continue Reading

CPSC Votes to Sue Britax Over B.O.B. Strollers

Last Friday, the CPSC voted to sue Britax Child Safety, Inc. to force the company to recall various models of single and double B.O.B. jogging strollers. The one-count administrative complaint alleges that the strollers present a substantial product hazard under Section 15(a)(2) of the Consumer Product Safety Act because they contain a product defect that … Continue Reading

“OK, Google. Send a Letter to the CPSC.”: Privacy Groups Request Recall of Google Home Mini

Last Friday, ten consumer and privacy advocacy groups, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, and Consumer Watchdog, sent a letter to Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, requesting that the CPSC recall the Google Home Mini smart speaker. The speaker was designed to respond to the voice commands, “OK, Google” and “Hey, … Continue Reading

One More Step Forward: Senate Committee Approves Nomination of Ann Marie Buerkle as CPSC Chairman

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle’s nomination to become CPSC Chairman last Thursday in a 14-13 vote along party lines. She is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate, and would then be able to move forward with staff appointments. Buerkle has served as Acting Chairman since … Continue Reading

Getting Closer: Progress on Nominations for CPSC Chairman and Commissioner

Yesterday, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Dana Baiocco as CPSC Commissioner. If confirmed, Ms. Baiocco would replace Commissioner Marietta Robinson when her term expires on October 27, and would serve a seven-year term. Ms. Baiocco would join Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle and Commissioner Joseph Mohorovic, and give the five-member Commission a republican majority … Continue Reading

Comparison Pricing Victory for Ross Stores in California

On August 2, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a putative class action lawsuit against Ross Stores that accused the discount retailer of misleading promotional pricing practices. The lawsuit stemmed from February and May 2015 purchases by the two lead plaintiffs of items bearing price tags with a selling … Continue Reading

FTC Submits Comments on IoT Device Security to NTIA Working Group

On Monday, the FTC submitted comments to the draft National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) guidance intended to improve Internet of Things (IoT) device security and increase consumer transparency. While recognizing the benefits (and proliferation) of IoT devices, the Commission’s comments caution that such benefits can only be realized when device manufacturers both incorporate – … Continue Reading

FTC Settles with Turn Over Alleged Privacy Policy Misrepresentations

On Wednesday, the FTC announced that Turn, a California-based ad-tech firm, agreed to settle charges that it misrepresented its consumer tracking practices to Verizon Wireless customers. According to the FTC, such customers could not delete or turn off advertising identifiers because Turn synced multiple identifiers without reconciling user preferences or express user requests to delete … Continue Reading

Vermont Settles with B2B Software Developer over Security Practices

Yesterday, the Vermont Attorney General announced a settlement with business-to-business software developer Entrinsik, Inc., resolving allegations that the company’s Informer program violated Vermont law, including the law placing restrictions on the use and disposal of data containing Social Security numbers. The Informer program is used by businesses, including seven colleges in Vermont, to analyze and … Continue Reading

Australian Court Imposes $3 Million Penalty for Product Safety Violations

Earlier this month, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) reminded businesses that, in February, the Federal Court of Australia ordered Woolworths to pay $3.057 million AUD for several violations of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). Specifically, the court found that Woolworths: Over the course of three years, made false or misleading representations about the safety … Continue Reading

Texas Settles with PayPal over Money Transfer App Advertising and Privacy Practices

On Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a settlement with PayPal, resolving allegations that its Venmo money transfer app violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by failing to clearly disclose how consumers’ phone contacts would be used, or how consumers’ transactions and interactions with other users would be shared, and misrepresenting that communications … Continue Reading

Nebraska Amends Data Breach Notification Law

Last week, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts signed into law LB 835, which makes the following amendments to the state’s data breach notification statute: Adds to the definition of “personal information” a user name or email address, in combination with a password or security question and answer, that would permit access to an online account. Requires … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Sweeping Broadband Privacy and Data Security Rules

On March 31, 2016, the FCC voted along party lines (3-2) to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish privacy rules for Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) providers. These proposals, if adopted, could impose prescriptive and complex privacy obligations that would be among the most extensive in the country. As our Communications group’s … Continue Reading

Tennessee to Require Breach Notification within 14 Days

Last week, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law SB 2005, which makes two amendments to the state’s data breach notification statute – effective July 1, 2016. With these amendments, Tennessee has joined a handful of other states that have strengthened – or are attempting to strengthen – their breach notification statutes in light of … Continue Reading

CPSC Representatives Lay Out Active Agenda

At the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) conference in D.C. last week, Chairman Elliot Kaye and other CPSC representatives raised eyebrows with an active agenda, which included proposed and recent changes to the civil penalty investigation and corrective action plan status quo. Specifically, the agenda includes: Publication of DOJ Referrals – The … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Settlement with ASUS over Insecure Routers and Cloud Services

Yesterday, the FTC announced that it had entered into a settlement agreement with Taiwan-based computer hardware manufacturer ASUSTeK Computer Inc., resolving allegations that the company failed to take reasonable steps to secure its routers and cloud services. Such failure, the FTC claims, constitutes an unfair practice, in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. … Continue Reading

FCC and FTC Announce Consumer Protection Memorandum of Understanding

On Monday, the FCC and FTC published a Memorandum of Understanding in which the two agencies agreed to engage in greater coordination and collaboration on consumer protection issues, with greater respect for each agency’s jurisdiction. The MOU comes at a time when both agencies are seeking to position themselves as protectors of consumers in the digital … Continue Reading

Weight-Loss Claims: How Many Studies Does the FTC Really Think It Takes?

On Tuesday, the FTC announced that it has sent warning letters to 20 marketers of weight-loss dietary supplements. The letters question whether the companies possess adequate support for claims and describe the scientific evidence required to support such claims. The Commission is asking the companies to review all product claims, including endorsements and testimonials, to … Continue Reading

Don’t Call Me, Maybe – Missouri AG Alleges Charter Communications Violated TCPA, TSR, and State Laws under Third-Party Liability Theory

On Monday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications, Inc., alleging that the cable, internet, and telephone service provider’s third party telemarketers made thousands of telemarketing calls to consumers who had placed their numbers on the federal and Missouri do-not-call lists, or requested not to receive telemarketing calls from Charter. According … Continue Reading

California Enacts Three Bills Amending Breach Notification Statute

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law three bills that revise California’s data breach notification statute. The bills, which take effect January 1, 2016, establish specific formatting requirements for the consumer breach notice letter; define “encrypted”; and create notice, security, and privacy obligations for data captured by automated license plate recognition (ALPR) systems. … Continue Reading

Dumbing Down Your Smart TV: California Prohibits the Use of Voice Recognition for Advertising Purposes

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law A.B. 1116, prohibiting manufacturers’ use of smart televisions’ voice recognition feature for advertising purposes. Effective January 1, 2016, consumers must be “prominently informed” during initial set-up or installation of the operation of a voice recognition feature, and any recordings collected through the operation of the feature cannot be sold … Continue Reading
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