Following congressional hearings last month on potential federal data privacy legislation − Hearing on Policy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework in the United States before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Hearing on Improving Data Security at Consumer Reporting Agencies before the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy − the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on March 26, 2019, announced the initiation of a study concerning the privacy policies, procedures, and practices of seven internet service providers (ISPs). The FTC has used this process in other industries or areas of focus to gather information that it may later share in a public report.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) seeking comment on proposed amendments to the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) Safeguards Rule and Privacy Rule. The comments are due 60 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register. The NPRMs accomplish two things. First, they address comments received several years ago when the FTC sought review of these rules pursuant to its periodic review of FTC rules and guides. Second, it proposes to amend both rules and seeks comments on those amendments.
There were two recent noteworthy developments related to Privacy Shield from both sides of the Atlantic.
In March 2018, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a Notice of Public Hearing and Request for Written comments on The Internet of Things on Consumer Product Hazards. The CPSC expressed interest regarding existing safety standards on existing IoT devices, how to prevent hazards, and the role of government in the effort to promote IoT safety.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit vacated the LabMD Federal Trade Commission order but did not challenge the Commission’s ability to use its unfairness authority to challenge inadequate data security practices in a closely watched case that tested the commission’s enforcement powers.
The FTC staff recently sent two warning letters to Gator Group Co., Ltd., and Tinitell, Inc., which marketed mobile apps directed to children and appear to be violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC warning letters were also sent to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, which make the apps available to consumers.