New FTC Guidance for Mobile Health Apps
Healthcare providers, health plans, and technology companies that use mobile health apps to access, collect, share, use, or maintain information related to an individual’s health should take note of the recently issued Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Mobile Health App Interactive Tool. The purpose of the tool is to help mobile health developers determine the federal regulatory, privacy, and security laws and regulations that may apply to the use of a consumer’s health information, such as information related to diagnosis, treatment, fitness, wellness, or addiction. While the tool should not be considered legal advice and cannot guarantee compliance with legal requirements, it can help healthcare providers, health plans, and technology companies issue-spot to manage risk in this heavily regulated space.
Drizly FTC Order Introduces Significant Minimization, Deletion and Retention Requirements
On October 24, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued an order (the “Order”) against the online alcohol marketplace, Drizly, and its CEO, James Cory Rellas, alleging security failures that resulted in a data breach exposing the personal information of approximately 2.5 million consumers. In reaching this conclusion, the FTC alleges that Drizly failed to implement reasonable safeguards to protect the personal information it collected and stored, such as, two-factor authentication for GitHub, access controls for personal data, sufficient written security policies, and appropriate employee training regarding security.
The FTC’s COPPA Conundrum: Ambiguities in the Rule and a Death of Authoritative Guidance Leave the Agency Vulnerable to Legal Challenges
This article was originally published by the ABA’s ANTITRUST magazine in its Summer 2022 issue.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Federal Trade Commission’s COPPA-enforcing rule have increasing relevance for all businesses that interact directly with consumers online—including companies that do not regard themselves as marketing directly to children. Both the FTC and state Attorneys General are active in enforcing COPPA, and companies can often be caught off guard by government inquiries scrutinizing their compliance. (more…)
Meru Data Podcast Features Sidley Associate Lauren Kitces
Sidley associate Lauren Kitces was featured on Simplify For Success, a podcast series presented by Meru Data and hosted by Priya Keshav. Lauren discussed FTC’s proposed rulemaking regarding data privacy and data security, and shared her thoughts on how to prepare for the FTC enforcement.
FTC Defends Expansive Privacy and Data Security ANPR at Public Forum
The FTC continues its defense of the wide-reaching Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on “Commercial Surveillance and Data Security” that the Commission, by a 3-2 vote, issued in August. (See the supporting statements of Chair Lina Khan and Commissioners Rebecca Slaughter, and Alvaro Bedoya, and the dissenting statements of Commissioners Christine Wilson and Noah Phillips.)
On Thursday, September 8, the FTC hosted a public forum on the notice, featuring remarks by Chair Khan, Commissioner Bedoya, and panels featuring guests representing industry and consumer interests. (more…)
FTC ANPR Explores Wide Ranging Topics for Privacy and Cybersecurity Rulemaking
On Thursday, August 11, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it is exploring rules to crack down on harmful commercial surveillance and lax data security practices. The FTC’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”) solicits public comment on whether it should put into effect new rules and restrictions concerning standards and requirements for information security, the ways in which companies collect and process data in commercial contexts, and whether any practices related to the transfer, sharing, selling, or other monetization of personal information should be categorized as unfair or deceptive. The FTC voted 3-2 to publish the notice, with Chair Khan and Commissioners Slaughter and Bedoya voting in favor and issuing separate statements. Commissioners Phillips and Wilson voted against publication and also issued separate dissenting statements. The following Monday, Commissioner Phillips announced he would be leaving the FTC this fall.
Suits Against Google Signal Increased ‘Dark Patterns’ Scrutiny
*This article first appeared on Law360 on June 16, 2022
Pending lawsuits against Google LLC illustrate how regulators and plaintiffs lawyers are increasingly wielding a dark patterns theory in challenging companies’ practices involving consumers.
The attorneys general of Washington, D.C., Washington state, Texas and Indiana all filed complaints against Google, alleging that the company tricks consumers into providing their location data, on Jan. 24. (more…)
Convergence in Antitrust and Privacy Law: An Interview With Colleen Brown and New Partner Sean Royall
Sean Royall, new Sidley partner and co-leader of the firm’s global Antitrust and Consumer Protection practice, sits down with Colleen Brown to discuss the convergence in antitrust and consumer protection law. They cover the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) promotion of a more inter-disciplinary approach of looking at data issues, the practical effects that the closer coordination of the FTC’s antitrust and consumer protection branches would have on clients, and what law firms can be doing in response to the increasingly interrelated areas of antitrust and privacy.
Antitrust and Consumer Protection at Last Converge
Antitrust and consumer protection law—long separate provinces, even within a dual-mission government enforcement agency like the FTC that covers both fields—at last seem to be converging, as reflected in recent government enforcement activity, statements by the FTC’s leadership, and novel private litigation theories. Sean Royall, who co-leads Sidley’s Antitrust and Consumer Protection practice and is a former Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, recently called attention to this trend in an article published in Corporate Counsel magazine. (more…)
Third Time’s a Charm? Privacy Shield Agreement Reached In Principle
The U.S. President and European Commission President announced in a joint press statement on March 25th, 2022 that an agreement “in principle” has been reached on a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework (Privacy Shield Agreement 2.0). Once approved and implemented, the agreement would facilitate the transatlantic flow of personal data and provide an alternative data transfer mechanism (in addition to EU Standard Contractual Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules) for companies transferring personal data from the EU to the U.S. This is a welcome announcement for companies that have been dealing with the legal uncertainty of such data flows following the Schrems II decision in July 2020, which invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield 1.0 for international transfers of personal data.