Whether they’re tuned to “The Real Houseplants of Poughkeepsie” (guilty as charged, Your Honor) or more high-brow fare, TVs are a lot smarter than many people realize. Smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, apps and set-top boxes may track consumers’ viewing habits in one way or another. The benefits of tracking technology are apparent anytime a person follows a “Viewers who watched The Night Manager also enjoyed The Last Panthers” recommendation. But what about the privacy implications?
Blog Posts Tagged with Consumer Privacy
They’re overhead, on consumers’ minds, and under consideration this afternoon at the latest installment of the FTC’s Fall Technology Series. The topic is drones and experts on drone technology are gathering at the FTC right now to talk over the implications for consumer privacy. The event, which is free and open to the public, takes flight at 1:00 ET at the FTC’s Constitution Center conference facility, 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington.
Delivery by drone? We thought the Jetsons’ personal jetpack was the height of futuristic fantasy, but drone technology is bringing benefits like that closer to reality. But what about the consumer protection implications, especially when it comes to privacy? That’s on the agenda at the second installment of the FTC’s Fall Technology Series on drones on October 13, 2016.
Researchers report that 72% of American adults now own a smartphone and when they’re on their phones, 89% of their time is spent on apps. An analysis of how app developers generate revenue raises some interesting issues that touch on consumer privacy.
One pundit has called it the most pervasive industry that nobody knows about, which is why the FTC has sponsored a workshop, brought law enforcement actions, and just published a Staff Perspective to call attention to the consumer protection implications.
Gary Numan sang, “Here in my car, I can only receive.” Well, those days are in the past. More and more vehicles are outfitted with the latest communications technologies like Bluetooth, GPS navigation, roadside assistance, streaming music, and web browsing. With mobile technologies in rental cars, consumers’ personal information can stay with the car long after the consumer has returned it. If you’re a car rental company, it’s important to think about protecting consumer privacy in connected rental cars.
If a disclosure is intended to inform consumers – and isn’t that pretty much the job description of a disclosure? – it should accomplish that task effectively. A “disclosure” that fails that fundamental test is no disclosure at all. That’s FTC 101. So what can be done to improve the testing and evaluation of disclosures? Leading academics and testing professionals will gather at the FTC on September 15, 2016, to explore that topic.
We’re not being overdramatic when we describe it as a business executive’s nightmare: a shadowy contact from a hacker who has infiltrated a company’s network, encrypted the data, and now demands ransom for a key to access the files.
It turns out the real estate people have been right all along. A settlement with InMobi, one of world’s largest mobile ad networks, suggests that for consumers, it really is about location, location, location – or at least honoring consumers’ location privacy preferences and not tracking them without permission. The case is the FTC’s first action against the operator of a mobile ad network.
Combine two of the most talked-about consumer protection topics – health privacy and consumer-generated online content – and what do you get? A proposed FTC settlement with Practice Fusion, the largest cloud-based electronic health records company in the country, and six compliance tips for others in the industry.
The FCC asked – and we answered. Underway at the Federal Communications Commission is a proposed privacy rulemaking for broadband internet access service providers. The FCC sought public comment on the proposal and the staff of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has offered its perspectives.
You want to build data security into your product development pipeline, but what concrete steps should you take to put that into practice? You could sit down over coffee with executives from Fortune 500 companies, innovative start-ups, and leading security firms to download their expertise, but the cost could be substantial in time, access, and caffeine. The FTC has a better idea.
The privacy framework for transatlantic exchanges of personal data between the EU and the United States has been in the headlines lately. But are you and your clients staying on top of your obligations on the Pacific side? If your company certifies its compliance with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules, a proposed FTC settlement with Very Incognito Technologies serves as a reminder to honor those promises.
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down for some Q&A with members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), one of the leading self-regulatory organizations for the online, interest-based advertising industry. One of the questions they posed was what additional actions industry should be taking to address online tracking as it develops ever more complex technologies. My answer? Tell people how they’re being tracked and offer them easy-to-use tools to block all of the techniques used to track them.
If you’re in the process of developing a health-related mobile app, what tools are essential to your success? The answer, according to some entrepreneurs, is innovative code, a great marketing plan, and the number of a take-out that delivers until 2AM. But have you given much thought to legal compliance? A new multi-agency interactive tool may help you determine which federal laws apply to your product.
The FTC hosted its first-ever PrivacyCon event on January 14, 2016, to showcase original research in the area of privacy and security research. With over 300 in-person attendees, 1500 virtual attendees watching via webcast, and many more following PrivacyCon on Twitter, the event was a huge success. Participants presented and discussed original research on important and timely topics such as data security, online tracking, consumer perceptions of privacy, privacy disclosures, big data, and the economics of privacy.
Ransomware, Drones, and Smart TV. That’s a trio you don’t often see together. The FTC will consider the consumer protection implications of those issues at three half-day conferences later this year. We call it the Fall Technology Series, and you’ll want to mark your calendar now.
There could be exceptions to the rule – maybe an unexpected bonus or an out-of-the-blue call from a friend – but as a general proposition, people don’t like surprises. As letters the FTC staff just sent to mobile app developers suggest, people really don’t like surprises about the information their apps gather. And the kind of data those apps had the capacity to collect may come as a surprise even to savvy industry members.
Ask any gardener and they’ll tell you it’s a fool’s errand to lop weeds off at the surface. You also have to target the root system that allows them to propagate in the first place. That’s one of the messages to take from a judgment in the FTC’s case against Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc., and previous actions against data brokers and others who lent their green thumbs to Ideal’s large-scale consumer scam.
If your company is in the business of pretzels or pitchforks, what you’re selling and who you’re selling to may not be a big deal. But if your stock-in-trade is personal information – sensitive stuff like people’s Social Security and bank account numbers – what’s reasonable under the circumstances may be different. That’s the message companies can take from the FTC’s settlement of a pending complaint against data broker LeapLab.