As reported in BNA Privacy Law Watch, on June 27, 2018, Equifax entered into a consent order (the “Order”) with 8 state banking regulators (the “Multi-State Regulatory Agencies”), including those in New York and California, arising from the company’s 2017 data breach that exposed the personal information of 143 million consumers. Continue Reading Equifax Enters Into Consent Order with State Banking Regulators Regarding 2017 Data Breach

On May 24, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission granted final approval to a settlement (the “Final Settlement”) with PayPal, Inc., to resolve charges that PayPal’s peer-to-peer payment service, Venmo, misled consumers regarding certain restrictions on the use of its service, as well as the privacy of transactions. The proposed settlement was announced on February 27, 2018. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Venmo misrepresented its information security practices by stating that it “uses bank-grade security systems and data encryption to protect your financial information.” Instead, the FTC alleged that Venmo violated the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s (“GLBA’s”) Safeguards Rule by failing to (1) have a written information security program; (2) assess the risks to the security, confidentiality and integrity of customer information; and (3) implement basic safeguards such as providing security notifications to users that their passwords were changed. The complaint also alleged that Venmo (1) misled consumers about their ability to transfer funds to external bank accounts, and (2) misrepresented the extent to which consumers could control the privacy of their transactions, in violation of the GLBA Privacy Rule. Continue Reading FTC Approves Settlement with PayPal Regarding Alleged Venmo Privacy Misrepresentations

On April 30, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission announced that BLU Products, Inc. (“BLU”), a mobile phone manufacturer, agreed to settle charges that the company allowed ADUPS Technology Co. Ltd. (“ADUPS”), a third-party service provider based in China to collect consumers’ personal information without their knowledge or consent, notwithstanding the company’s promises that it would keep the relevant information secure and private. The relevant personal information allegedly included, among other information, text message content and real-time location information. On September 6, 2018, the FTC gave final approval to the settlement in a unanimous 5-0 vote.

Continue Reading Mobile Phone Maker BLU Settles FTC Privacy and Data Security Claims

On February 27, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced an agreement with PayPal, Inc., to settle charges that its Venmo peer-to-peer payment service misled consumers regarding privacy and the extent to which consumers’ financial accounts were secured. This is the second significant FTC settlement in the past three months that addressed these issues, following the FTC’s action against TaxSlayer, Inc. and signals a renewed focus by the FTC on violations of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s (“GLBA’s”) Privacy and Safeguards Rules. Continue Reading FTC Announces Settlement for Venmo’s Alleged Violations of the GLBA’s Privacy and Safeguards Rules

On March 17, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Upromise, Inc., (“Upromise”) agreed to pay $500,000 to settle allegations (the “Settlement”) that it violated the terms of a 2012 consent order (the “2012 Order”) that required Upromise to provide notice to consumers regarding its data collection and use practices, and obtain third-party audits. Continue Reading FTC Announces Settlement Over Alleged Consent Order Violation

On July 29, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it had issued an opinion and final order concluding that LabMD, Inc. (“LabMD”) violated the unfairness prong of Section 5 of the FTC Act by failing to maintain reasonable security practices to protect consumers’ sensitive personal information. The unanimous decision reverses a November 2015 administrative law judge’s initial decision that, as we previously reported, dismissed the FTC’s charges against LabMD for failing to show that LabMD’s allegedly unreasonable data security practices caused, or were likely to cause, substantial consumer injury. Continue Reading FTC Reverses ALJ Decision, Finds LabMD Liable for Unfair Data Security Practices

On June 22, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Singaporean-based mobile advertising network, InMobi, resolving charges that the company deceptively tracked hundreds of millions of consumers’ locations, including children, without their knowledge or consent. Among other requirements, the settlement orders the company to pay $950,000 in civil penalties.  Continue Reading Ad Network to Pay Nearly 1 Million in Civil Penalties to Settle FTC Charges That It Geo-Tracked Consumers Without Permission

On May 9, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had issued Orders to File a Special Report (“Orders”) to eight mobile device manufacturers requiring them to, for purposes of the FTC’s ongoing study of the mobile ecosystem, provide the FTC with “information about how [the companies] issue security updates to address vulnerabilities in smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.” The FTC’s authority to issue such Orders comes from Section 6(b) of the FTC Act.

Continue Reading FTC Orders Mobile Device Manufacturers to Provide Information about Security Updates for Study