The recent data breach of Hong Kong-based electronic toy manufacturer VTech Holdings Limited (“VTech” or the “Company”) is making headlines around the world for good reason: it exposed sensitive personal information of over 11 million parents and children users of VTech’s Learning Lodge app store, Kid Connect network, and PlanetVTech in 16 countries! VTech’s Learning… Continue Reading
California again has provided a model of privacy legislation for other states to follow. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan recently signed into law House Bill 520 (the “Bill”), a bipartisan effort to establish guidelines for the protection of student online personal information. Who is covered by the Bill? Modeled after California’s Student Online Personal Information… Continue Reading
If your company has an online presence — or provides marketing or advertising services — you should be registered for the fifth webinar in our 2015 Wednesday Privacy Webinar series: The Long Reach of COPPA. Recall the recent FTC settlement agreement with Yelp — clearly a site not targeted at children — that cost… Continue Reading
It’s Monday morning — do you know your privacy/security status? Here are a few bits and bytes to start your week. SEC to Registered Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers: It’s Your Turn to Pay Attention to Cybersecurity The Division of Investment Management of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has weighed in on cybersecurity of registered investment companies… Continue Reading
On this Privacy Monday, we have some upcoming events that you might want to add to your calendar. Wednesday, May 13 – Mintz Employment Law Summit (Boston) A discussion of hot topics facing employers, including Privacy in the Workplace. Free event, breakfast and lunch included. Register here. Wednesday, May 13 – National Security, Privacy, and… Continue Reading
As we predicted in our post late last month, Google’s YouTube Kids app has attracted more than just the “curious little minds” Google was hoping for. Yesterday, a group of privacy and children’s rights advocates (including the Center for Digital Democracy and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) asked the Federal Trade Commission… Continue Reading
On Friday, the FTC published updates to the COPPA FAQs, the Commission’s compliance guide for businesses and consumers, to address the applicability of COPPA and the Amended COPPA Rule to educational institutions and businesses that provide online services, including mobile apps, to educational institutions. Specifically, nearly a year after the last update to the “COPPA… Continue Reading
Google made good on the rumors and the company’s subsequent promise last December to create a family-friendly version of its popular YouTube service with its launch on Monday of the YouTube Kids app. Available on both the App Store and Google Play free of cost and only in the United States, the YouTube Kids app is described by Google as… Continue Reading
As expected in his State of the Union address last night, President Obama made it very clear that cybersecurity is on his agenda for 2015. After stating that: “No foreign nation, no hacker should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids,”… Continue Reading
sing it with me now…. Five Golden Rules…….(well, five new privacy laws/requirements) There are five significant new privacy laws/amendments that will be effective as of New Year’s Day — January 1, 2015 — and four are from California. Pull up a chair, brew that cup of tea. It’s time to review and prepare.
As we promised in our post on the Yelp and TinyCo Federal Trade Commission COPPA enforcement actions, the Mintz Privacy Team has prepared an extensive review and analysis of both actions, and a helpful guide to avoiding COPPA violations. Client Advisory is available here.
Written by Julia Siripurapu, CIPP As we predicted in prior blog posts (here and here), the Federal Trade Commission has begun its vigorous enforcement of the Amended COPPA Rule. And one of the players is not a child-related site, so read on.
Written by Julia Siripurapu, CIPP/US According to recent media reports, Google is allegedly designing a Google account for children under 13 which would permit children in this age group to officially create their own Gmail account and to access a kid-friendly version of YouTube. Google currently prohibits children 12 and under from creating a Google… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu, CIPP U.S. District Court Judge Ronald M. Whyte has issued an order granting in part and denying in part Google’s Motion to Dismiss the class action filed against the Company on March 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California as a result of unauthorized children’s in-app purchases… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu, CIPP/US Some clarification and a bit more flexibility was forthcoming late last week from the Federal Trade Commission to help ease compliance with the “new” COPPA. In its recent update to three FAQs in Section H (Verifiable Parental Consent) of the COPPA FAQs , the FTC provided important information on the topic of… Continue Reading
FTC Sues Amazon Over In-App Purchases Made by Children Written by Jake Romero, CIPP Children, according to Whitney Houston, are our future, but they are also, according to the Federal Trade Commission, willing to spend unlimited amounts of money to purchase virtual items within mobile applications. In a lawsuit filed after Amazon.com, Inc. resisted a… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu, CIPP Just a little over a month after settling charges of false promises of disappearing user messages (among other things) with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), mobile app developer Snapchat, Inc. (“Snapchat” or “Company”) announced (blog post) that on June 12th the Company entered into an agreement with the Office of… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu, CIPP The FTC has just published updates to the COPPA FAQs, the Commission’s compliance guide for businesses and consumers, to address the applicability of COPPA and the Amended COPPA Rule to educational institutions and businesses that provide online services, including mobile apps, to educational institutions. The “COPPA and Schools” FAQs cover in… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu, CIPP/US Delaware state representative Darryl Scott recently introduced the Child Online Protection Act (House Bill 261 or the “Bill”), to the state’s House of Representatives. If passed, the Bill would: (1) prohibit the online marketing and advertising of certain products and services to children under the age of 18 (“Minors”) as well… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu, CIPP/US Just two months after Apple’s settlement with the FTC over lax parental controls over children’s in-app purchases (see our prior blog post), Google takes the spotlight with claims of unauthorized children’s in-app purchases in the Google Play Store! This time, it’s not an FTC action, but a class action. The… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) announced (press release) that it has recommended that HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. (the “Company”) modify its information collection practices on its Ruby Redfort child-directed website (the “Site”) to better protect the privacy of children under 13 (“Children”) and that the Company has agreed to do so…. Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu The FTC has announced its unanimous approval for the kidSAFE Seal Program proposed by Samet Privacy, LLC under the “safe harbor” provision of the COPPA Rule (the “kidSAFE Seal Program”). The Commission’s decision comes after an extended public comment period due to the agency’s shutdown last year. For more information regarding… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu and Cynthia Larose Apple Agrees to Pay Consumers At Least $32.5 Million to Settle Complaint of Unfair Billing Related to Children’s In-App Charges FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez just announced (press conference) that Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) has agreed to provide consumers full refunds of at least $32.5 Million Dollars to settle the… Continue Reading
Written by Julia Siripurapu As we predicted in our prior blog post reviewing the key children’s privacy developments of the past year, 2014 is turning out to be the year of enforcement of children’s privacy regulations! The first two requests for investigation under the Amended COPPA Rule have been filed with the FTC by the Center… Continue Reading