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Category Archives: Regulations

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FCC Cracks Down on Data Collection and Sharing Practices

Posted in Advertising, FCC, Internet, Privacy, Regulations
The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a set of Internet consumer privacy regulations that would be applicable to providers of wireless and broadband internet services (such as Comcast, Verizon, etc.) (collectively, “ISPs”), akin to current regulations imposed on telephony services. If approved, the proposed regulations would represent some of the most… Continue Reading

California Continues Campaign against Online Tracking

Posted in Advertising, Privacy, Regulations, Technology
As we’ve previously discussed, the State of California’s new amendment to the California Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”) took effect on January 1, 2014.  One key component of this new iteration of the statute is the requirement of website operators to disclose how they respond to web browser “do not track” (“DNT”) signals or other… Continue Reading

#ThinkBeforeYouPin: FTC Considers “Pinning” by Contest Entrants an Endorsement Requiring Disclosure

Posted in Advertising, Contest/Sweepstakes, Fashion, Internet, Regulations, Social Media, Technology
Over the past decade, social media has emerged as one of the world’s most dominant marketing tools for obvious reasons:  it is cost-effective, easily accessible, highly scalable and can dramatically increase brand awareness across multiple outlets and platforms.  Arguably, the most advantageous aspect of social media marketing is the ability for companies — both large… Continue Reading

Privacy Alert – Amendments to CalOPPA in Effect as of January 1, 2014 – Have you Reviewed Your Privacy Policy?

Posted in E-alert, Privacy, Regulations
On September 27, 2013, the State of California enacted Assembly Bill No. 370 (“AB370”), amending the California Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”).  CalOPPA requires any operator of a commercial website or online service provider that collects personally identifiable information (“PII”) from any individual residing in California (collectively, “operators”), whether through a website, mobile application or… Continue Reading

California AG’s “Recommendations” Suggest New Standards for Privacy Protection in Apps

Posted in Mobile, Privacy, Regulations
California’s attorney general recently released a set of privacy practice recommendations for app developers. The recommendations, which the California AG acknowledged offer greater protection than existing privacy law, are not legally binding. However, since the AG is charged with enforcing the California Online Privacy Protection Act (OPPA), the recommendations provide insight into how that law… Continue Reading

COPPA Amendments Bring New Obligations in Seeking to Expand Protections

Posted in Privacy, Regulations
As 2012 came to a close, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) unveiled its final amendments to the rules for implementing and enforcing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). When the amendments become effective on July 1, 2013, many online stakeholders will face additional operational obligations to remain compliant with the rules. The amendments are… Continue Reading


Posted in Advertising, Regulations, Technology
In 2000, long before the launch of Twitter and Facebook, and the explosion of smartphones, tablets and other Internet-connected devices, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, was enacted to provide parents of children under the age of 13 with more visibility into, and control over, online publishers’ information collection and processing practices. COPPA requires,… Continue Reading

Yet Another Data Security Bill Introduced

Posted in Regulations
The march towards the establishment of some sort of national standards on data security and breach notification continued last week with the introduction in the Senate of yet another piece of legislation.  This one, descriptively titled the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2012, would not only set benchmarks for companies to comply with… Continue Reading

The FTC’s Final Privacy Report Highlights Consumer Choice and Control

Posted in Privacy, Regulations
Last week, the FTC issued its final report on protecting consumer privacy.  The report, entitled "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations For Businesses and Policymakers", builds on a December 2010 staff report that was the subject of an earlier post.  While the final report maintains the FTC’s “bottom up” approach to… Continue Reading

Recent Changes in Copyright Law: Disrupting the Status Quo

Posted in Copyright, Regulations
Recent changes in the copyright laws, both in the United States and abroad, will soon cause considerable disruption to the existing paradigm of copyright protection.  The European Union recently adopted a directive to extend copyright protection for sound recordings by an additional 20 years and, in a decision handed down just a few weeks ago, the United… Continue Reading

Mobile App Industry Attempts Self-Regulation

Posted in Mobile, Regulations, Technology
Mobile apps have blossomed from nothing into an expanding multi-billion dollar industry in just a few years.  Just last week, the millionth app went on sale somehere in the world.  And the industry is projected to continue to grow despite tough economic times.  A great deal of this growth stems from the increased access that… Continue Reading

App Developers/Distributors Beware: FTC Now Cracking Down on Apps Targeting Children

Posted in Advertising, Privacy, Regulations
A prominent developer of mobile applications, W3 Innovations, LLC, the parent company of Broken Thumb Apps (“W3”), has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in its first enforcement action involving mobile applications (“apps”), according to terms of the settlement announced last week. The FTC’s complaint, filed on… Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Strikes Down California Video Game Law

