Sen. Warren calls for FTC probe over 'misleading' statements about Equifax settlement

(Aug 14, 2019) The Washington Post reports U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is calling for a probe over why not everyone will receive the expected settlement payout between Equifax and the Federal Trade Commission. Warren indicated the FTC offered “misleading public descriptions” to the 147 million Americans whose information was compromised. The FTC had previously offered free credit monitoring or a “cash payment of $125” to affected individuals. “The FTC has the authority to investigate and protect the p... Read More

Facebook halts transcription of audio chats

(Aug 14, 2019) Bloomberg reports Facebook confirmed it had been paying contractors to transcribe users' audio. The tech giant said they stopped the practice last week. "Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago," the company said. The company had long denied the practice but said affected users "chose the option in Facebook's Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed." The Irish Data Protection Commission is examining the activity to determine if it violates the... Read More

Silicon Flatirons to host data privacy law conference Sept. 6

(Aug 14, 2019) Silicon Flatirons has announced an upcoming conference on "The Near Future of U.S. Privacy Law." Attendees will discuss the recent bans on surveillance technology, new state privacy laws and proposed federal legislation, in addition to the future of the Federal Trade Commission. The conference will be held Sept. 6 at the University of Colorado Law School.Full Story... Read More

Op-ed: FTC needs more enforcement authority, resources

(Aug 13, 2019) In an op-ed for The New York Times, former U.S. Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich writes Congress needs to give the agency more enforcement authority to properly handle privacy cases. Rich writes the agency has been able to do what it can under the Federal Trade Commission Act to take on privacy cases; however, it does not allow the agency to set normative privacy standards for tech companies to follow. Rich argues the agency also needs more resources. ... Read More

IAPP infographic: FTC-Facebook vs. largest global privacy and security fines

(Aug 10, 2019) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's fine of Facebook for $5 billion is the largest ever global enforcement fine for privacy violations to date, and according to the IAPP Westin Research Center, is more than twice the total number of global privacy and data security regulatory fines in history. This infographic compares the fine of Facebook to other global enforcement fines for privacy violations to date. Read More

Op-ed: FTC can still be the right agency for privacy enforcement

(Aug 9, 2019) In an op-ed for the Brookings Institute, University of California, Berkeley Adjunct Professor of Information and Law Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Northeastern University Professor of Law and Computer Science Woodrow Hartzog and George Washington University Law School Professor of Law Daniel Solove explain why the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is still the best agency to handle privacy enforcement. The authors cite the FTC’s ability to adapt to new technologies and what it has been able to do with limite... Read More

Email service settles with FTC on deceptive practices with user messages

(Aug 9, 2019) The Federal Trade Commission has announced it's reached a proposed settlement with Unrollme, an email management company, regarding allegations that consumers were deceived about how the company accesses and uses personal emails. While Unrollme claimed it would not access personal emails, it was revealed the company was sharing email receipts with its parent company. The FTC has ordered the company to delete all personal information it has collected and it will also be required to properly infor... Read More

Op-ed: Facebook fine shows conflict between Congress, FTC

(Aug 5, 2019) In an op-ed for The Hill, Justin Brookman writes that "through purposeful policy choices made over decades" the Federal Trade Commission "has been deliberately set up to fail consumers" by Congress. Brookman points to the FTC's $5 billion settlement with Facebook as the prime example of how Congress has weakened the FTC's regulatory power. According to Brookman, the FTC's "primary privacy enforcement tool is a blanket consumer-protection statute" based on unfair or deceptive acts or practices. C... Read More

FTC warns Equifax may run out of settlement cash

(Aug 1, 2019) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is encouraging victims of the 2017 Equifax data breach to sign up for free credit monitoring that is being offered by the company as part of its recent settlement with the FTC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 50 states and territories. According to NBC, so many individuals are opting for the $125 payout that it may run out of settlement money before satisfying all the claims. The FTC said, "The public response to the settlement has been overwhelming. ..... Read More

US Sen. Hawley introduces bill to halt ‘social media addiction’

(Jul 31, 2019) U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has proposed a bill that would limit the techniques that keep social media users glued to the platforms, The Washington Post reports. Hawley's aim with the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act is to curb the incessant attention paid to platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat by removing features like infinite scroll and autoplay video. "Too much of the ‘innovation’ in this space is designed not to create better products, but to capture more atte... Read More