As many who are keeping track of generative AI developments are aware, the FTC recently announced that it is investigating OpenAI’s ChatGPT product. For the privacy practitioner this investigation is important given that among other things, the agency wants to understand better how OpenAI is using personal information, and if its privacy representations are sufficient.

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The FTC and OCR at HHS are continuing to scrutinize the use of tracking technologies that may reveal information about a person’s health or health status. Both agencies recently sent a letter to a reported 130 hospitals and telehealth providers warning about the use of tracking technologies and the risks they pose. This follows on the heels of other statements, guidance, and enforcement actions from these regulators about these tools over the past two years.

Continue Reading Regulators Send Warning Letter to Hospitals and Telehealth Providers About Tracking Technology Use

With the ongoing BIPA litigation activity in Illinois surrounding collection of biometrics, it can be easy to forget that other issues might surround this practice. Last month the FTC reminded companies not to forget general privacy and data security concerns. Concerns as most know, it enforces under Section 5 of the FTC Act (which prohibits deception and unfairness).

Continue Reading Don’t Forget Deception: FTC and Biometrics

The FTC recently took action against the online alcohol marketplace company Drizly and its CEO for alleged security failures. The case arose from a 2018 data breach which was caused – according to the FTC – by poor security measures stemming from the company’s alleged failure to devote sufficient resources or attention to data security.

Continue Reading FTC Action Against Drizly and CEO Provides Insight Into Its Security Expectations

Following its 2021 Dark Patterns enforcement policy, the FTC recently issued a staff report on the practice. The report summarized many of the cases the agency has brought against companies it alleges have engaged in “dark patterns” designed to “get consumers to part with their money or data.” These include using design elements that induce false beliefs, that delay important and material information, that lead to unauthorized charges, or that subvert or confuse privacy choices.

Continue Reading FTC Renews Focus on Dark Patterns

The FTC recently announced an ambitious Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) broadly aimed at a host of privacy and data security issues. This is the first step by the agency to explore using its Section 18 rulemaking authority under the FTC Act to issue a broad consumer privacy-focused trade regulation rule. The ANPR poses 95 questions and various topics, ranging from collection of information from children, to consent, data security, biometrics, artificial intelligence, and automated decision-making. The ANPR is focused on the impact to consumers and as workers or employees in a business capacity.

Continue Reading FTC Announces Proposed Rulemaking On Privacy and Data Security

The FTC recently took two well-publicized steps in the children’s privacy space. First, it penalized WW International (formerly, Weight Watchers) and its subsidiary, Kurbo, for alleged COPPA violations. Second, it unanimously voted to adopt a new policy statement on education technology and COPPA. These actions follow its March COPPA settlement with TickTalk Tech.

Continue Reading FTC Continues Focus on Children’s Privacy

The FTC recently published two new resources for complying with the Health Breach Notification Rule. The Rule requires vendors of personal health records (PHR), PHR-related entities and service providers to these entities, to notify consumers and the FTC (and, in some cases, the media) in the event of a breach of unsecured identifiable health information. The guidance reaffirms and adds further clarity to the Agency’s broad interpretation of the Rule released in its policy statement last fall.
Continue Reading FTC Continues to Signal Interest in Digital Health Industry, Publishing Updated Resources