Posted in Gaming, Regulations
The Supreme Court has struck down a California law that sought to regulate the sale of  video games by imposing a labeling requirement based on content and prohibiting the rental or sale of certain games to minors.  In its decision, the Court found that, like books, plays and movies, video games communicate ideas through literary devices such… Continue Reading

Recent Data Breaches May Spur Congressional Action on Data Regulations

Posted in Privacy, Regulations, Social Media
In the wake of the recently publicized data breach involving Sony’s PlayStation and Online Entertainment networks, Congress appears ready to accelerate its efforts to enact legislation to implement regulations intended to prevent future breaches and provide a framework for enforcement in the event of a breach.  The data breaches at Sony, which occurred on two… Continue Reading

Bipartisan Privacy Bill of Rights Act Introduced in Senate

Posted in Privacy, Regulations
Last Tuesday, U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 which is intended to “establish a regulatory framework for the comprehensive protection of personal data for individuals under the aegis of the Federal Trade Commission.”  According to the bill, current laws at the state and federal… Continue Reading

Digital HHR Presents: “App-endectomy: Removing the Mystery from the App Ecosystem” – April 7, 2011

Posted in Advertising, Events, Intellectual Property, Internet, Privacy, Regulations, Technology
On April 7, the Digital HHR team will be presenting "App-endectomy: Removing the Mystery from the App Ecosystem", the next in its on-going series of live, CLE-accredited webinars. The explosive popularity of tablets, smartphones and other Internet-connected consumer devices has ushered in a new technology ecosystem driven by Apps. These self-contained software programs have not… Continue Reading

States Jump Into the Security Breach Breach

Posted in Privacy, Regulations
As discussed in our recent webinar “Whose Data Is It Anyway: Privacy in the De-Centralized Digital World”, currently there is no comprehensive federal statutory scheme to govern the protection of privacy.  While lawmakers and agencies at the federal level continue to grapple with developing useful legislation to address privacy and security breach concerns, lawmakers in… Continue Reading

Discovery of Privacy Breaches on Facebook Puts New Emphasis on Debate Over Personal Data Protection

Posted in Advertising, Privacy, Regulations, Social Media
The recent Wall Street Journal report revealing that some of Facebook’s most popular applications have been leaking user information has brought attention to a little-known corner of the Web advertising business.  And that attention may ultimately lead to substantial changes in the way companies do business both with Facebook and throughout the wider Web.  The… Continue Reading

Recent Activities in Washington Point to Complex Issues for Regulating Privacy

Posted in Privacy, Regulations
Recent activities out of Washington have again turned the spotlight on the complexity of protecting privacy in an era of targeted advertising and what role, if any, the federal government might take to implement regulations on the collection and use of data related to consumers’ digital habits. This week the chair of the House Caucus… Continue Reading

European “Three Strikes” Initiatives Move Beyond Concept and Become Law

Posted in Regulations
Over the last year, we’ve been following the recent trends in Europe regarding “three strikes” legislation, where end-users may be subject to sanction by their ISPs for repeated acts of copyright infringement.  Following passage of the first such law in France last fall, the United Kingdom followed suit in early 2010 with passage of the… Continue Reading

Congress Debates P2P Security

Posted in Regulations
In a previous post, we discussed “The Secure Federal File Sharing Act” (H.R. 4098), a bill introduced in the House that was aimed to improve security in federal computing by barring federal employees and contractors from downloading, installing, or using peer-to-peer (P2P) software absent prior official approval.  The House ultimately passed this bill on March… Continue Reading

Is the FCC’s “Third Way” the Right Way on Net Neutrality? Or a Dead End?

Posted in Internet, Regulations, Technology
Since our last post on net neutrality, the debate has focused on the administrative questions as to who will set the guidelines for internet regulations and how those regulations will be implemented.  Since the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC did not have the authority to regulate Comcast’s network management practices under Title… Continue Reading

FCC’s Net Neutrality Initiative Suffers Body Blow, But is Still Standing

Posted in Regulations, Technology
Earlier this month, the DC Court of Appeals dealt a blow to the FCC’s “net neutrality” initiatives when it held that the Commission did not have the authority to sanction Comcast for employing network management practices that targeted users of P2P applications.  However, by basing its reasoning on a straightforward (and not surprising) interpretation of… Continue Reading

Legislation to Bar Fed Workers from Downloading P2P Software Introduced in House

Posted in Privacy, Regulations
A highly classified house ethics committee report outlining inquiries involving dozens of members of Congress was recently leaked over the Internet after a junior committee staff member saved it on the hard drive of his home computer, on which he happened to have peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software installed.  There is no evidence the staffer… Continue Reading