Archives: Online Marketing

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And Now There are Three: Nevada Joins California and Delaware in Privacy Policy Requirements for Website Operators

The latest development with respect to privacy policies involves amendments to existing legislation governing state statutes governing the security of personal information for website operators and online service providers. (See June 30, 2017 Alert – FTC Issues Updated Guidance for Compliance with COPPA).  This may be the next wave of statutory amendments in the ongoing … Continue Reading

Two New Developments in Website Accessibility Cases: Nation’s First Website Accessibility Trial Verdict Is Far From a Winn for Retailers, and Hobby Lobby Is Dealt a Blow in California Decision

As numerous retailers know firsthand, website accessibility has become a hotbed for litigation in recent years. Despite plaintiffs filing scores of website accessibility claims against retailers each year, very few of these cases make it past pleadings, and there has been little to no guidance from the courts. This changed on June 13, 2017, in … Continue Reading

FTC Report Highlights Privacy Concerns and Best Practices for Cross-Device Tracking

On January 23, 2017, the FTC released a Staff Report (the Report) on cross-device tracking, a commonly used practice that allows companies to associate multiple internet-based devices with the same consumer in order to track behavior across devices. The Report follows the FTC’s Workshop on cross-device tracking, and alerts companies engaged in cross-device tracking of certain best … Continue Reading

No Storefront? No Problem: Deceptive Pricing Moves Online

More than three-dozen deceptive pricing cases have been filed in the last two years alone, with more suits being filed every week. These suits generally claim that the retailer deceives customers into making purchases by listing an inflated and illusory reference price (for example, an “original” price, a manufacturer suggested retail price or a “compare … Continue Reading

Sponsored Social Media Posts Riskier than Ever

Five months after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued updated guidance regarding paid endorsements, it is clearer than ever that it plans to take increasing action against retailers for soliciting reviews on social media. The FTC’s plans were reinforced on October 15, 2015, when FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, in a keynote address at the Better … Continue Reading

Online Retailers Increasingly at Risk of Website Accessibility Lawsuits

Given the lack of formal guidance on website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “www” might as well stand for the “Wild, Wild, West.” Twenty-five years after ADA first passed, there are still unclear guidelines in place for how companies should make their websites accessible to disabled visitors. Plaintiffs have taken advantage of … Continue Reading

New FCC Rules on CPNI Will Impact ISP’s and Businesses Who Rely on Internet Tracking Data

By now, most people know that in its recent Open Internet Order adopted on February 26, 2015, the FCC reclassified internet access services as common carrier “telecommunications services” subject to FCC jurisdiction under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The Order imposes a new regulatory framework on internet providers and, among many other things, augurs a … Continue Reading

California Passes New Data Breach Laws: Requirement to Offer Identity Theft Protection at No Cost, New Duties Imposed on “Maintainers” of Personal Information, and Sale of Social Security Numbers Banned

California added new provisions to its data breach law on October 1 by signing Bill AB 1710 into law. The amendment to California’s Civil Code (1) requires entities that experience a data breach to provide identity theft prevention and mitigation services at no cost for 12 months if the notifying entity is the “source” of … Continue Reading

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Will Impact U.S. Companies

Canada’s Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Bill, better known as Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), was enacted in December 2010, but enforcement of the law did not commence until July 1, 2014, on Canada Day. The law impacts any U.S. company or individual sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to businesses in Canada and it has several … Continue Reading

California AG’s Guidelines for CalOPPA and Do Not Track Disclosures

California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently released guidelines for compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”) entitled, Making Your Privacy Practices Public.  Attorney General Harris stated that the guide can be used as “a tool for businesses to create clear and transparent privacy policies that reflect the state’s privacy laws and allow consumers … Continue Reading

Facebook Hit With New Lawsuit Over User Information Privacy

Perennial issues with Facebook’s data use policies have spawned another class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs in Campbell et al v. Facebook Inc., No. 13-CV-05996 make two distinct claims in their December 30, 2013 complaint, one of which might surprise even longtime Facebook users. The first and less controversial claim is … Continue Reading

