Tag Archive | FTC

FTC Releases Recommendations for Mobile Privacy Disclosures

by Richard Santalesa, Information Law Group, February 4, 2013

“… the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) last Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, issued a new 36-page staff report, Mobile Privacy Disclosures: Building Trust Through Transparency, that recaps the FTC’s previous mobile and online privacy related efforts and distills its latest recommendations for clearly and transparently informing users about mobile data practices in the “rapidly expanding mobile marketplace. … Rather than highlighting merely one facet of the mobile world, the Report cements the FTC’s broad interest in improving privacy disclosures across the entire “mobile ecosystem” in recognition of the mushrooming growth, use and capabilities of mobile devices and smartphones. Today it calls upon apps developers, OS providers, carriers, advertisers and mobile device makers.”

For a copy of the FTC Mobile Privacy Disclosures report, click here.

For full text of this review article, visit FTC Releases Recommendations for Mobile Privacy Disclosures | InfoLawGroup.

New GAO Report on Mobile Device Location Data

Mobile Device Location Data: Additional Federal Actions Could Help Protect Consumer Privacy

GAO-12-93, September 11, 2012

What GAO Found

Using several methods of varying precision, mobile industry companies collect location data and use or share that data to provide users with location-based services, offer improved services, and increase revenue through targeted advertising. Location-based services provide consumers access to applications such as real-time navigation aids, access to free or reduced-cost mobile applications, and faster response from emergency services, among other potential benefits. However, the collection and sharing of location data also pose privacy risks. Specifically, privacy advocates said that consumers: (1) are generally unaware of how their location data are shared with and used by third parties; (2) could be subject to increased surveillance when location data are shared with law enforcement; and (3) could be at higher risk of identity theft or threats to personal safety when companies retain location data for long periods or share data with third parties that do not adequately protect them.

Read More…

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Geolocation Privacy Case

Posted by Bret Cohen, Hogan Lovells Chronicle of Data Protection, July 5, 2011

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Geolocation Privacy CaseThe Supreme Court on June 27 granted certiorari in a geolocation tracking case that could have implications for companies that incorporate location-tracking features into their products or that monitor the locations of their employees or assets. Specifically, the Court asked the parties to brief whether the government violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights by installing a Global Positioning System GPS tracking device on his vehicle without his warrant and without his consent. …

For full analysis, visit Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Geolocation Privacy Case : HL Chronicle of Data Protection.

FCC, FTC Location Based Services (and Privacy) Forum on Tuesday, June 28th

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Location Based Services Forum

June 28, 2011 / 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT / FCC, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in consultation with Federal Trade Commission staff will hold a public education forum featuring representatives of telecommunications carriers, technology companies, consumer advocacy groups and academia on June 28, 2011, exploring how consumers can be both smart and secure when realizing the benefits of Location Based Services (LBS). Topics will include: how LBS works; benefits and risks of LBS; consumer DOs and DON’Ts; industry best practices; and what parents should know about location tracking when their children use mobile devices. See the Public Notice for more information.

Audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live.  The FCC’s webcast is free to the public.  Those who watch the live video stream of the event may email event-related questions to livequestions@fcc.gov.  Depending on the volume of questions and time constraints, the panel moderators will work to respond to as many questions as possible during the workshop.

Storm Brewing: Commercial Data Bill Of Rights Introduced

by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, April 18, 2011 8:15 AM

Senators John Kerry, and John McCain introduced a bill to the Senate floor last week entitled “The Commercial Privacy Bill Of Rights” that would reform and codify how Internet user data could be used online.On the surface, this seems like the type of altruistic bill that falls in to the no-brainer area of Congressional legislation. Privacy, protection, trust, accountability. All the good political buzzwords apply. Yet, it is not that simple. Data is the lifeblood of the Web and the use of consumer data and the bill would allow the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce to have a significant hand in regulation of how data is collected and used by companies. Advertisers, innovators and consumer groups are concerned with the bill, not so much because of the wording of the legislation, but rather the amount of control it places in the hands of the FTC and whether or not that is necessary.

via Storm Brewing: Commercial Data Bill Of Rights Introduced.

Location Privacy: Is Privacy in Public a Contradiction in Terms?

We would like to invite you to read Geodata Policy’s first guest blog posting by Robert Gellman. This article is timely given the update of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change, which highlights the sensitivety of “precise geolocation data” (p. 61). Robert Gellman is a privacy and information policy consultant in Washington, DC: http://www.bobgellman.com/.

Is Privacy in Public a Contradiction in Terms?

Robert Gellman, Privacy and Information Policy Consultant

February 21, 2011

Is there such a thing as privacy in a public space?  When you walk down the street, anyone can observe you, make notes about your location, appearance, and companions, and even take your picture.  If so, then it would seem that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

However, most people would be unhappy if they found themselves followed all day.  For most of human existence, this type of surveillance was impractical because of the great expense of following someone around.

This is a good place to pause and say that this is a short essay and not a law journal article.  The law of surveillance is complex, and the answers can be different if the person doing the surveillance is a government agent, an employer, or an average person, or if you’re taking pictures or recording conversations.

Is privacy in public a case of the irresistible force meeting the immoveable object?  Should your location privacy deserve some protection even when you are in public?

These questions are much harder to answer today because of technology.  It’s cheap to track people in public today.  There’s no need to pay a private detective.  Technology does it.  First on the list are cell phones.  Your cell phone broadcasts your location constantly to a cell phone tower, and your provider knows where you are.  Cameras are everywhere, taking pictures in malls, parking lots, building corridors, on the street, at red lights, and on the highway.  Facial recognition software is getting better all the time.  Photos placed on the Internet can be scanned to identify individuals as well as the date and GPS coordinates where the photos were taken.  Digital signage in stores and elsewhere can record behavior, approximate age, gender, and ethnicity, and can sometimes identify individuals using a variety of devices.  I recommend a pioneering report on digital signage by my colleague Pam Dixon.  It’s at the World Privacy Forum website.

Even though not all the technological and organizational links are yet in place, it’s not hard to envision the possibility that, in the near future, every action you take outside your home may be observed and recorded by someone.  This is more or less what happens today online, where there is a good chance that some website or advertiser (and probably many more than one) records every site you visit, every page and ad you see, and every click you make.

Read More…

Online Privacy and the Mobile Web

Online Privacy and the Mobiel Web

The Kojo Nnamdi Show, January 18, 2011

Online advertisers and marketers are using increasingly sophisticated tools to track us, especially on our cell phones. But most consumers are unaware of the many ways Internet traffic is being analyzed and interpreted. We examine new debates about privacy on the Web, and learn about data collection over smart phone apps.

Guests

Related Links

House Hearing on “Do-Not-Track” Legislation

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing titled “Do-Not-Track Legislation: Is Now the Right Time?” at 10:30 AM on Thursday, December 2nd in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

See also:

FTC Wants Do-Not-Track for Online Ads

Source: Kate Kaye, ClickZ, December 1, 2010

The Federal Trade Commission wants a Do-Not-Track program for online advertising. The stunning recommendation comes just as the online ad industry readies a broad-reaching self-regulatory initiative in response to the FTC’s own guidelines for online behavioral ad practices. The industry has been too slow to act, said the agency.

Though the commission hinted at its support for do-not-track earlier this year, the FTC officially announced it in a report published today. According to the commission’s proposed framework for protecting consumer privacy, a do not track mechanism would involve a persistent cookie-like browser setting notifying third party ad tracking and targeting firms that a consumer does not want to be tracked or receive targeted ads. …

For full text of the article, click here.

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