Archives: Mobile

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Federal Legislation Seeks to Pre-Empt State Bills Mandating Smartphone Encryption Backdoors

On February 10, 2016, Representative Ted Lieu (D-California) and Representative Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) introduced a bill into Congress that would seek to pre-empt state efforts to require smartphone manufacturers to incorporate encryption “backdoors” for law enforcement and otherwise dictate smartphone design and encryption standards. Rep. Lieu, one of only four computer science majors serving in … Continue Reading

In-Store Monitoring: How to Enjoy the Benefits of Tracking While Minimizing Potential Privacy Issues

In the latest example of the conflict between technological innovation and privacy concerns, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement agreement last month with Nomi Technologies, Inc. Nomi is a startup whose technology allows retail merchants to analyze aggregate data about consumer traffic in the merchants’ stores. Although different companies track this data in … Continue Reading

California Enacts Smartphone Kill Switch Law to Promote Data Security

This week California enacted into law Senate Bill 962, which requires a “kill switch” on all smartphones that would render the device inoperable. The law applies to all smartphones manufactured after July 1, 2015 and sold in the state, but exempts other mobile devices such as tablets and smartwatches. While Minnesota passed a similar law … Continue Reading

Denial of Hulu’s Motion for Summary Judgment Paves Way for More Lawsuits Under the Video Privacy Protection Act

A lawsuit filed in 2011 against Hulu, an on-line video content provider, claims the company violated the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) by wrongfully disclosing users’ video viewing selections and personally identifiable information (PII) to third parties, comScore and Facebook.  On April 24, 2014, a federal court in the Northern District of California ruled that … Continue Reading


On April 7, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) announced the release of its Ad Marker Implementation Guidelines for Mobile (Ad Marker Guidelines) at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Mobile Marketplace conference. The DAA is a consortium of national advertising and marketing trade groups that acts as an industry self-regulatory body. While the DAA traditionally focused … Continue Reading

New TCPA Rules Require Prior Express Written Consent for Mobile Marketing

As of October 16, 2013, the new rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 went into effect.  The newly adopted rules derive from a report and order issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on February 15, 2012 intended to “maximize consistency” with the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) Telemarketing Sales Rule which … 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

Industry Steps Up to Establish Guidelines for Mobile Web Environment

Industry members and privacy groups have been on the clock to work out a voluntary standard for notifying users on how their data is collected and used on mobile devices, following prodding by the White House and the Federal Trade Commission. Recently, the Digital Advertising Alliance (“DAA”) followed the Network Advertizing Initiative (“NAI”) in unveiling … Continue Reading

California AG Sues Delta for Failure to Post a Mobile App Privacy Policy

December 12, 2012 by Matthew Fischer On December 6, California Attorney General Kamala Harris initiated the first enforcement action under California’s Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) in San Francisco Superior Court. The complaint filed against Delta Air Lines Inc. asserts that the airline’s operation of its mobile app called “Fly Delta” violates both CalOPPA and … Continue Reading

Non-Lawyers’ Guide to TCPA Compliance

A number of lawsuits have been filed (wild understatement – truly hundreds) in recent years under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a federal law that regulates certain forms of direct marketing.  While the law was originally passed in the early nineties (well before the advent of cell phones), many lawsuits have been filed in recent … Continue Reading

Federal Judge Certifies Massive TCPA Unsolicited Text Class Action

There has been a tremendous amount of media attention in recent days on the class certification decision in Agne v. Papa John’s International, Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01139.  The facts are relatively straightforward and sadly not uncommon (the decision is available here: PapaJohn’sClassCert[1]).  Plaintiff Agne (2 other plaintiffs were subsequently added but the Court did not consider … Continue Reading

PCI Issues New Security Guidelines For Mobile Payments

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) recently issued guidelines for mobile payment acceptance security.  The “PCI Mobile Payment Acceptance Security Guidelines” provide smart phone manufacturers and mobile app developers’ best practices on security controls to help facilitate consumer mobile payment transactions.  The PCI SSC oversees the Payment Card Industry data-security standards (PCI … 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

Lots of Unsolicited Texting, Twitter Spam in the News Lately

Couple of interesting articles and news stories of late about the proliferation of unsolicited text messaging and Twitter’s efforts to curb spam.  Regarding the former, expect the recent media attention to result in an uptick in the number of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class actions filed.  An interesting aspect of the NY Times story … Continue Reading

Application Privacy Class Action Against Apple Dismissed for Lack of Standing (among other reasons)

Now that the speaking engagements have quieted down for a bit, it’s time to refocus efforts on the blog as many interesting developments on the privacy, marketing and legal fronts have occurred in recent weeks. Jumping right in, Judge Lucy Koh (of the ND of Cal.) recently issued a significant decision in In Re IPhone Application … Continue Reading

The (Potential) Downside(s) of Mobile Marketing

The benefits of mobile marketing are undeniable.  Among other things, SMS and MMS campaigns create a personalized interaction between brand and consumer and foster brand loyalty.  However, with great opportunity comes great peril.  As you likely know if you are reading this blog, mobile marketing is regulated by federal law – the Telephone Consumer Protection … Continue Reading

Federal Lawmakers Introduce Geolocation Bills: Main Themes are Consent & Transparency

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, Senator Al Franken (D-MN), along with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), recently introduced a bill that would make rules more stringent for collecting geolocation data on mobile device users. In short, marketers would have to obtain express permission from mobile users prior to sharing … Continue Reading