AB 370 Amends CalOPPA To Require Transparency Regarding Consumers’ “Do Not Track” Requests to Websites, Online Services And Mobile Applications

The California legislature has been considering a raft of privacy bills this year, only a couple of which have made it through to the governor for signature.  California Bill AB 370 has garnered the most attention.  It was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 27, 2013 and is set to become effective on … Continue Reading

Twitter Takes A Stand Against DMCA “Takedown Notice”

Recently, a copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against Twitter by Christopher Boffoli regarding Twitter’s failure to take down links to his photographic art work that have been posted by Twitter users and hosted on Twitter’s servers. Boffoli is the creator of the “Disparity Series” of art photographs, which feature miniature figures in poses on fruit. … Continue Reading

FTC Disclosures Must Accompany Consumer Testimonials on Pinterest

Businesses are flocking to the social media website Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board that allows businesses and consumers to “pin” online content (images of products and consumer comments) to a board (webpage) which links to the source of the image (company website) and ultimately drives traffic to the company’s website. Pinterest has obvious appeal to … Continue Reading

MySpace Settles FTC Privacy Charges Re Data Sharing

MySpace and the FTC recently announced that they had reached a settlement over charges that the social media platform had misled (its currently 25 Million) users about the extent to which it shared certain personally identifiable information with third-party advertisers.  The FTC asserted that MySpace’s use and sharing of PII beyond the disclosures made in … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Preliminary Agenda for Workshop about Advertising Disclosures in Online and Mobile Media

On May 30th, the FTC will host a one day public workshop to consider the need for new guidance for for online advertisers about making disclosures.  As loyal readers of this blog know, the disclosure obligations created by the FTC’s Revised Guides (and from other sources) are complicated by the size of the “third screen” … Continue Reading

White House’s Privacy Framework Provides Initial Guidance for Digital Stakeholders

The Obama Administration recently released its white paper proposing a new framework for online privacy protections.  This is an extremely important development as it is the first pronouncement from the White House on its views of an overarching federal privacy mandate.  For more information, please review our recent client alert discussing the New Privacy Framework. Things … Continue Reading

Attention Affiliate Marketers: Revised Business Opportunity Rule Goes Into Effect Tomorrow (March 1)

The Federal Trade Commission’s recently-amended Business Opportunity Rule goes into effect tomorrow, March 1, 2012.  The changes to the BOR were made with an eye towards providing consumers sufficient (and understandable) information when they are considering participation in work-at-home programs or other business opportunities (so-called “bizopps”).  Further to the revised rule, those that are offering bizopps … Continue Reading

Recent Borders’ Bankruptcy Highlights Crucial Disclosure Issues Regarding the Collection and Use of Consumers’ Personal Information

The recent bankruptcy of the Borders bookstore chain raises several interesting and often overlooked issues regarding the importance of “clear and conspicuous” disclosures in corporate privacy policies.  With the increasing importance and “valuation” of consumer information, companies need to consider proactively how they will disclose the terms and conditions that will apply to the personal … Continue Reading

N.D. of Ill. Judge Allows VPPA Privacy Lawsuit to Go Forward

I wanted to pick up where a previous article of mine on recent class action lawsuits filed under the Video Privacy Protection Act left off.  In recent months several class action lawsuits have been filed against prominent retailers based on allegations that their retention of customers’ personal information (including credit or debit card numbers, billing … Continue Reading

Sorrell v. IMS – Supreme Court Invalidates Vermont Law Prohibiting Use of Physician Prescription Data by Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

In Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., the United States Supreme Court recently struck down a Vermont law that restricts the sale of prescriber-identifying information (“PII”) by pharmacies to data-mining companies, and the use of that information by pharmaceutical manufacturers in marketing to physicians.  The Court’s invalidation of the Vermont law has a number of important … Continue Reading

Looking forward to speaking at Bridge Conference in D.C. this week

It seems that I will not be able to escape the heat as 100 degree temps are forecast for both Chicago and D.C. this week.  Regardless, am looking forward to presenting at the 2011 Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference.  My co-presenter (and friend) Cyndi Greenglass and I will be speaking about privacy issues … Continue Reading
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