On October 18, the CFPB sued a software company for utilizing their online payment platform to enroll unknowing consumers into annual subscriptions through deceptive acts and “dark pattern” techniques in violation of the CFPA and EFTA. Among other things, the complaint alleges that the company encouraged consumers to unknowingly enroll in free trials and converted the free trials into annual subscriptions through a “negative option” renewal policy (our sister blog covered “negative option” marketing in a previous post here). During this process, the company allegedly collected consumers’ registration information and consumer payments data (e.g., credit or debit card number) so that it could transmit the consumer payments data through its payments systems. 

Continue Reading CFPB Sues Payment Platform Over Dark Patterns

Companies who participate in the AdTech and digital advertising eco-system are very familiar with the Interactive Advertising Bureau and its form advertiser agreements. Those agreements can help streamline negotiations, presenting the parties with, essentially, a pre-negotiated approach to common issues. When CCPA was passed, IAB updated its form to address that law and address consumer notice and consent. With the upcoming laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah and Vermont, the document is now outdated.

Continue Reading IAB Steps In State Signal Morass

Beginning January 1, 2023, New York City will restrict employers from using artificial intelligence to make employment decisions unless they follow certain guidelines. The local law applies to employment decisions made “within the city” regarding job applicants and promotion decisions.

Continue Reading New York City Set To Regulate Employment Decisions Made By AI

The Digital Advertising Accountability Program, which enforces privacy principles for digital advertising, issued a compliance warning to advertisers regarding device fingerprinting. This warning is worth keeping in mind, since the “fingerprinting” practice is rising in more and more industries.
Continue Reading DAA Issues Warning On Device Fingerprinting

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

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

Artificial intelligence continues to be a focus and concern for businesses, regulators, and lawmakers alike. As we recently wrote, there was much activity and focus on artificial intelligence and the impact on privacy laws. In addition to legal developments, there have been advancements in AI business technologies by major multinational technology firms, something focused on this post in our sister Intellectual Property Law Blog. There has been an arms race underway by the world’s leading economies to win the estimated $13 Trillion of GDP this field stands to award the winner.  In a recent podcast episode, partners Siraj Husain and Michael P.A. Cohen discuss these developments, risks, and solutions that businesses are experiencing.
Continue Reading What to Watch in Artificial Intelligence in 2021

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued a set of draft principles for “explainable” artificial intelligence and is accepting comments until October 15, 2020. The authors of the draft principles outline four ways that those who develop AI systems can ensure that consumers understand the decisions reached by AI systems. The four principles are:
Continue Reading NIST Seeking Comments on Draft AI Principles

The FTC recently issued comments on how companies can use artificial intelligence tools without engaging in deceptive or unfair trade practices or running afoul of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FTC pointed to enforcement it has brought in this area, and recommended that companies keep in mind four key principles when using AI tools. While much of their advice draws on requirements for those that are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), there are lessons that may be useful for many.
Continue Reading FTC Provides Direction on AI Technology