Tag Archive | Federal Trade Commission

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.

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Today – Conference on Mobile and Location Privacy

NYU/Princeton Conference on Mobile and Location Privacy: A Technology and Policy Dialog

Date: Friday, April 13, 2012
Time: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: New York University School of Law, Lipton Hall, 108 West 3rd Street (between Sullivan and MacDougal Streets), New York City. Visit link above for registration.

Co-sponsored by the New York University Information Law Institute and the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy, with generous support from Microsoft.

Conference description: The age of ubiquitous computing is here. People routinely carry smartphones and other devices capable of recording and transmitting immense quantities of personal information and tracking their every move. Privacy has suffered in this new environment, with new reports every week of vulnerabilities and unintended disclosures of private information. On Friday, April 13, 2012, New York University’s Information Law Institute and Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy will host a technology and policy dialogue about the new world of mobile and location privacy. The gathering aims to bring together the policy and technology communities to discuss the substantial privacy issues arising from the growth of mobile and location technologies. The conference will combine a variety of formats, including roundtable discussions on specific topics, a keynote address, and a technology demonstration.

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New CRS Report on Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

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The Congressional Research Service recently prepared for the Members and Committees of Congress a report titled, Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity (R42338), published on February 3, 2012 by co-authors Bradon J. Murril, Edward C. Liu, and Richard M. Thompson II.

Summary: Fueled by stimulus funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), electric utilities have accelerated their deployment of smart meters to millions of homes across the United States with help from the Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment Grant program. As the meters multiply, so do issues concerning the privacy and security of the data collected by the new technology. This Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) promises to increase energy efficiency, bolster electric power grid reliability, and facilitate demand response, among other benefits. However, to fulfill these ends, smart meters must record near-real time data on consumer electricity usage and transmit the data to utilities over great distances via communications networks that serve the smart grid. Detailed electricity usage data offers a window into the lives of people inside of a home by revealing what individual appliances they are using, and the transmission of the data potentially subjects this information to interception or theft by unauthorized third parties or hackers.

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Bill Requires Permission for Mobile Device Monitoring Software

by Aaron Brauer-Rieke, CDT, February 8, 2012

Against the backdrop of controversy surrounding the use of monitoring software pre-installed on mobile phones, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) recently released a draft bill requiring clear disclosure and express consent before monitoring software is used. … Markey’s bill requires several kinds of companies to clearly disclose details about monitoring software and obtain express consent before putting such software to use. The entities obligated to observe these requirements are those that (1) sell mobile phones, (2) provide commercial mobile services, (3) manufacture phones, or (4) operate a “website or other online service from which a consumer downloads monitoring software.” The bill also requires the user to consent to the software’s operation before it can begin collecting and transmitting information. …

For a summary and analysis of this bill by the Center for Technology and Democracy, visit Bill Requires Permission for Mobile Monitoring Software | Center for Democracy & Technology.

Industry Tinkers to Create Privacy Tools for Mobile Devices – NYTimes.com

By Tanzina Vega, NYT, August 14, 2011

For many Internet users, online privacy policies are long and difficult to read. Transfer those same policies to a mobile device, where users can find themselves clicking through multiple screens often with tiny type, and the policies can become almost useless to the average consumer.Yet those same policies govern how much user data is collected through mobile applications and how that data is shared with advertisers and other third parties. And with growing concern over data collection, including proposed legislation to more closely protect consumers, one company is trying to make privacy policies that are both easy for consumers to read and easy for mobile application developers to create. …

For full text of the article, visit Industry Tinkers to Create Privacy Tools for Mobile Devices – NYTimes.com.

TODAY: Senate Hearing on Privacy and Data Security

Privacy and Data Security: Protecting Consumers in the Modern World

Jun 29 2011 at 10:00 AM in the Russell Senate Office Building – 253

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced a full committee hearing on privacy and data security. The hearing will examine how entities collect, maintain, secure, and use personal information in today’s economy and whether consumers are adequately protected under current law. The Commerce Committee will hear from representatives from relevant government agencies as well as business and consumer advocate stakeholders.

Please note the hearing will also be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website at http://commerce.senate.gov.

Witness Panel 1

Witness Panel 2

  • Mr. Scott Taylor, Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer, Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Mr. Stuart Pratt, President and CEO, Consumer Data Industry Association
  • Ms. Ioana Rusu, Regulatory Counsel, Consumers Union
  • Mr. Tim Schaaff, President, Sony Network Entertainment International
  • Mr. Thomas M. Lenard Ph.D., President and Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Institute

via Hearings – U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation.

Privacy in Europe and the United States: I Know It When I See It | Center for Democracy & Technology

by Omer Tene, Center for Democracy and Technology Website, June 27, 2011

This post is part of “CDT Fellows Focus,” a series that presents the views of notable experts on tech policy issues. This week, CDT Fellow Omer Tene is our guest contributor. Posts featured in “CDT Fellows Focus” don’t necessarily reflect the views of CDT; the goal of the series is to present diverse, well-informed views on significant tech policy issues.

There is a great deal of cross-Atlantic harmony with respect to fundamental legal concepts. A contract is a contract in both the United States and France; it is formed by offer and acceptance, and awards specific performance or damages upon breach. Likewise, a tort is a breach of a civil duty; and a corporation a distinct legal entity. Yet when it comes to privacy, the cross-Atlantic harmony breaks down. While the psychological need for and social value of privacy are universal, legal and societal privacy norms diverge to the extent that we must ask whether we are speaking about the same thing. …

For full text of the article visit Privacy in Europe and the United States: I Know It When I See It | Center for Democracy & Technology.

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.

FCC steps into privacy debate over location-based data, announcing forum

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FCC steps into privacy debate over location-based data, announcing forum

Technology, Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission is stepping into the simmering privacy debate over location data collected through cellphones and mobile devices, announcing a forum next month on the issue that could lead to rules governing the coveted information. … The FCC said Tuesday it had invited Apple, Google and other technology companies, along with wireless providers, consumer groups and academic experts, to participate in a public education forum in Washington on June 28. Among the topics: how location-based services work, their benefits and risks, and information parents should know about location tracking of children who use mobile devices.

Full text of the article via FCC steps into privacy debate over location-based data, announcing forum | Technology | Los Angeles Times.

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