The FTC recently settled with a surveillance app operator over allegations that the company facilitated the secret harvesting of personal information. According to the FTC, the main users of Support King, LLC’s “SpyFone” app were bad actors who used the tool to remotely monitor users’ physical and digital activities. The FTC dismissed the company’s argument that the users were employers and parents as a “pretext.” It felt neither group would want to use the product, which to install required minimizing the device’s security settings and potentially voiding the device warranty.

Continue Reading FTC Surveillance App Settlement Signals Concern Over Deceptive Tracking

The New York Department of Financial Service recently clarified security incident notification requirements and the use of multi-factor authentication. On its FAQ page, the NYDFS added two new questions and answers for financial services companies subject to 23 NYCRR Part 500.

Continue Reading NYDFS FAQ Provides Clarity on Breach Notification and Security Requirements

The use of apps, wearables, and other devices used to track health and wellness data have continued to rise. The FTC again signaled its focus on this growing industry in a statement on the scope of the Health Breach Notification Rule. In the statement, the FTC called out specific types of apps and trackers that it views as having notification obligations under this rule.

Continue Reading FTC Warns Digital Health Industry to Comply with its Breach Notification Rule

Baltimore recently prohibited several uses of “face surveillance” technology.  Under the new law companies cannot use systems that identify or verify individuals based on their face.  The law also prohibits saving information gathered from these systems.  Getting an individual’s consent is not a way around the prohibition. Nor is promising not to connect information gathered with other personal information.

Continue Reading Baltimore Blows By Brother Burghs with Big Biometrics Ban

Companies are struggling to understand how to comply with rapidly changing and sometimes conflicting privacy obligations. For entities outside of the US seeking to do business in the States, approaching and understanding the patchwork of state and federal privacy laws can be daunting, especially since US privacy laws vary depending on the type of activities in which companies engage, the individuals from whom they gather or use information, and the industry in which the company operates. While there are some “general” privacy laws (notably in California and Virginia) those are the exception rather than the rule.

Continue Reading Tools for Understanding Global Privacy Obligations

The California AG recently reminded companies in the healthcare industry of potential data breach notification obligations beyond HIPAA. As ransomware attacks continue to rise, particularly in healthcare, companies should keep in mind the patchwork of state and federal health data privacy laws that may apply.

Continue Reading Breach of PHI? California AG Reminds Companies of Potential State Notification Obligations

As discussed in our sister blog, CARU’s revised Ad Guidelines go into effect on January 1, 2022. While the core principles of the guidelines have not changed, they now include new content to account for today’s advertising environment. Several modifications are important to keep in mind for those who collect information from children.

Continue Reading The Impact of the CARU Advertising Guidelines Change On Privacy

The SEC recently announced a settlement with Pearson plc where the company has agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges that it misled investors about a 2018 cyber incident. According to the order, Pearson made misleading statements and omissions about a 2018 data breach involving the theft of student data and administrator credentials in its July 2019 semi-annual report.

Continue Reading SEC Fine Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity Disclosures

The California attorney general has created a tool for consumers to report situations where companies sell information but do not have an opt-out of sale link on their website. The release of the tool came at the same time as the AG’s update on its CCPA enforcement actions. In that update, the AG highlighted one of the most common problems it had found: not having appropriate disclosures around “sales.”

Continue Reading AG Implements Tool to Allow Consumer Reporting of Alleged DNS Violations

The FTC recently announced the removal of Aristotle International, Inc. from the list of seven approved safe harbor programs under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Programs that are approved by the FTC must place requirements on participating organizations that are the same -or greater- than the requirements of COPPA. (As we have reported in the past, COPPA requires, inter alia, getting verified parental consent before collecting personal information from children online.) Companies that participate in those approved COPPA safe harbor programs are deemed in compliance with COPPA. Such protection can be valuable with a law, like COPPA, that has been found to be confusing to operationalize.

Continue Reading A COPPA First: Safe Harbor Program Removed From Approved List

The FTC recently voted to authorize the use of compulsory processes—the FTC’s primary investigatory tools—on what it calls “key law enforcement priorities.” The resolutions allow investigators to take actions like issuing subpoenas and civil investigations demands (commonly referred to as “CIDs”) in a variety of areas. Of note is the inclusion of both healthcare markets and technology platforms, signaling a potential FTC interest in those sectors.

Continue Reading FTC Signals Focus on Healthcare and Technology Platforms, Among Others