Sens. make bipartisan call for FTC TikTok investigation

(Jun 1, 2020) Reuters reports U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., wrote to the Federal Trade Commission demanding a probe of TikTok's children's privacy. The lawmakers wrote there's "compelling evidence" TikTok is "blatantly flouting binding U.S. privacy rules," adding the FTC "should move swiftly to launch an investigation and forcefully hold violators accountable." The call comes following a similar urge to the FTC by members of the ... Read More

Commissioner seeks increased oversight, transparency of COPPA safe harbor programs

(May 29, 2020) FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra is calling for a revamp of U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act safe harbors in the wake of a Federal Trade Commission settlement with a gaming app developer that falsely claimed participation. In a piece for The Privacy Advisor, IAPP Staff Writer Jennifer Bryant speaks with the vice president of a safe harbor program that supports additional oversight and a law professor who questions safe harbors in general.Full Story... Read More

Reps. implore FTC to investigate TikTok

(May 28, 2020) A group of 14 Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission calling for it to probe TikTok over children's privacy claims, Reuters reports. The members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote TikTok's "blatant disregard" for a decree on parental consent may "encourage other websites to fail to adhere to settlements." The letter comes days after two House Republicans questioned TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, over the alleged priva... Read More

Are COPPA safe harbor programs getting the job done?

(May 27, 2020) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission last week announced its settlement with a gaming app developer over its false claim of membership in a Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act safe harbor program, and alongside the announcement, a Democratic commissioner has called for a revamp of self-regulatory programs to strengthen children’s privacy protections. The FTC said Swiss-based digital game developer Miniclip misled consumers by claiming membership in the Children’s Advertising Review Unit’s COP... Read More

FTC settles with company over privacy misrepresentations

(May 21, 2020) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced a finalized settlement with Tapplock over the Canadian company's false privacy claims. Research of Tapplock's solutions revealed the company falsely advertised that its smart locks could not be hacked and were equipped with appropriate measures to protect consumer's personal information. As part of the settlement, Tapplock must bolster its security program and submit it to biennial assessments.Full Story... Read More

Democrats unveil Public Health Emergency Privacy Act

(May 15, 2020) After Senate Republicans proposed the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act April 30, Democrats from the Senate and House of Representatives offered their response Thursday with the introduction of the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act. The Democrats' bill aims to provide safeguards for health data during the pandemic and regulate the use of that data with contact tracing technologies. In this piece for Privacy Tracker, IAPP Staff Writer Joe Duball has details on the bill with reactions from l... Read More

FTC's Wilson: US privacy law needed as contact tracing moves forward

(May 14, 2020) In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Christine Wilson writes a federal privacy law must be in place to establish a rule for tech companies as they use personal data to track the spread of COVID-19. "With established legal boundaries, companies would be better equipped to determine when the government is asking them to cross the line for the public good, and whether they should require a subpoena or inform customers before turning over data," ... Read More

FTC probing Zoom over privacy, security issues

(May 12, 2020) U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons said the agency has begun examining Zoom and its privacy practices, Reuters reports. While not specifically referring to Zoom, Simons said if the issues are widely and publicly discussed, "then you can be assured that we’re looking at it already or we will." The FTC has also been asked to review education technology companies' children's privacy practices. Additionally, the FTC is mulling changes to its data breach notification rule for patien... Read More

Sens. ask FTC to review children's data practices of edtech, digital ad industries

(May 11, 2020) U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked the Federal Trade Commission to use its powers under the FTC Act to investigate children's data practices within the educational technology and digital advertising industries. The senators make their request as the FTC plans to review the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule and technology use rises during the COVID-19 pandemic.Fu... Read More

FTC approves amendments to 2012 Facebook privacy order

(Apr 29, 2020) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced it formally approved amendments to its 2012 privacy order with Facebook. The amendments incorporate provisions that were part of the FTC's $5 billion settlement with the tech company. The FTC was not able to amend the 2012 order until the settlement was approved by a district court judge. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court of appeals to unseal a judge's decision in which Facebook successfully blocked the wiretapping of ... Read More