Recently, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada issued its 2017 Global Privacy Enforcement Network Sweep results, which focused on certain privacy practices of online educational tools and services targeted at classrooms. The OPC examined the privacy practices of two dozen educational websites and apps used by K-12 students.
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On June 28, 2016, the State Internet Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published the Administrative Provisions on Information Services for Mobile Internet Applications (the “App Administrative Provisions”). This is the first regulation that expressly regulates mobile apps in the People’s Republic of China. Before the App Administrative Provisions were published, the P.R.C. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had published a draft of the Interim Provisions on the Preinstallation and Management of the Distribution of Mobile Intelligent Terminal Applications (“Interim Provisions”). The comment period for the Interim Provisions draft expired six months ago and i’s still uncertain when it will become effective. According to unofficial statistics, domestic app stores have more than 4 million apps in inventory presently, and the number is growing. Those apps will now become highly regulated products under the App Administrative Provisions.
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On June 22, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it reached a settlement with a mobile advertising company, InMobi, to resolve charges that the company deceptively tracked hundreds of millions of consumers’ locations without their knowledge or consent. Among other requirements, the settlement orders the company to pay 950,000 dollars in civil penalties.
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On May 9, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had issued Orders to File a Special Report 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.”
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On December 17, 2015, the FTC announced a pair of COPPA settlements against operators of child-direct mobile apps available for download in the major app stores. These cases are the FTC’s first COPPA actions involving the collection of persistent identifiers from children since the FTC’s updated COPPA Rule went into effect in 2013.
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