On April 4, 2017, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office announced that it had settled with a digital advertiser following allegations the company was using geolocation technology to target ads to women visiting reproductive health facilities. Although the company denied that it geofenced clinics in Massachusetts, the AG indicated that such targeting would violate the Massachusetts … Continue Reading
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been turning its attention to consumer data collection and use that consumers may not expect, such as tracking of TV viewing by smart TVs, and use of cross-device technologies and techniques to try to associate users and households to multiple devices (e.g., TVs, mobile phones, tablets, computers, and other … Continue Reading
On February 6, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had settled charges against VIZIO, Inc., a consumer electronics manufacturer of Internet-connected televisions. The FTC alleged that VIZIO unfairly tracked sensitive TV viewing data of millions of American consumers, and deceptively failed to disclose how the collected data was being used. This action was … Continue Reading
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published on February 6, 2014 courtesy of iMedia Connection’s Blog. It is repurposed with permission. Remember that scene from Minority Report? The one where John Anderton (Tom Cruise) takes a trip to GAP, virtual billboards call out his name and bombard him with offers as he walks through … Continue Reading
Native advertising has by all accounts been the darling of the digital marketing world in 2013. Although it comes in all shapes and sizes, the general consensus defines “native advertising” as the practice of designing ads to look like the natural editorial content of the website on which they appear. Native’s proponents hail it as … Continue Reading
The end of 2010 featured the Department of Commerce citing the need for a Privacy Bill of Rights in its green paper and the FTC's preliminary online privacy report discussing the need for a Do Not Track mechanism. The momentum generated by these reports led to the introduction of multiple versions of Do Not Track and comprehensive privacy rights bills in early 2011. By mid-2011, at least five different data security and breach notification proposals were circulating in the wake of high profile data breaches. Reports about location based tracking led to the introduction of geolocation privacy and surveillance bills. Proposed amendments to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and Video Privacy Protection Act were also made. And by the end of 2011, several cybersecurity bills designed to protect critical infrastructure had been introduced. Even though Congress held hearings on privacy issues, subcommittees approved several bills, and there was support from the Obama administration for comprehensive privacy legislation, as many expected, however, none of these bills were enacted when the first session of the 112th Congress adjourned December 18.
The safe prediction for 2012 is more of the same--a lot of proposals but no consensus. It is certainly possible that another high profile data breach or cyberattack against a utility or government contractor could create enough urgency to force a consensus. However, numerous high profile breaches (Epsilon, Sony, Citi, RSA, Lockheed Martin and several health care providers), hactivist attacks against government security contractors (IRC Federal and HBGary), and reports about how the "weaponized" Stuxnet virus caused centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear facility to spin wildly out of control were not enough in 2011. We certainly expect to see data breach notification, comprehensive privacy, and cybersecurity bills addressed again in 2012. We may also see narrower bills aimed at online and location based tracking as well as Children's privacy. Emerging technology, including mobile payments and facial recognition, may also garner legislative attention.
Below is a round-up of the 2011 privacy and data security legislative proposals, including links to more detailed analysis from our blog posts during the year.… Continue Reading
Last week we reviewed recent tracking litigation. As part of our ongoing focus on behavioral advertising, below is a summary of recent developments regarding Do Not Track legislation, industry self-regulatory efforts in the United States and abroad, and the FTC’s plan to update its Dot Com Disclosures guidelines. FTC Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch, concerned with … Continue Reading
As the FTC is evaluating its Dot Com Disclosures guidelines and Congress considers Do Not Track legislation, the debate over regulation of online advertising has intensified. On one side, opponents of new legislation explain how online advertising subsidizes many of the free services Internet users enjoy and point to studies showing that Internet advertising contributes … Continue Reading
As we briefly discussed here, on June 23, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court in Sorrell v. IMS held that a Vermont statute restricting the sale, disclosure and use of pharmacy records containing the prescribing practices of doctors for marketing purposes by pharmaceutical companies violated the First Amendment’s protection of commercial advertising speech. From a commercial advertising … Continue Reading
The Interagency Voluntary Working Group on Food Marketed to Children released Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts to improve the nutritional profile of foods marketed to children in April 2011. Today, FTC Commissioner David Vladeck addressed 12 myths about the recommendations, including: (1) providing reassurance that the guidelines do not provide a … Continue Reading
A coalition of advertising trade groups launched a new online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) opt-out program on October 4, 2010, to build on the self-regulatory principles they released last summer. The program, which is explained on the group’s website, features an “Advertising Option Icon” that can be placed near online ads that collect data used to … Continue Reading