Julie O'Neill

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New York is now one of the 43 states where “revenge porn,” the posting of explicit photographs or videos to the Internet without the subject’s consent, is punishable by law. See how far the states have come – find out how many had criminalized revenge porn as of 2014, when Socially Aware first covered the issue. YouTube announced that it will not allow channels that promote anti-vaccination videos to run advertisements because such videos…
The cost for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) has been steadily rising, and companies subject to the law should take heed. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a record-setting $5.7 million settlement with the mobile app company Musical.ly for a myriad of COPPA violations, exceeding even the December 2018 $4.95 million COPPA settlement by the New York Attorney General. Notably, two Commissioners issued a statement accompanying the settlement, arguing that…
Most companies are familiar with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and its requirement to obtain parental consent before collecting personal information online from children under 13.  Yet COPPA also includes an information deletion requirement of which companies may be unaware.  On May 31, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a blog post addressing this requirement, clarifying (i) when children’s personal information must be deleted and (ii) how the requirement applies, as well…
In the last few years, as advertising has followed consumers from legacy media such as television to online video and social media platforms, the Federal Trade Commission has been attempting to ensure that participants in this new advertising ecosystem understand the importance of complying with the FTC’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” or the endorsement guides. The endorsement guides require advertisers and endorsers (also referred to as influencers)…
Companies that offer services, whether online or offline, to consumers on a subscription or other automatic renewal basis should be aware that such offers are heavily regulated at both the federal and state levels. A recent amendment to Section 17602 of California’s Business and Professions Code provides a good opportunity for businesses that make subscription offers to review their practices. As of July 1, 2018, the obligations under California law will expand in two ways…
With much fanfare, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to take actions relating to so-called “social media influencers” who allegedly fail to disclose material connections to the products or brands they endorse. Recurring enforcement actions and guidance—and the FTC’s ongoing promotion of its own efforts, such as through Twitter chats—make it clear that the FTC believes that its message has still not been heard by all of the players in this advertising ecosystem,…
Recent challenges to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority to police data security practices have criticized the agency’s failure to provide adequate guidance to companies. In other words, the criticism goes, businesses do not know what they need to do to avoid a charge that their data security programs fall short of the law’s requirements. A series of blog posts that the FTC began on July 21, 2017, titled “Stick with Security,” follows…
Recent challenges to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority to police data security practices have criticized the agency’s failure to provide adequate guidance to companies. In other words, the criticism goes, businesses do not know what they need to do to avoid a charge that their data security programs fall short of the law’s requirements. A series of blog posts that the FTC began on July 21, 2017, titled “Stick with Security,” follows…
Recent challenges to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority to police data security practices have criticized the agency’s failure to provide adequate guidance to companies. In other words, the criticism goes, businesses do not know what they need to do to avoid a charge that their data security programs fall short of the law’s requirements. A series of blog posts that the FTC began on July 21, 2017, titled “Stick with Security,” follows…
If your company collects information regarding consumers though Internet-connected devices, you will want to take note of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent privacy-related settlement (brought in conjunction with the New Jersey Attorney General) with smart TV manufacturer Vizio, Inc. The settlement is significant for four reasons: The FTC reinforces the position it has taken in other actions that the collection and use of information in a way that would surprise the consumer requires just-in-time…