Archives: Marketing and Consumer Privacy

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How to Use the GDPR as Your Competitive Advantage: Focus on the Carrot, Not the Stick

How to use the GDPR as Your Competitive Advantage: Focus on the Carrot, Not the Stick

Ample bandwidth has been eaten by panicky commentary over the fines possible under the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Sure, the GDPR arms EU data protection authorities with a hefty compliance stick. Yet the focus on exorbitant fines seems a bi… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes New Systems to Reduce Illegal Robocalls and Announces Fine Against Autodialing Platform

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) marked another step in its effort to curtail illegal robocalls. During its recent Open Meeting, the FCC approved Notices of Inquiry (NOIs) into Call Authentication methods and into Advanced Methods to Target Unlawful Robocalls that, respectively, seek input on efforts to institute a caller ID-based “Tru… Continue Reading

Washington’s New Biometric Privacy Law: What Businesses Need to Know

With the rise in hackings and data breaches, companies and government agencies are looking for ways to protect their data that offer more security than passwords. Because passwords are easily lost, stolen, guessed, and cracked by hackers, companies are shifting to the use of biological characteristics that uniquely identify you, called biometric iden… Continue Reading

(Connected) Toy Story: The FTC Updates the COPPA Compliance Plan

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently issued an updated “Six-Step Compliance Plan for Businesses” (“Compliance Plan”) for entities subject to the Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6506, to “reflect developments in the marketplace—for example, the introduction of int… Continue Reading

Data-Driven Marketing and the GDPR: the Data Brokers’ Conundrum

The digital marketing industry is powered by information about individuals (“personal data”) that pulses through a supply web. As this FTC infographic shows, some industries such as retail, energy, financial services, and health care, have direct relationships with those individuals. Other industries, such as data marketing, generally are at l… Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Affirms TCPA Consent Cannot Be Revoked if Granted By Contract

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in Reyes v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services that a consumer does not have the right to revoke consent to autodialed and/or prerecorded calls to his a mobile device where consent was part of a bargained-for agreement between the consumer and the caller. This decision has broad implicatio… Continue Reading

And Then There Were 48 (States): New Mexico Enacts a Security Breach Notification Statute

On April 6, 2017, New Mexico joined 47 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands when Governor Susana Martinez signed House Bill 15, codifying the Data Breach Notification Act.  With New Mexico becoming the 48th state to enact a security breach notification statute, only Alabama and South Dakota have not codified requirements for repo… Continue Reading

It’s Official: Privacy and Security Rules from Wheeler Era Repealed

On Monday, April 3, President Trump signed a bill repealing the privacy and security rules introduced in the FCC’s October 2016 Order.  Under the terms of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), those rules have now been entirely repealed, the FCC is restricted from implementing “substantially similar” rules in the future, and the congressional act… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Rules to Allow Carriers to Block Illegal “Robocalls”

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) and Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) opening a new docket, Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls, which proposes rules to allow telephone voice service providers to block “illegal robocalls” on behalf of their subscribers.  The NP… Continue Reading

New FCC Stays ISP Data Security Rules from Wheeler Era

On Wednesday, the Chairman Pai-led FCC adopted an Order granting a stay of the data security rules that were adopted as part of the Commission’s 2016 Privacy Order spearheaded by former FCC Chairman Wheeler. The stay will maintain the data security rules that have been in place for several years, but suspend implementation of the expanded data security r… Continue Reading

New FCC Chairman Moves to Roll Back Privacy Rules for Internet Service Providers

Ever since the presidential election and the replacement of former Obama administration FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with former Republican commissioner and now Chairman Ajit Pai, communications industry and privacy policy observers of all stripes have expected the new FCC to roll back much or all of the agency’s pre-election (October 2016) privacy Ord… Continue Reading

FCC Broadband Privacy Part I: The FCC’s Ascension as a Privacy Regulator

Tomorrow, October 27, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scheduled to vote on new privacy rules for internet service providers (ISP) that will have a lasting impact on U.S. privacy regulation. In this special Series, DWT starts with some background on what led us to this point and what we expect from the new rules.  Once adopted, the Series wil… Continue Reading

Brace for Impact: The FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules Are Almost Here

On October 6, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler published a fact sheet and blog post outlining his proposal to create privacy rules for internet service providers (ISPs), setting the final rules up for a vote at the FCC’s October 27 open meeting. The fact sheet demonstrates that the Federal Trade Commission and other government pr… Continue Reading

Advisory Alert: 9th Cir. Rules Common Carriers Beyond FTC Authority

In a decision that could significantly impact the scope of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on August 29, 2016, that common carriers are entirely exempt from the FTC’s jurisdiction, even when engaged in “non-common carrier” activiti… Continue Reading

FCC Issues Federal Debt Collection Robocall Rules

On August 11, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a Report and Order (“R&O”) adopting rules to implement provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which amended the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) to allow autodialed and pre-recorded calls and texts to collect on debts owed to or guaranteed by the Un… Continue Reading

Where’s the (TCPA) Harm in That?

TCPA Cases Post-Spokeo: Federal courts weigh plaintiffs’ alleged harms under the TCPA in light of Spokeo v. Robins, with some beginning to find injury-in-fact to sue for unwanted calls and texts – while one rules that “professional” TCPA plaintiffs do not suffer injury insofar as calls are not “unwanted”

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’… Continue Reading

FTC Settles Case against Vulcun for Force-Installing Apps

On May 10, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it had approved an order with General Workings, Inc., d/b/a “Vulcun,” settling charges that the company violated the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) when it replaced a popular web browser extension game with a program that force-installed apps on users’ devices without permission. Wh… Continue Reading

Advisory Alert: Impact of SCOTUS’ “Standing” Ruling in Spokeo

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued its much-anticipated ruling in Spokeo v. Robins, in which the Court considered whether Congress can confer Article III standing on a plaintiff to bring an action based on an alleged violation of a statute where that plaintiff has not otherwise suffered concrete injury. In a 6-2 decision, the Court held that whatever s… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Vacates Ninth Circuit’s Spokeo Decision

Alleging a bare statutory violation not enough to confer standing

When the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Spokeo v. Robins, it was clear that a ruling in the case would have significant implications for litigation under privacy statutes.  The issue before the Court was whether Congress can confer Article III standing on a plaintiff that has not suff… Continue Reading

Open Internet Webinar

Keeping up with the Latest Happenings at the FCC, Capitol Hill, and Beyond
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT

As the Obama Administration winds down, the FCC has moved forward with a series of Internet-related initiatives in quick succession including new rules impacting Lifeline and Open Internet and proposed privacy rules. Please join us as w… Continue Reading

TCPA Update – FCC Reveals Key Points for Proposed Rules for “Robocalling” to Collect Federal Debt

Last November, in pushing through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Congress inserted minor amendments to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to create a new exception to the TCPA’s prohibition on autodialed and prerecorded calls to cell phones, to allow such calls when placed to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States.  Th… Continue Reading

ALJ Dismisses FTC Data Breach Action Against LabMD

In the first ruling rebuking the Federal Trade Commission’s cybersecurity enforcement efforts, the FTC’s head administrative law judge dismissed the FTC’s complaint against LabMD, Inc., on November 13, stating that fundamental fairness demanded dismissal, as the FTC had not presented any evidence of actual or likely substantial consumer inj… Continue Reading

Budget Deal Allows Autodialers and Robocalls in Federal Debt Collection

President Barak Obama recently signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314), which resolved major differences between the White House and Congress, thereby funding the federal government for the next two years – and, in less noted respect, effectuating a minor amendment to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that slightly ex… Continue Reading

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