Category: FTC



FTC Opens Comment Period in Preparation for Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Hearings

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The Federal Trade Commission has opened up public comments for their upcoming Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.

The hearings will take place during the fall and winter 2018 and will examine “whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement law, enforcement priorities, and policy,” according to the FTC website. FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement that the hearings are modeled after former Chairman Bob Pitofsky’s 1995 Global Competition and Innovation Hearings, which at the time “re-energized one of the FTC’s most valuable functions – to gather leaders in business, economics, law, and related disciplines to discuss tough, emerging problems and prepare public reports on the facts, issues, governing law, and the need, as appropriate, for change.”

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Is There a “Tech” Bureau in the FTC’s Future?

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The Federal Trade Commission has focused some of its recent public statements on technology issues and related enforcement challenges. In this blog post, I provide a recap of those statements, including one before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

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FTC Staff Provides Recommendations to Consumer Product Safety Commission on IoT Safety

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In March 2018, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a Notice of Public Hearing and Request for Written comments on The Internet of Things on Consumer Product Hazards.  The CPSC expressed interest regarding existing safety standards on existing IoT devices, how to prevent hazards, and the role of government in the effort to promote IoT safety.

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FTC Gives Final Approval to PayPal Settlement Related to Allegations Involving its Venmo Payment Service

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The FTC gave final approval to the Venmo/PayPal settlement resolving alleged violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s Privacy and Safeguards Rules. As described in a previous blog post, the FTC alleged that Venmo made a variety of misrepresentations to consumers with respect to the availability of funds, the ability of consumers to control the privacy of their transactions, and its data security practices. Continue reading

Eleventh Circuit Vacates FTC LabMD Order but Does Not Challenge FTC Authority

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The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit vacated the LabMD Federal Trade Commission order but did not challenge the Commission’s ability to use its unfairness authority to challenge inadequate data security practices in  a closely watched case that tested the commission’s enforcement powers.

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FTC Warns Two Foreign-Based App Developers of Possible COPPA Violations

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The FTC staff recently sent two warning letters to Gator Group Co., Ltd., and Tinitell, Inc., which marketed mobile apps directed to children and appear to be violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC warning letters were also sent to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, which make the apps available to consumers.

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